Weeks, Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE: GLW) chairman, chief executive officer, and president, told shareholders, “We’re financially strong. We’re uniquely positioned to solve tough technology problems. And we’re succeeding at building a bigger, more balanced company.”
Weeks said that the company remains on track to reach $10 billion in sales within the next few years. However, he acknowledged that Corning also experienced some surprises and disappointments in the past year. “But when we step back and assess the state of the company, we really like our hand,” he said. “Corning’s growth opportunities are the strongest they’ve ever been. And we are well prepared and equipped to manage the challenges we face.”
2011 Results and 2012 First-Quarter Performance
Weeks described the company’s 2011 performance as “extremely strong in a very tough environment.” He briefly summarized the company’s 2011 year-end results, which included record sales of $7.9 billion, record gross margin dollars, and double-digit sales growth in four of Corning’s major business segments.
Weeks noted that profits were down, however, which has also placed pressure on Corning’s stock performance. Weeks cited three main factors: price declines in the LCD industry, higher taxes, and lower equity earnings from Dow Corning Corporation.
Weeks explained that these trends also impacted the company’s 2012 first quarter results. On Wednesday, Corning reported that sales were up 2% sequentially, including growth in the company’s Telecommunications, Environmental Technologies, Specialty Materials, and Life Sciences segments. However, net income was down 6% from last quarter.
Weeks noted that Corning is once again undergoing a transition as the LCD industry begins to mature. But he reminded shareholders that “evolution is part of Corning’s DNA.” Weeks asserted, “Our leadership team knows how to manage transitions, and we are not afraid of challenges.”
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