The Corning, New York, company, the world largest maker of fiber-optic cable, said it was on track to meet its first quarter earnings target of a profit of 4 cents to 5 cents a share before one-time items on revenue of $770 million to $830 million.The company said it expects optical fiber volume in North America during the first quarter to decline between 10 percent and 15 percent compared with with quarter, compared with its earlier expectation of flat volumes to a 5 percent decline.Fiber and cable accounted for about one quarter of 2003 sales.
"While we are getting off to a slower start than expected in fiber, we still expect optical fiber volume for the full year to be stable with last year," Chief Financial Officer James Flaws said in a statement. He said that pricing remains within the company's expectations.
"The company is experiencing stronger than expected demand for LCD glass products during the first quarter," Flaws added. He expects volume in the segment to increase 10 percent from the fourth quarter amid stable pricing. Its earlier expectation was 5 percent to 10 percent volume growth.
Display technologies accounted for 19 percent of total sales in 2003.