Corning President and Chief Operating Officer Wendell Weeks and Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer James B. Flaws will meet with investors in Denver, Colo., on May 19 and in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 20. In addition, Flaws will meet with investors in Europe the week of May 24. The European visit will include stops in London, Geneva, Zurich, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam.
Corning will tell investors that the company is delivering on its commitment of improved profitability and a strong balance sheet. "In the first quarter we had solid performance in both the operating company and in our equity companies. We generated significant positive operating margin for the first time in many quarters and we plan on continuing to improve our performance throughout the year," Weeks is expected to say. Weeks will add, "We continue to be pleased with our progress in reducing overall debt levels and believe we have an adequate amount of cash on hand, about $1.5 billion today, to meet our on going obligations."
The company's three significant near-term growth opportunities include emission control products for heavy-duty and light-duty diesel engines; fiber to the premises for local access networks; and liquid crystal display (LCD) glass substrates for the rapidly growing LCD industry.
Flaws will tell investors that the popularity of notebook computers, LCDs' continued penetration into the desktop monitor market, and the emerging technology substitution of LCD television for CRT television are driving strong demand for Corning's LCD glass. Flaws will say, "We believe the worldwide LCD glass demand will grow around 50 percent in 2004 and that Corning's volume growth may exceed 50 percent this year." He will add, "As the industry continues to migrate to larger-size glass, we expect Corning's competitive advantages may permit Corning's volume to grow at a faster pace than the market."