Corning (GLW - Get Report) is one of the world's largest developers of industrial glass and ceramic substrates, the stuff used in everything from computer displays and fiber optic cables to cars and cell phones. That wide portfolio of glass and ceramic technology provides the firm with a fairly diversified revenue stream, avoiding the pitfalls that have knocked around many other manufacturing firms in 2011. Corning's exposure to some high-growth technology makes it a particularly robust name right now.
Of those growth avenues, one of the most attractive is the mobile device business. Corning's Gorilla Glass, a proprietary glass that's designed to be scratch- and impact-resistant, has already been put to work in more than 500 smartphones and tablets. As touch-based devices become the standard for cell phones moving forward, investors should expect Corning's revenues to benefit considerably.Financially, Corning is also in strong shape right now. The firm's balance sheet sports a hefty net cash position, and ample cash generation. At the start of October, management announced a 50% dividend hike that brings Corning's payout to 8 cents per share -- a 2.2% yield at current prices. As of the most recently reported period, Corning is one of the top holdings of Lee Ainslie's Maverick Capital and Larry Robbins' Glenview Capital Management.
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