Bloomberg News
Wendell Weeks, CEO of Corning, praised the company's strong fourth quarter earnings.

Corning Inc. (GLW - Get Report)  shares rose 11.1% to close at $33.72 on Tuesday, Jan. 29, after releasing strong quarterly and annual earnings.

The company -- which has over the decades made glass products for cooking, spacecraft and smartphones -- posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 59 cents, up 28% from the same time last year and beating Zacks Consensus Estimate by two cents. Fourth-quarter sales were also up, reaching $3.1 billion -- a 15% year-over-year increase.

For all of 2018, "core" sales rose to $11.4 billion, and earnings per share improved to $1.78 -- both year-over-year increases of 11%.

An uptick in sales was seen across much Corning's product lines, with an 18% rise in its optical communications business and a similar increase in its environmental technologies business, thanks to higher use of gasoline particulate filters. Life sciences, specialty materials and display technologies grew as well, but not as dramatically over 2018.

"In 2018, we built new capacity, launched new products, grew sales by more than $1 billion, and extended our leadership position in all businesses. We exited the year with strong execution, expanded margins, and great momentum," said Wendell P. Weeks, chief executive of Corning, in a statement. Weeks touted three years of growth, and said that Corning expects to continue the momentum through 2019.

Corning's products are used in consumer products such as touch-screen phones and as automobiles -- which both use its Gorilla Glass -- and in medical and pharmaceutical equipment. 

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