posted a narrower-than-expected loss in the first quarter and said second-quarter results would be in line with current projections.
Corning reported a first-quarter net loss of $205 million, or 17 cents a share, compared with a loss of $90 million, or 10 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding one-time items related to settling asbestos claims and restructuring charges, the company broke even, beating Thomson Financial First Call estimates, which called for a 3-cent loss.
Sales in the quarter fell to $746 million from $839 million last year, but topped the First Call estimate of $716.8 million.
For the second quarter, the New York-based company, which is the world's largest maker of fiber-optic cable, said it expects bottom-line results, excluding items, to range from a 2-cent loss to a 1-cent profit. It also expects sales in a range of $715 million to $745 million. Analysts are calling for a 2-cent loss on sales of $741 million.
"Putting aside the strength of our fiber and cable business in Asia last quarter, we are not seeing a lift in our telecommunications businesses, but this does not surprise us," said Corning's Chief Financial Officer James Flaws.
"Global events, the long winter in North America and the overall malaise in the economy appear to be delaying any potential seasonal improvements in telecom sales," he added. "We anticipate that with normal seasonality in the Japanese fiber market, there will be a pickup in volume in the second half of the year."
Corning expects its liquid crystal display glass business to show volume sales gains of about 10% sequentially in the second quarter amid stable pricing. Volume sales of fiber should be down by 25% sequentially in the second quarter, due to seasonal slowing in Japan and continued weakness in North America.