Corning ( GLW) said last month that things might be getting better for the telecom industry, and Friday morning, investors were bidding up the stock after the company projected a first-quarter loss in the range of analysts' estimates. The maker of components for optical networking equipment expects revenue of $925 million to $950 million and a loss of 14 cents to 18 cents a share for the quarter. According to First Call, analysts are looking for revenue of $944.3 million and a loss of 17 cents. Shares of Corning were recently gaining 67 cents, or 10.4%, to $7.11. " R ecognizing the many uncertainties about the broader economy, we are carefully walking the line between realism and optimism," the company said in a press release ahead of a planned meeting with investors. "We believe that the first quarter of this year will represent a bottoming out across our businesses as revenues are expected to approximate those of the fourth quarter last year. Although it appears that our revenue stream will improve as the year plays out, the pace and timing of recovery is uncertain." Corning plans to invest about $550 million in research, development and engineering projects in 2002, and the company said capital spending will total around $500 million. The company also expects fiber shipments to increase at least 15% in the first quarter, compared with the fourth quarter.