Corning's ( GLW) solid third-quarter numbers sailed past recently raised targets, but investors weren't pleased with a shortfall in the telecom unit.The technology glass giant posted net income of $203 million, or 13 cents a share, for the quarter ended last month. On an adjusted basis, excluding one-time items, Corning's earnings were 26 cents a share on sales of $1.19 billion, an 18% jump from the year-ago period. Analysts were looking for a profit of 21 cents on $1.18 billion in revenue. Looking ahead, Corning says fourth-quarter adjusted profit should be 22 cents a share on sales of $1.18 billion to $1.24 billion. That's roughly in line with analysts' expectations. Telecom gear and fiber-optic cable sales took an unexpected dip due to lower-than-expected hardware demand. That is a slight reversal of the company's revised outlook last month, which called for as much as a 20% jump in fiber volume. But the company says those fiber gains were offset by lower sales of equipment used by telcos like Verizon ( VZ) to complete fiber connections to homes. Sales volume in the much-watched liquid crystal display business increased 22% over the prior quarter and 73% above the year-ago level. Last month, the company raised its display volume-growth estimates to between 15% and 20%. "We are very pleased with Corning's overall performance in the third quarter. We experienced excellent sales growth, improved gross margins and strong equity earnings," says CEO Wendell Weeks in a press release Wednesday. Corning shares, which closed down 59 cents at $17.96 in regular trading, fell an additional 16 cents to $17.80 in the postclose session.