Corning's ( GLW) outlook for the fourth quarter brightened on strong flat-panel glass sales. The Corning, N.Y., tech glassmaker raised its adjusted earnings target to 39 cents a share, up 2 cents from prior guidance. Analysts were looking for pro forma earnings of 37 cents a share, according to Yahoo! Finance. Sales for the quarter ending next month are now expected to be about $1.54 billion, which is more than the $1.52 billion Corning previously expected. Analysts were looking for sales of $1.55 billion. "The increase in sales and EPS guidance reflects strong October results, November orders and operating performance in our Display Technologies business," COO Pete Volanakis said in a press release. Corning now expects the stronger sales should widen gross margins to somewhere between 48% and 49%, above the prior target of 47% to 48%. And sales volume of liquid crystal display or LCD glass used in flat TVs and computer monitors is now expected to hit the top of the previous guidance range of 2% to 5%. "Our display business is running at full capacity and manufacturing performance in October was outstanding. If the recent strength in the Japanese yen continues for the rest of the quarter, the company should be able to meet the upper end of its revised EPS guidance," Volanakis continued in the release. The surge in fourth-quarter sales will help ease concerns among tech investors who have seen the spread of the credit crunch impact other areas like Cisco's ( CSCO) gear sales to big banks and even EchoStar's ( DISH) subscriber growth. Corning shares jumped 90 cents, or 4%, to $22.30 in premarket trading Tuesday.
Even though AT&T tried a last-minute bribe of promising 5,000 new U.S. jobs to help gain support for the deal, the Justice Department filed a complaint to fight the combination of the nation's No. 2 and No. 4 wireless carriers.