Corning ( GLW) fell short of third-quarter revenue targets Wednesday and warned that sales could once again come up short in the fourth quarter. The Corning, N.Y., glass and ceramics products maker said it had a profit of $768 million, or 49 cents a share, in the third quarter, up from $617 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Earnings were down 76% from the previous quarter, however. In addition, third-quarter earnings included a $36 million gain related to the release of U.S. deferred tax asset valuation allowances. Excluding that special item, Corning had a profit of 46 cents a share. Sales reached $1.56 billion in the quarter, even with the year-ago quarter but down 7.7% sequentially. Revenue slipped from the previous quarter as Corning's display technologies' glass volume increased a mere 2% year over year. The segment's sales topped $696 million, unchanged from the year-ago period but down 14% sequentially. On average, analysts expected Corning to notch a profit of 44 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $1.59 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. In September, Corning cut its third-quarter guidance, blaming a longer-than-expected supply chain correction for the reduction. At the time, Corning said it expected to post a profit of 43 cents a share to 45 cents a share. A month later, CFO Jim Flaws reiterated that guidance at an investor conference but warned that economic conditions were creating uncertainty for its performance in 2009. Flaws also said there was a more pronounced shift in glass demand to Corning's equity venture.