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Corning Guides Lower

Is it sandbagging?

Corning (GLW) - Get Report met third-quarter estimates but guided lower for the fourth quarter.

The Corning, N.Y., tech shop said earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to $617 million, or 38 cents a share, from the year-ago $438 million, or 27 cents a share. Sales rose to $1.55 billion from $1.28 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 37-cent profit on sales of $1.55 billion.

"Corning delivered a robust third quarter with excellent performance in our Display Technologies and Telecommunications segments," said CEO Wendell Weeks. "As we expected, telecommunications sales improved in the quarter."

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But the company's fourth-quarter outlook fell below the Wall Street estimate, in spite of Corning's generally upbeat take on the U.S. economy.

The company said it expects to make 36 to 38 cents a share on revenue of $1.5 billion to $1.55 billion. Analysts were looking for a 39-cent profit on sales of $1.62 billion.

"The overall display market appears healthy heading into the fourth quarter. Retail market indicators continue to point toward a strong consumer holiday buying season for electronic goods such as LCD televisions, laptop computers and flat screen monitors. We currently see no evidence of credit concerns in the U.S. impacting consumers' purchasing decisions," James B. Flaws, vice chairman and chief financial officer, said.

Shares fell $1.04 to $23.70.