The Corning, N.Y., company reiterated first-quarter guidance early Friday, calling for about 12 cents of adjusted profit on $1 billion in sales for the quarter ending in March. Those numbers are in line with analysts' expectations, according to Thomson First Call.
Corning says the increasing popularity of liquid crystal display TVs will provide the company with a big new growth market. Corning makes the glass panels used by TV makers. In Friday's update, the company says it will see glass panel shipments increase between 5% and 10% in the first quarter. But the company says prices for LCD glass will drop in the first quarter, by less than 5%.
Meanwhile, Corning says its fiber-optic business will decline as much as 10% from previous-quarter levels.
For 2005, the company plans to spend about $1 billion on expansion of its LCD production capacity. Corning says it can moderate those expansion efforts in response to demand.
But the company was caught flat-footed in November when two Taiwanese customers cut orders for display panels. The company said it didn't have time to react to the order decline and was forced to trim fourth-quarter LCD sales projections.
Corning maintains that lower retail prices will help drive higher sales volume and predicts it will see positive free cash flow again sometime this year.
Its shares fell 3 cents to $11.02 in early trading Friday.