Corning Slashing Debt

The company continues to shore up its balance sheet.
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keeps shoring up its balance sheet.

The Corning, N.Y., company said it will make a $150 million tender offer for some notes.

The display glass and fiber optic cable-maker is offering to buy back all of its 6.3% interest notes due in 2009. The offer is open until May 19, and the company expects to settle all payments on May 22.

"The market can expect us to take actions similar to this tender in an effort to minimize near-term maturities and opportunistically extend the duration of our debt portfolio," CFO Jim Flaws said in a press release Friday.

Corning has been trying to spend more on liquid crystal display glass expansion while also digging itself out of debt. The company cut its debt to $1.79 billion last year from $2.21 billion in 2004, thanks largely to the profitable sales growth of its LCD unit.

So far this year, Corning has spent $280 million on capital expenditures, with $186 million going toward LCD expansion. Corning is banking on projected demand growth for flat-screen LCD TVs. But as with many consumer electronics trends, the TV market can get bumpy as retailers contend with price cutting and inventory gluts.

Also this week,

as promised, Corning restated its financial reports for 2005, adjusting for errors in the asbestos settlement at its Pittsburgh Corning unit.

The new numbers include a $32 million increase in investments with Pittsburgh Corning, a $154 million increase in accrued liabilities and a $123 million jump in the accumulated deficit as of the end of 2005.

Corning shares were down 50 cents to $25.24 in late-morning trading Friday.