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Corning Trims Guidance

The glassmaker sees a drop in LCD glass prices.



met fourth-quarter estimates Tuesday but trimmed first-quarter guidance.

For its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the tech glassmaker earned $163 million, or 11 cents a share, reversing the year-ago loss of $29 million, or 2 cents a share. Revenue jumped to $1.03 billion from $820 million a year earlier. Excluding certain costs, latest-quarter earnings were 12 cents a share. The figures were in line with Wall Street estimates.

"This was a very satisfying quarter for Corning," said President Wendell Weeks. "While our Display Technologies segment experienced some Taiwanese customer slowdowns in November, we had very strong performance in December. The slight slowdown in orders has allowed us to rebuild our inventory levels to more efficiently manage our customer requirements."

But the company offered lukewarm guidance for its current first quarter, saying it expects to earn 12 cents a share on sales of around $990 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had been projecting earnings of 13 cents a share on sales of $1 billion.

Corning said prices of its core liquid crystal display glass would drop 5% in the first quarter against fourth-quarter levels, while optical fiber prices should drop the same amount and record a volume decline of as much as 10%.

Late Tuesday, Corning dropped a quarter to $11.26.