Corning trumpets fiber-optic networking prospects for 2014

Company reports that its fiber-optic communications product business enjoyed a stellar end to fiscal 2013, and says it expects the good times to continue.

As reported by Stephen Hardy of our sister site Lightwave, in the company's recent announcement of financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2013, Corning (NYSE: GLW) said its fiber-optic communications product business enjoyed a stellar end to fiscal 2013.

"And those spooked about 2014 based on the slower than normal fourth quarter of 2013 for systems houses may take heart in the fact that Corning expects the demand for fiber-optic network products to continue to grow in the first three months of this year," adds Hardy.

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He continues, "The maker of optical fiber and glass products for a variety of other applications says its newly renamed Optical Communications segment (nee Telecommunications segment) saw sales of $605 million in the final quarter of fiscal 2013, up 12% from the $540 million earned in the year-ago quarter. Success with carriers in North America, China, and Europe drove the revenue growth."

Overall, Corning reported GAAP total net sales of $7.8 billion for the year, down 2% annually. However, GAAP earnings per share were better at $1.34 versus $1.09. For the quarter, GAAP net sales were $1.956 billion, down 9% from 4Q12’s $2.146 billion. Yet earnings also were better than the year-ago quarter, with earnings per share of $0.30 significantly trumping those of 4Q12, which were $.10.

See also: Corning improves attenuation, bend performance of singlemode optical fiber

Notwithstanding, Hardy notes that "the [company's] revenue growth didn’t lead to profit growth. A less favorable mix plus production shutdowns in the recently completed fourth quarter led to decline in core earnings of 18% versus 4Q12."

Looking forward, Corning expects continued revenue growth in the first quarter of this year, adds the report. The company is calling for sales growth in the mid-teens on a percentage basis, which its management described in a press release as “a significant improvement over the first quarter last year.” Last year’s first quarter saw revenues of $470 million, down 7% from the first quarter a year previously.

As for renaming the former Telecommunications business, Corning explained that "Optical Communications" better describes its product line, which has evolved from optical fiber and cable, hardware, and equipment into a broader portfolio that addresses a wider swath of the communications industry.

Related: Corning's all-optical ONE platform unifies Wi-Fi, cellular connectivity for in-building wireless


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