What happened

Shares of Corning (NYSE:GLW) jumped on Tuesday after the company reported fourth-quarter results that beat analyst expectations. Both revenue and adjusted earnings per share grew at double-digit rates, enough to propel the stock about 11.1% higher by 3:35 p.m. EST.

So what

Corning reported fourth-quarter revenue of $3.04 billion, up 15% year over year and $70 million above the average analyst estimate. Display technologies revenue rose 15% to $899 million; optical communications revenue rose 26% to $1.17 billion; environmental technologies revenue rose 10% to $319 million; specialty materials revenue rose 2% to $399 million; and life sciences revenue rose 6% to $238 million.

Corning glass.

Image source: Corning.

Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at $0.59, up 28% year over year and $0.02 better than analysts were expecting. Per-share earnings were boosted by about $2.2 billion spent on share buybacks in 2018.

"In 2018, we built new capacity, launched new products, grew sales by more than $1 billion, and extended our leadership position in all businesses. We exited the year with strong execution, expanded margins, and great momentum," said Corning CEO Wendell Weeks.

Now what

Corning expects its display glass market volume to grow by a mid-single-digit percentage in 2019, at a faster rate than the market. The company sees its optical communications revenue rising by a low-teens percentage, and its environmental revenue rising by a mid-single-digit percentage. Specialty materials revenue is expected to grow, but the rate will depend on customer adoption. Life sciences revenue is expected to grow at a low- to mid-single-digit rate.

Shares of Corning are now just a few dollars off from their 52-week high. The stock could keep rising if the company continues to deliver solid revenue and earnings growth.

Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Corning. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.