What happened

Shares of Corning (NYSE:GLW) rose 15.2% in June, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, both as the broader market climbed (including a 7% gain in the S&P 500) and as the glass technologist introduced a new four-year strategy and growth framework.

Investors should keep in mind that, at the start of last month, Corning stock had fallen nearly 20% from its April highs after the company reduced its full-year guidance due to the shifted timing of one optical deployment for a "major fiber-to-the-home customer." But even subsequent analyst upgrades weren't enough to convince traders that Corning was worth holding at the time, as the markets plunged on rising trade tensions and concerns for a global economic slowdown.

When those concerns began to ease at the start of June, however, Corning's beaten-down shares responded in kind.

Colorful close-up of fiber-optic cables with light shining through the ends.


So what

But Corning also helped spur its positive momentum on June 14, when it replaced its massively successful 2016-2019 "Strategy and Capital Allocation Framework" with a new 2020-2023 "Strategy and Growth Framework."

More specifically, Corning told investors that it's now targeting 6% to 8% annual sales growth for those years, driven by organic growth across its optical communications, automotive glass products, mobile consumer electronics, life sciences, and display glass market-access platforms. And that growth should mean Corning generates even better 12% to 15% compound annual increases in earnings per share.

Corning also promised to not only continue increasing its dividend payout by at least 10% per year, but also to supplement its earnings growth with share repurchases. These two capital returns initiatives alone will total $8 billion to $10 billion returned to investors over the next four years.

Now what

As it stands, Corning investors will receive more color on its recent performance (and the timing of those pesky optical deployments) when the company releases second-quarter 2019 results on July 30. Rest assured I'll write a more comprehensive earnings preview for Motley Fool readers between now and then. But in the meantime, I think patient shareholders are right to be pleased with the stock's justified rebound last month.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.