What the momentum crowd giveth, the momentum crowd can just as quickly taketh away. Somebody certainly had high hopes for Corning's
With the earnings and guidance now on the table, it looks like there's a fair bit of consternation, and maybe some confusion too, about how well Corning is doing. While the stock opened the day down about 5%, it's recovered much of that as of this writing early on Wednesday morning.
Speaking of earnings, sales rose more than 16% this quarter. While there were credits, charges, and provisions to beat the band, the company did still manage to more than double its operating and net income (once you strip out the aforementioned items). Looking at what seems to be about the only clean financial number below the revenue line, gross margin improved nicely from the year-ago period, although it was lower on a sequential basis.
The company's display business once again drove the bus, with sales of glass products for the LCD market taking the limelight here. Sales were up 67% over last year (up 6% sequentially), as strong volume growth offset ongoing declines in selling prices. Telecomm was a little soft, though, as sales fell due to both fiber/care and hardware. Taking a look at the company's two other smaller business, life sciences saw sales drop 10%, while environmental sales were basically flat as strong diesel results offset weakness in the auto business.
Although the diesel emissions business might ultimately prove more interesting than people think, the display business has everyone's attention today. And with good reason -- this is the company's largest business right now, and the market is chaotic. Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Best Buy
Much as I like Corning as a more general play on LCD TV growth, the stock isn't cheap enough for me. In fact, you have to make some really robust growth assumptions on the cash flow side to get close to fair value at today's prices. Still, this is a bright sector of the electronics market, which should draw investors like moths to a bug zapper. There could still be room yet for Corning to run. Just make sure you don't end up getting zapped yourself.
For more LCD Foolishness, dig these:
- Can LG.Philips Rise Above the Glut?
- A Sharp Cut to LCD Profits?
- Best Buy Misses; Investors Freak Out
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).