According to a press release issued today, right about now, somewhere in New York City, Corning
Corning will be raising its guidance $0.02 from the previous range, and now expects to earn $0.38 to $0.40 per share "before special items." Coming from any other company (Symantec
Sales projections, which are not affected by asbestos-fund accounting, also got upped, and now stand at $1.53 billion to $1.56 billion for the quarter. According to Volanakis, both October's actual sales and November's promise of sales to come (i.e. "orders") have been "strong." And the firm's Display Technologies business -- which makes the glass that panel makers such as LG.Philips
Even better, all these sales are earning better margins for Corning -- suggesting that high levels of glass supply are not at all flooding the market and depressing prices. To the contrary, Corning says its gross margin will be about one full percentage point higher than previously thought, so about 48% or 49%.
In all, Corning says we should expect to see earnings per share for the year up 23% over fiscal 2006, so about $1.43 per share. Granted, personally, I haven't been able to get over the firm's minimal free cash flow enough to force myself to buy in to this growth story. But if you can, and if you're willing to take Corning's P/E at face value, then there's no two ways about it: If Corning can keep up anything like 23% annual profits growth in the future, the stock's current valuation of 18 times current earnings makes for a very attractive entry point.
Corning's been all good news lately. Read about what it had to say at the last big conference in "Fool on the Street: Corning's Glowing Update."