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Corning 2Q Net Down 17% On Higher Costs, But Revenue Up

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Corning Inc.'s (GLW) second-quarter earnings slipped 17% as the liquid-crystal display maker's higher expenses masked strong revenue growth in its specialty materials segment. The company lowered its full-year LCD glass volume projections to 3.3 billion and 3.4 billion square feet, from its earlier view of 3.5 billion to 3.7 billion. For the third quarter, the company expects glass volume to grow in the mid- to upper-single digits and sales of its Gorilla Glass to grow 20% sequentially. Corning, well-known for making LCD glass, becomes the latest to give a cautious outlook on the market, following recent signs of weakness from LG Display Co. (LPL, 034220.SE) and 3M Co. (MMM) Corning had enjoyed surging profit in recent quarters because of rising demand, but posted a decline in first-quarter earnings. In May, Fitch Ratings upgraded Corning's investment-grade credit rating a notch on the company's continuing growth in the LCD market. LCDs are widely used in smartphones, tablets and TVs. Corning reported a profit of $755 million, or 47 cents a share, down from $913 million, or 58 cents, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were 48 cents. Revenue jumped 17% to $2 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of 47 cents on $1.96 billion in revenue. Gross margin narrowed to 44.3% from 48.3%. Overhead expenses grew 15% as research, development and engineering expenses grew 19%. Display technology sales, the company's biggest revenue driver, fell 9% while telecommunication sales were up 24%. Specialty materials sales more than doubled on strong demand for Gorilla Glass used for handheld devices, tablets and laptop computers. Environmental technologies sales were up 40%. Shares fell 3.7% to $16.65 in premarket trading. The stock has fallen 3.9% over the past 12 months. -By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

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