Fiber-Optic and Specialty-Glass Demand Drive Corning's Strong Fourth Quarter

Technology and specialty materials company Corning (GLW) posted blowout quarterly results...

GLW reported fourth-quarter earnings per share ("EPS") of $0.54 compared with the estimated $0.52. The company's revenue was $3.71 billion, beating the consensus of $3.59 billion.

Shares of GLW surged 13.6% on the report.

CEO Wendell Weeks said the company delivered yet another strong quarter of year-over-year growth. He explained that this capped off a solid year as well – which saw the company report $14 billion in sales and $2.00 in EPS. As a result, GLW doubled its free cash flow, increased its dividend by 9%, and reduced its outstanding shares by 5%.

Given these factors, Weeks noted that he is confident the company will capture short- and long-term opportunities across its portfolio. This is because GLW will further focus on expanding its gross margin through 2022.

These factors should enable the company to achieve its first-quarter and 2022 guidance. In the first quarter, GLW said its EPS could be between $0.48 and $0.53, compared with the estimated $0.48. The company added that revenue could be $3.5 billion to $3.7 billion, above the consensus of $3.43 billion. Meanwhile, 2022's revenue is anticipated to be around $15 billion, compared with the anticipated $14.68 billion.

"We expect to see more good things from Corning," said DailyWealth Trader editor Ben Morris in an August issue. "It's a great business that operates in multiple growing industries... And it trades at a good price."

So, while the company has struggled with some share volatility in recent months, demand for its specialty materials is continuing to move higher in a variety of sectors, including the automotive, optics, electronics, and 5G network markets. This is a trend that should continue, as it is an industry leader – accounting for 17% of the global market share in the fiber-optic space.