Growth in All Business Segments Pushes Corning Core Sales Up 11% in 2018
For the year, Corning’s core sales reached $11.4 billion, an increase of 11% compared to 2017.
Corning Inc. recently announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2018. In the fourth quarter, core sales climbed 15% to reach $3.1 billion. For the year, Corning’s core sales reached $11.4 billion, an increase of 11% compared to 2017. According to the company, all businesses delivered full-year sales growth powered by the adoption of innovations and strategic growth investments.
“For the past three years, we have invested for growth through our Strategy and Capital Allocation Framework,” said Wendell P. Weeks, chairman, CEO and president. “The significant benefits of these investments are evident in our financial performance. In 2018, we built new capacity, launched new products, grew sales by more than $1 billion, and extended our leadership position in all businesses. We exited the year with strong execution, expanded margins, and great momentum. We expect our momentum to continue with additional growth in 2019 as we successfully deliver our Strategy and Capital Allocation Framework objectives.”
In the Display Technologies business, 2018 sales reached $3.3 billion. During 2018, Corning reports that it extended its global leadership by successfully ramping Gen 10.5 production, which reportedly allowed the company to grow volume faster than the overall market. Pricing improved as anticipated to a mid-single-digit percentage decline in both the third and fourth quarters of 2018.
Display Technologies’ sales in the fourth quarter were $899 million. Display glass market volume grew by a low-single-digit percentage sequentially in the fourth quarter, and Corning’s volume grew more.
For 2019, Corning expects display glass market volume to grow by a mid-single-digit percentage. The company expects its volume to grow more than the market, resulting from the ramp of its Gen 10.5 facility during 2018. Annual display glass price declines are expected to be a mid-single-digit percentage, an improvement over 2018.
In the first quarter, price declines are expected to remain moderate and be the most favorable first-quarter price change in over a decade. Volume is expected to be down by a mid-single-digit percentage sequentially, consistent with the market, which typically declines in the first quarter.
Optical Communications’ 2018 sales were $4.2 billion, up 18% for the second consecutive year. According to Corning, the business is on track to surpass its goal of $5 billion in 2020 sales. Net income was up 26% compared to 2017. Fourth quarter sales exceeded $1 billion for the third consecutive quarter and were up 26% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.
The company expects another year of growth in Optical Communications in 2019. Specifically, full-year sales are expected to be up by a low-teens percentage, with first quarter sales up in the low-20% range year over year.
Sales for the year in Environmental Technologies were $1.3 billion, up 17% compared to 2017, driven by growth in all product categories and emerging sales of gasoline particulate filters (GPFs). Net income grew faster than sales, at 26% year over year. Fourth quarter sales grew 10% compared to the 2017 fourth quarter. For 2019, Environmental sales are expected to increase by a mid-single-digit percentage in the first quarter and by a high-single-digit percentage for the full year.
Specialty Materials’ 2018 sales were in line with expectations, after an exceptionally strong year of 25% sales growth in 2017. Sales for the year were up 5%, while fourth quarter sales increased 2% to reach $399 million.
The company expects year-over-year sales growth for Specialty Materials in 2019, with the rate and pace dependent on customer adoption of Corning’s products. Sales in the first quarter are expected to increase by a mid-to-high single-digit percentage compared to the 2018 first quarter.
In Life Sciences, 2018 sales were up 8%, with strong fourth quarter sales, as the business continued to outpace market growth. For the full year and first quarter of 2019, sales are expected to grow by a low- to mid-single-digit percentage.
Additional details are available at www.corning.com.