Corning (GLW) reported September quarter revenues of $2.97 billion, above the $2.89 billion consensus estimate. Earnings of 44¢ a share soundly beat expectations for 40 cents, explains Michael Murphy, editor of New World Investor.
On the conference call, management said the favorable pricing environment in the display market continued, with September quarter Display Technologies glass prices unchanged from the second quarter.
The Specialty Materials and Life Sciences divisions grew faster than their underlying markets as the adoption of Corning’s new technology continued.
The Environmental Technologies division sales grew 20% year-over-year as their gasoline particulate filter solution pushed sales well above the underlying auto industry growth rate, expected to be -3% this year.
Management said they are confident about meeting their four-year growth plan in part because they’re not just counting on everybody buying more stuff. Instead, they’re putting more Corning into the products that people already buy. They can grow even when spending in the end market category is down.
Right now, Environmental Technologies’ growth is driven by increasing sales of the gasoline particulate filters, giving Corning a $30 per car opportunity. They expect to double their sales to the auto industry by 2023.
Then by adding AutoGrade interior glass solutions to gasoline particulate filters, they increase their opportunity per car by another $25 to about $70 in total. That’s up almost 5x in two years in a flat industry. So they’re not counting on more cars being sold, they’re driving more Corning into each car.
They see the same “more Corning content” story playing out in Mobile, Consumer Electronics, Display, Optical Communications, and Life Sciences Vessels.
At a price-to-earnings ratio of only 22x last 12 months earnings and 16x the 2020 estimate, with a 2.6% yield, GLW is one of the solidest, safest stocks I’ve ever recommended. GLW is a buy under $33 for the 5G cellular buildout, followed by the smartphone upgrade to use 5G services. My first target is $60 in 2020.