Specialty glass maker Corning Inc posted better-than-expected quarterly profit on stronger demand for glass for flat screen televisions, and said it expected that market to grow by 15 percent in 2010.
Corning, the largest maker of glass for liquid crystal display screens, on Monday said third-quarter net income fell to $643 million, or 41 cents a share, from $768 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items, profit was 42 cents a share, beating analysts' view of 39 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 5 percent to $1.48 billion, but was greater than analysts' view of $1.42 billion.
The company said its display technologies combined glass volume increased 4 percent from the second quarter.
Corning shares rose nearly 3 percent to $16.10 in thin premarket trading. The results overshadowed operational problems at two Corning plants in recent months, including a power disruption in Taiwan, and an earthquake in Japan.
Although a portion of our glass production at the Taichung facility has been impacted by a power disruption, we remain confident that the strong performance in our display business over the last two quarters will continue in the fourth quarter of this year, said ChIef Financial Officer Jim Flaws.
Corning repeated on Monday that its expects fourth-quarter glass volume in its wholly owned display business to be flat to down slightly from the the third quarter.
But demand will be strong next year. Overall, the company expects global unit sales of LCD televisions in 2010 could reach 156 million, up 20 percent over 2009, and it also sees computer notebook sales up 20 percent.
That would push worldwide glass volume to 2.7 billion square feet in 2010, a 15 percent increase.
(Reporting by Franklin Paul, editing by Dave Zimmerman)