UPDATE 1-Corning expects smaller price declines

Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:50am EDT

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(Adds details, comments from executive)

By Sruthi Ramakrishnan

April 28 (Reuters) - Specialty glass maker Corning Inc , best known for its Gorilla glass used in smartphones and tablets, said it expected LCD glass price declines to be "significantly less" in the current quarter compared with the first quarter.

Shares in Corning, which also reported slightly better-than-expected first-quarter results, were up almost 4 percent in trading before the bell on Monday.

The company said it expects core profit in the display business to grow in the second quarter, after dropping 4 percent in the first quarter due to a decline in LCD glass prices from the previous quarter.

"We think (due to) the combination of the glass market growing, the price declines moderating and the positive impact of CPM (Corning Precision Materials), we should get growth in our display business in the second quarter," Corning's Senior Vice President Tony Tripeny told Reuters.

Core sales from the display technologies business, which makes LCD panels for Sony Corp, LG and Lenovo Group and brings in more than a third of the company's revenue, grew 58 percent.

Corning had warned in January that prices of LCD glass would decline further in the first quarter as some contracts signed in 2012 required the company to match prices offered by rivals.

"... As LCD price declines lessen, we expect improved results throughout the year," Chief Financial Officer James Flaws said in a statement.

Tripeny added that the company expects a "really strong" quarter for Gorilla Glass, which is used in smartphones made by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Corning reported net income of $301 million, or 20 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $494 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company's core earnings were 31 cents per share.

Corning said revenue rose to $2.29 billion from $1.81 billion.

Analysts on average had expected core earnings of 30 cents per share on revenue of $2.30 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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