Corning’s Weeks: We’re on track to achieve $5B in optical sales by 2020

As Corning continues to gain the upper hand in the large carrier fiber market, like Verizon’s One Fiber initiative, the vendor has set a course to accelerate optical sales to $5 billion by 2020.

CEO Wendell Weeks told investors during the company’s third-quarter earnings call that its current growth has set it on the path to reach this multiyear sales goal for optical communications.

Wendell Weeks, Corning
Wendell Weeks

“We are growing at twice the rate of the telecommunications industry with global leaders like Verizon turning to us in support of their vision,” Weeks said. “We’re well on our way to 15% sales growth for 2017, which keeps us on track to achieve $5 billion in optical sales by 2020.”

Corning recently reached a milestone of 1 billion kilometers of optical fiber sales.

“We achieved a major milestone in September when we produced our billionth kilometer of fiber,” Weeks said. “It’s also enough fiber to go to the sun and back three and a half times.”

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The vendor said that it plans to continue to increase optical manufacturing capacity to accommodate network builds from the likes of Verizon and other large customers.

In April, Verizon signed a $1.1 billion, three-year fiber and hardware purchase agreement with Corning, enhancing capacity to support a next-generation fiber platform that will support all the company's businesses.

“We’re in the process of finalizing plans for increasing manufacturing capacity and we’ll be announcing more details in the coming months,” Weeks said.

Driven by strong demand for both enterprise and carrier products, Optical Communications revenue rose 15% year-over to $917 million.

Within the Optical Communications segment, Carrier Sales was the dominant contributor with $701 million in revenue, up 18% year-over-year. Enterprise Sales also rose 4% year-over-year to $216 million.

“Sales grew in both our enterprise and carrier businesses with especially strong demand for our carrier products,” said Tony Tripeny, CFO of Corning.

In the fourth quarter, Corning expects the sales growth rate for Carrier Sales to a high single digit percentage on a year-over-year basis. The company expects full-year 2017 optical sales to rise 15% year over year.

From an overall financial perspective, Corning reported $2.61 billion in revenues, up 4% from $2.51 billion in the same period a year ago.

Year-over-year GAAP and core sales were up 4% and 6%, to $2.6 billion and $2.7 billion, respectively. GAAP and core EPS were 39 cents and 43 cents respectively for the third quarter, both up year over year.