Corning More than Gorilla Glass
Board: Corning, Inc.
Gorilla class is all anybody talks about these days ... but GLW is also the largest producer of fiber optic cable (many grades) and extruded ceramic substrates primarily used a substrates in vehicle catalytic converters, diesel engine particulate filters and other specialty industrial filtration applications.
Lots written about what drives growth in Gorilla Glass... but is worth noting that the core glass chemistry was initially developed back in the 1960's and didn't find the right application until the past 5 years. Are there more future products already in the GLW discovery library, just waiting for the right application??
Sales growth in fiber optic cables is driven by the last mile into residences; developing countries expanding broadband networks, and increasing digital volume on existing networks... You can find some articles that demand in these areas is growing and GLW is in the thick of it...
Sales Growth in extruded ceramic substrates is primarily driven by vehicle sales, tougher regulations for vehicle emissions in developed and developing countries and somewhat the shift from petrol to diesel engines. This was a drag on sales and earnings as vehicle sales dropped, but increasing vehicle sales and implementation of new emission regulations now has this product area running on full tilt ... you can find articles about this as will.
In addition the company acts as something of an incubator for start-up companies... a long time ago GLW spun off Covance (CVD) and Quest Diagnostics (DGX) to their shareholders. They still have a Life Sciences group that's been working on developing recombinatory chemistry technologies. These technologies basically couple machines, software, and specialty materials to automate the evaluation, categorization, discovery and application of new molecules, chemicals and materials -- think applications in chemical companies, pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies and nanotechnology companies. GLW uses these technologies themselves in their discovery processes. More importantly, GLW continues to make small acquisitions in this area ... so something may be cooking here...to develop, package and eventually spin-off a stand alone company in this area.
Think about the management as well. BOD took decisive action back in late 90's to clear out the leadership mismanagement that had taken GLW to the brink by over investing in fiber optic cable capacity. Don't think we really ever found out the real story about that. But it's good to know that the BOD acted when management wouldn't ... and my take is that this BOD culture still permeates the company. The current operational management is homegrown from within, which is important in the new technology/product development culture of corning ,,, trying to impose leadership from outside in this type of company is usually a recipe for disaster.
So Corning is really more than Gorilla glass ... do think the market is placing any value at all on the more than Gorilla Glass part?