Corning Cuts 3,500 Jobs as 4Q Profit Slumps

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Corning Inc. said Tuesday it is cutting 3,500 jobs, or 13 percent of its payroll, as demand slumps for glass used in flat-screen televisions and computers.

The specialty glass and ceramics maker, the world's largest maker of liquid crystal display glass, announced the cutbacks as its fourth-quarter profit plunged 65 percent to $249 million, or 16 cents a share, from $717 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, its profit of 13 cents a share came in well below Wall Street's forecast of 20 cents a share.

Sales fell 31 percent to $1.08 billion from $1.58 billion, below $1.16 billion in sales forecast by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

In December, the company withdrew all guidance for the October-December period because of volatility in the LCD market. It previously said earnings would fall below an earlier projection of 20 cents to 28 cents a share on sales between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion.

The cutbacks at Corning, which employs 27,000 people, will result in first-quarter restructuring charges of $115 million to $165 million before taxes as well as fourth-quarter charges of $22 million. The move will bring annualized savings of $150 million to $200 million, it said.

About 1,500 of the 3,500 jobs being eliminated are salaried employees. The company also is cutting more than 1,400 temporary jobs.

The restructuring program will include a selective early retirement program and consolidation of manufacturing plants.

The 157-year-old company is based in the city of Corning in rural western New York.

In premarket trading, Corning's shares fell 65 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $9.30.