April 27, 2021, 7:57 a.m. EDT

Corning ups production of glass vials for COVID

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By Micah Maidenberg

Corning Inc. said it doubled its glass-vial production in the first quarter versus the fourth as Covid-19 vaccines distribution got underway, and it swung to a profit.

The glass company Tuesday said net income attributable to the company was $599 million, compared with a net loss of $96 million a year earlier. Earnings tied to common shares rose to 67 cents a share from a loss of 16 cents a share, the company said.

Corning's adjusted profit of 45 cents a share was ahead with the consensus estimate of 43 cents a share for that earnings metric, according to FactSet.

Net sales rose to $3.29 billion from $2.39 billion. The company also reports adjusted sales of $3.26 billion, beating analysts' expectations of $3.13 billion.

Corning's medical glass container Valor has been used by drugmakers and health authorities to protect Covid-19 vaccines. The glass is harder to crack than standard versions, and Corning had boosted manufacturing to make tens of millions of them a month.

The company said it had shipped "enough Corning Valor Glass vials for hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses" and expanded a contract with the federal government.

Overall for its life-sciences unit, "Corning doubled its vial production in the first quarter over fourth quarter 2020," the company said.

Corning said its optical-communications business, which provides optical fiber products, fiber-optic connectors, optical components and other items, generated $937 million in sales, up 18% on year.

Write to Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com

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