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Jan 27 (Reuters) - Corning Inc said it expects strong demand for its Gorilla glass, which is used by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, to boost sales at its specialty materials business by 10 percent in the first quarter.
Core sales at the business rose 12 percent in the fourth quarter to $319 million, accounting for about 12 percent of total revenue.
Corning launched Gorilla Glass 4 in November, a product it claims is two times stronger than rival offerings, as it looks to tap the strong growth in sales of smartphones and tablets.
Global smartphone shipments jumped nearly 26 percent to 1.17 billion units last year, according to a report by market research firm TrendForce. The top brands, Samsung and Apple, both of which use Gorilla glass, shipped 518 million units. (bit.ly/1ASYOOm)
Corning, which also supplies LCD panels to consumer electronics companies such as Sony Corp and LG Electronics Inc, said LCD glass volume remained strong, helped by steady demand for large screen TVs.
Core sales at the display technologies business, which includes LCDs, rose 69 percent to $1.1 billion.
The company, however, expects LCD glass volume to be flat to down slightly on a sequential basis.
Corning said net sales increased to $2.40 billion in the fourth quarter from $1.96 billion a year earlier. Core net sales were $2.60 billion.
The company's net income rose to $988 million, or 70 cents per share, from $421 million, or 30 cents per share.
The company reported core earnings of 45 cents per share.
Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 38 cents per share and revenue of $2.50 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Corning's shares were slightly down in early trading on Tuesday. Up to Monday's close, they had risen about 31.3 percent in the last 12 months. (Reporting By Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)