October 24, 2017 / 11:50 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Corning beats profit estimates as Gorilla Glass sales surge

(Adds analyst estimates, details on segment earnings, share price)

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Corning Inc's profit and revenue topped analysts' estimates in the third quarter, driven by strong demand for its Gorilla Glass smartphone screens and its fiber optic cables.

The company's shares rose 3.5 percent to $31.05 in premarket trading on Tuesday.

Earnings from Corning's specialty materials unit, which makes Gorilla Glass, surged 71.4 percent to $71 million in the third quarter, driven by demand from smartphone makers such as Apple Inc.

Profit from Corning's optical communications business, which makes fiber optic cables and connectors, climbed 21.4 percent to $102 million.

Corning's optical communications business has benefited as telecom companies improve their network infrastructure for better coverage and to speed up new 5G technology deployments. In April, Verizon agreed to buy optical fiber from Corning over the next three years in a $1.05 billion deal.

Net income attributable to Corning rose to $390 million, or 39 cents per share in the third quarter, from $284 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

The Corning, New York-based company reported core earnings of 43 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 41 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Adjusted revenue rose to $2.7 billion, beating analysts' estimates of $2.6 billion. (Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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