* Fiber optic unit’s revenue $917 mln vs est $895.7 mln
* Adj revenue $2.7 bln vs est $2.6 bln
* Shares rise as much as 6.6 pct (Adds CEO, analyst comment; updates share movement)
By Munsif Vengattil
Oct 24 (Reuters) - Corning Inc posted its sixth straight quarter of profit and revenue beat as demand remained strong for its flagship Gorilla Glass used in smartphones and its fiber optic products from telecom companies looking to upgrade their networks.
The company’s shares rose as much as 6.6 percent to a three-month high of $32 on Tuesday.
Demand for Gorilla Glass, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, has surged as smartphone makers expand its use and also from increased adoption in the automotive market.
“Corning looks to be riding on the shoulders of Gorilla Glass over the next year which will benefit the top and bottom line,” said Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer at research firm GBH Insights.
Earnings from the company’s specialty materials unit, which makes the Gorilla Glass, surged 71.4 percent to $71 million in the third quarter.
Corning is also reaping rich rewards as U.S. telecom companies revamp their network infrastructure to improve coverage and to speed up 5G technology deployments.
No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier Verizon in April signed a deal worth at least $1.05 billion with Corning to buy optical fiber over the next three years.
Revenue from Corning’s optical communications division, which makes fiber optic products, rose about 15 percent to $917 million, beating estimates of $895.7 million, according to research firm FactSet. The unit’s profit climbed 21.4 percent to $102 million.
“During the quarter, we achieved an exciting milestone – 1 billion fiber kilometers sold,” CEO Wendell Weeks said.
Net income attributable to Corning rose to $390 million, or 39 cents per share, 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 analysts’ average estimate of 41 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Adjusted revenue rose to $2.7 billion, also topping analysts’ estimates of $2.6 billion.
Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Sriraj Kalluvila