Shares of Corning Inc., the maker of glass for televisions and mobile devices, jumped as much as 28 percent late Tuesday after the company announced a $2 billion stock buyback and said it agreed to buy full ownership of a Samsung Electronics Co. joint venture.
Corning is acquiring Samsung’s 43 percent stake in Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co., which makes glass for liquid crystal displays in Korea, according to a statement. As part of the agreement, Samsung’s display business is buying new convertible preferred shares of Corning with a value of $1.9 billion and making an additional $400 million investment.
The deal helps Corning capitalize on surging demand for mobile displays, fueled by sales of tablets, smartphones and other handheld gadgets. The Corning, New York-based company is counting on its scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass products to make further inroads in the market. The Samsung deal also gives Corning access to $1.2 billion of the joint venture’s cash.
“This affords us greater flexibility in servicing customers, managing capacity, and minimizing capital spending as we expand production of Corning Gorilla Glass and pursue new specialty glass applications,” Chief Executive Officer Wendell Weeks said in the statement.
Corning shares climbed as high as $19.66 in aftermarket trading after the announcement. The stock, already up 22 percent this year, closed at $15.35 in New York.
The $2 billion buyback will last until the end of 2015, assuming the Samsung deal is approved. Samsung’s total investment in Corning will result in ownership of about 7.4 percent, according to the statement.
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