Things were grim for Corning Inc. about a dozen years ago.
The telecommunications industry was slumping. The Southern Tier employer posted a $5.5 billion loss, began letting go thousands of workers and its stock took a nose-dive, dropping from $113 to just $1.10. Corning’s multi-year investment in perfecting optical fiber, which accounted for about 70 percent of its $7 billion in annual revenues, had hit a wall.
“I think they were in pretty serious danger of financial collapse back about 2001 to 2003,” said Larry Wilson, a retired Elmira Star-Gazette reporter who writes a weekly column about the company for the paper. “I think their consistent commitment to spending the money on R&D has proven very helpful over the years as products have matured and sales have dropped there usually always has been something in the pipeline.”