STOCK PRICES of Corning Incorporated have climbed since the divestiture on January 1, 1997 of Corning Clinical Laboratories and Corning Life Sciences into Quest Diagnostics Incorporated and Covance, Inc., respectively.
During 1995 and 1996, few laboratory executives knew how much of a financial drag Corning Labs was to its parent company. This financial pressure led directly to the spin-off of MetPath/Corning Labs into Quest Diagnostics Incorporated.
During the four-year period 1992-1996, Corning share values declined to as low as $24. It was not until Corning announced plans to rid itself of the laboratory division that the share price began to climb. At divestiture date, December 31, 1996, Corning shares closed at $46 1/4. As of August 1, 1997, shares had climbed to $61.
As the charts on this page indicate, since their formation as independent corporations, neither Quest nor Covance has yet impressed investors with either earnings or near-term potential. Quest’s ability to raise capital is directly dependent on its financial performance and share price, so this is an important indicator to watch.