Corning raises 2Q glass volume forecast again

Jun 30, 2009 By BEN DOBBIN , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Specialty glass maker Corning Inc. said Tuesday it is getting a big lift from rising sales of flat-screen televisions, most notably in China.

For the second time in five weeks, the world's largest maker of liquid-crystal-display glass said it is raising its forecast for second-quarter sales of its super-thin monitors.

Corning now expects LCD glass volume to rise 65 percent from the first quarter. It had predicted more than 40 percent growth in the quarter, then raised its estimate to more than 50 percent on May 28.

Volume will likely double in its wholly owned business and jump about 50 percent at its LCD glass joint venture with Korea's Co., the company said.

"Second-quarter glass demand is much stronger than we anticipated even a few weeks ago," Chief Financial Officer James Flaws said.

Retail sales of LCD-TVs surged 77 percent in China and 22 percent in Europe in April, and were up 48 percent in Japan in May, said Flaws, citing data from market research firms.

While U.S. retail sales "slowed somewhat in April after a very strong first quarter, reports that we have received indicate a significant upward spike in domestic LCD TV sales in late May and the first three weeks of June," Flaws said.

Corning uses a proprietary "fusion draw" process for making the unvaryingly flat, chemically stable glass. Two sheets separated by a layer of liquid crystals make for high-resolution monitors found in TVs, computer and digital phones as well as video cameras, watches, Palm Pilots, medical imaging devices and aircraft navigation panels.

Panel makers slowed their glass purchase orders at the end of 2008 to try to reduce a buildup in inventories as prices fell. In response, Corning took $165 million in first-quarter restructuring charges to pay for eliminating 3,500 jobs, or 13 percent of its payroll of 27,000.

Its profit in the January-March quarter fell 99 percent on slumping sales. But adjusted earnings topped Wall Street expectations on a mid-quarter rebound in demand for LCD glass.

Corning kept its estimate of worldwide glass sales in 2009 at 2.1 billion to 2.2 billion square feet, up from 2 billion square feet in 2008. "But given the continued strong demand for in recent months, especially in China, we believe there could be an upside to this forecast," Flaws said.

LCD glass is Corning's biggest business. The 157-year-old company, based in the city of Corning in western New York, also makes optical fiber and cable and auto-pollution filters.

Corning shares fell 40 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $15.86 in afternoon trading Tuesday. Its shares have ranged from $7.36 to $23.50 over the past 52 weeks.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Alibaba surges in Wall Street debut (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SAMSUNG Electronics Regains No. 1 Spot in LCD Market

Dec 20, 2004

Samsung Electronics regained the No. 1 position in the global liquid crystal display (LCD) market last month from LG.Philips LCD, according to the Texas-based display market research firm, DisplaySearch. The electronics gian ...

Samsung Electronics reports 72% profit slump

Apr 24, 2009

South Korea's Samsung Electronics, the world's top computer memory chipmaker, has announced its first-quarter net profit fell 72 percent year-on-year as poor demand depressed prices.

National Semiconductor to cut 1,725 jobs

Mar 11, 2009

(AP) -- Faced with a steep decline in sales, chip maker National Semiconductor Corp. said Wednesday it will eliminate more than one-quarter of its work force, or 1,725 jobs.

SAMSUNG Begins Investment in LCD Line 7-2

Dec 29, 2004

Samsung Electronics, the leader in TFT-LCD technology, announced today that it would begin construction of a Line 7-2 at its fabrication facility in Tanjeong, Korea. Samsung will make a 290 billion won (US$273 million) inv ...

Recommended for you

Alibaba makes Wall Street debut

Sep 19, 2014

Alibaba made its long-awaited Wall Street debut Friday on the heels of a record stock offering that opens the door to global expansion for the Chinese online retail giant.

Alibaba IPO to boost employee fortunes to $8 bn

Sep 19, 2014

Employees of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will see their fortunes swell to nearly $8 billion as the company prepares a massive US stock offering that could be valued at $25 billion.

Alibaba mega IPO caps founder Jack Ma success tale

Sep 19, 2014

When Jack Ma founded Alibaba 15 years ago he insisted the e-commerce venture should see itself as competing against Silicon Valley, not other Chinese companies. That bold ambition from a time when China was ...

User comments : 0