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Corning Watch: Slow LCD TV sales could stall Q1 earnings

Post Time:Apr 23,2012Classify:Company NewsView:329




That's because the Twin Tiers largest employer will report its first quarter earnings Wednesday before the opening of the New York Stock Exchange.


Two numbers in that report will be critical: sales and net income in the Display Technologies segment. If those numbers fall significantly from the 2010 and 2011 first-quarter levels, that will be a sign that Corning Inc. is feeling the pinch from slowing sales of liquid crystal display televisions.


The Fortune 500 company's first-quarter net income -- or profit -- in its display business fell from $703 million in 2010 to $638 million in 2011. That's a decline of 9 percent.


Sales in those two quarters, however, remained relatively flat, totaling $782 million in 2010 and $790 million in 2011. The dwindling profit can be explained in part by such factors as price cuts for Corning's glass and currency fluctuations.


If first-quarter sales for 2012 dip below 2010 and 2011 levels, it will be clear that Corning Inc.'s Display Technologies business is stalling.


Such a stall would reverberate throughout the company. Flat-panel display glass for televisions and computers is the company's most profitable product. Corning's share of the global market for the specialty glass is estimated at nearly 60 percent.


The financial performance of the Display Technologies segment, however, won't serve as a guide to the success of Corning's consumer electronics cover glass, known as Gorilla Glass. That product, used in a number of smartphones and tablet computers, is accounted for in the company's Specialty Materials segment.


Specialty Materials generated $96 million in first-quarter revenue in 2010 and $254 million in the same period in 2011. Its sales should jump substantially in the first quarter of 2012, although Gorilla Glass has failed to catch on widely as a cover glass for televisions.


This week we should get our first solid indication of how seriously disruptions in the television market are affecting Corning Inc.

Source: http://www.stargazette.comAuthor: shangyi

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