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Corning says encouraged by flat TV sales

Post Time:Mar 03,2009Classify:Company NewsView:355

Corning Inc (GLW.N) said it is encouraged by retail sales of flat screen televisions, but says it still needs overall sales gains later this year in order for the specialty glass maker to hit its 2009 revenue target of $5 billion.

Chief Operating Officer Peter Volanakiswill, in comments the company distributed ahead of his appearance at a conference on Monday, said retail sales of LCD TVs have continued to be strong, panel inventories on average remain healthy, and panel prices are stabilizing.

"The current trends look positive," he said.

Corning, the largest maker of glass for liquid crystal display televisions and computers, has ben hurt by shrinking U.S. consumer demand and oversupply by makers of LCD TVs.

Corning, citing data from research NPD Group, said U.S. LCD sales alone in January were up 35 percent on a unit basis, and unit sales in China and Japan were also up.

"The first two weeks of February appear positive as well with U.S. sales up 40 percent year over year," he said.

The company said it is seeing an increase in Taiwanese and Korean panel maker utilization rates from January to February.

Regarding other Corning businesses, the company said its environmental unit continues to be affected by the global recession, and remains cautious about its telecommunications business, which "has yet to feel material impact from the economy."

Shares of Corning, which rose about 12 percent in the past three months, slipped 9.5 percent to $9.54 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq amid a broad market selloff.

Source: ReutersAuthor: shangyi

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