Corning: strong finish expected thanks to increase in LCD shipments

Corning is expecting to finish this financial year strongly thanks to a jump in LCD shipments in the third quarter, with increases in the range of 9-12%. Moreover, the resurgence in LCD television shipments will also help Corning offset lower-than-expected sales of Gorilla Glass.

A third-quarter surge in global shipments of liquid crystal display televisions should help Corning Inc. to a strong financial finish this year.
After several quarters of weakness, LCD shipments registered a 9% increase in the third quarter, according to IHS/Display Search.
North America was a particular hot spot, with third-quarter shipments up 12% from the same period last year.
Shipments of liquid crystal display products, such as those used in large-screen televisions, are up 9% worldwide in the third quarter for Corning Inc.
Liquid crystal display glass is Corning Inc.’s flagship product. Corning’s sales of display glass products jumped 62% in the third quarter over the same period a year ago. Earnings for the segment were up 14%.
Shipments of LCD televisions from China rose 9% in the third quarter, IHS/Display Search said.
The LCD market in India, where currency valuations have made the flat-screen TVs available to more consumers, was also strong in the third quarter.
“While the last several years in the TV business have been difficult in terms of overall shipments and revenue, the market is showing some broad resiliency now, with most regions enjoying growth in the third quarter,” said Paul Gagnon, director of global TV research at DisplaySearch.
Gagnon said many consumers are replacing their primary televisions in key regions, while larger screens and higher-resolution displays are encouraging buyers to upgrade. That’s good news for the Twin Tiers’ largest employer, which relies on LCD TV glass for most of its profits.
Fourth-quarter sales of LCD televisions are traditionally strong in North America because of the Christmas holiday. A successful fourth quarter would help propel Corning to the USD 10 billion sales record it is aiming for this year.
The resurgence in LCD television shipments will also help Corning offset lower-than-expected sales of Gorilla Glass. Corning overestimated the demand for the protective cover glass in the tablet computer market this year.
The Fortune 500 company unveiled the fourth generation of Gorilla Glass at the end on November and is depending on the stronger, lighter product to reinvigorate sales in 2015.
If that happens and LCD TV sales remain strong, that would provide Corning with a broad basis for significant grow