Corning: Fourth Quarter 2006

Corning beat fourth quarter targets largely because of growth in LCD TVs. LCD TV growth is a bit different from previous growths in the LCD industry that was lead firstly by notebook PCs and then by LCD monitors. What makes LCD TV growth different? Well, let’s put it in the context of glass. LCD TVs are substantially larger than either LCDs used in notebook PCs and LCD monitors by big margin. The most popular LCD TV size is 32″. In comparison, the main size for LCD monitors is just 17″ and even smaller for notebook PCs at 15.4″. And LCD TV units as well as the average size are growing and growing fast. To have a conservative outlook for glass consumption by LCD manufacturers with growth led by LCD TVs is a bit amusing. Corning has about 60% of the glass market but they have a ghost to fight off. The ghost is fiber optics. Because of over-inflated expectations for fiber optics and advances in technologies that enhanced productivity, Corning took a huge loss when the fiber optics market didn’t grow as everyone was foretelling. Wall Street killed the stock and ever since Corning is extra cautious not to repeat that mistake.

So here we are in the first quarter of 2007 and Corning is again a bit conservative. Actually, Corning is pessimistic: glass volume will drop quarter over quarter in the first quarter of this year. Well, I beg to differ. It will not drop. It will increase because of LCD TVs. I live in the US and so my understanding of the LCD TV is US-centric. Well, there are many other folks all over the world that buy LCD TVs and evening out all seasonalities I think the first quarter will be pretty good for glass demand. Anyway, that’s just one man’s opinion.

[tags]Corning, LCD Monitor, LCD Glass, Notebook PC, LCD TV, 32″, 32″ LCD TV, 15.4″, 15.4″ Notebook PC, 17″, 17″ LCD Monitor[/tags]

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