Y., on March 19 to share updates on the company’s Display Technologies business and to discuss the company’s 2009 proxy material.Encouraging data from panel makers and LCD television retail sales indicate that the display supply chain is performing as predicted, management will say.As a result, the company has been experiencing increasing glass orders over the past several weeks at both its wholly owned business and Samsung Corning Precision Glass Co., Ltd. The company now believes total glass volume for the first quarter could be flat to down 5% sequentially, versus its original guidance of down 20% to 25%.
Information supplied by NPD Group, an independent consumer market research firm, shows that retail sales of LCD TVs remain strong. In the U.S. alone, February unit sales of LCD TVs increased 39% over 2008. Similarly, unit sales for Japan were 30% higher year over year as indicated by data from BCN, another independent research firm. For Europe and China, only January data is available, but reports indicated year-over-year growth of 49% and 109%, respectively. As a reminder, the company is forecasting worldwide LCD TV unit sales to increase by 9% for the full year.
Management will also state that reported utilization rates at the panel makers continue to improve. In Taiwan, average utilization rates show an increase from approximately 20% in December to more than 40% in February. In Korea, average utilization rates show an increase from under 50% in December to almost 80% in February. The company expects panel maker utilization rates to increase again in March.
The company still expects significant glass price declines for the first quarter in its wholly owned business as compared to previous quarters. Management will state that it has not reached agreements for pricing in the second quarter, but expects price declines to be more moderate than the first quarter. Market pressures could still affect these expectations.
No new information will be presented on the company’s environmental business, which continues to be impacted by the recession. In the telecommunications segment, the company remains cautious as the business has not felt any material impact from the economy in the first quarter.
Based on the improved volume expectations for its display business, the company now believes it will have positive net income, excluding special items, in the first quarter. This and all non-GAAP financial measures are reconciled on the company’s investor relations Web site and in an attachment to this news release. No additional guidance will be provided at this time.
Corning will also be meeting with investors in New York and Boston, March 23-25. On March 25, the company will host an investor luncheon in Boston. For those interested in attending the luncheon, please contact the investor relations department at 607-974-8764.
About Corning Incorporated
Corning Incorporated (www.corning.com) is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. Drawing on more than 150 years of materials science and process engineering knowledge, Corning creates and makes keystone components that enable high-technology systems for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications and life sciences. Our products include glass substrates for LCD televisions, computer monitors and laptops; ceramic substrates and filters for mobile emission control systems; optical fiber, cable, hardware & equipment for telecommunications networks; optical biosensors for drug discovery; and other advanced optics and specialty glass solutions for a number of industries including semiconductor, aerospace, defense, astronomy and metrology.
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Corning Investor Relations Contact:
Kenneth C. Sofio