Why they could do smashingly well.
Shattered by falling sales of televisions and personal computers, shares of specialty-glass maker Corning have dropped 20% since the start of the year, and now trade at levels last seen during the height of the worldwide financial crisis in late 2008 and 2009.
Then as now, the makers of flat panels, to which Corning supplies glass, drastically cut back on inventories and reduced production levels at their plants in response to an uncertain economic environment that has hindered consumer spending and hurt pricing. The flat-panel makers are taking their cue from the television makers.
Corning shares (ticker: GLW) performed well through the early part of this year, much as a bullish piece in Barron's last December predicted ("Corning's Winning App for the iPad," Dec. 13, 2010). But euro-zone financial woes, fears of a double-dip recession and the protracted budgetary stalemate in Washington this past summer have undermined business and sent the stock tumbling from a first-quarter high. A revival could now be in order.
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