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Corning Says LCD Glass Shipments Grow Sharply

Sales of HD products seem to be holding their own in a tough economic climate globally, and Corning—a chief supplier of glass substrates for LCD units—said 2009 is turning into a banner year for the firm, quarter by quarter. So good, it says, that it looks like its Q2 shipments by volume could be double its Q1 numbers, which it said also were quite good.

Estimates for its first quarter (which ended on June 30) are largely based on what Corning CFO Jim Flaws sees as a “significant upward spike” in North American LCD HD sales starting in late May and continuing through most of June. Flaws said Corning, based in Corning, N.Y., also has noted somewhat unexpected spikes (given the seasonal time frame) in Asia (notably Japan and China), as well as Europe.

Taking a conservative approach in its forecasts, Corning said even with its likely 100-percent jump in glass shipments from Q1 to Q2, it will stick to its previous shipment projection (for the moment) of perhaps 2.2 billion square feet of LCD glass. Corning now hopes its third-quarter numbers can keep pace with its Q2 shipments. Previous estimates had Q2 showing a more modest growth and Q3 making more impressive quarterly gains, relatively speaking. That will be much tougher now (but in a good way) since the second quarter proved to have been far more robust than forecast.

Corning is making no predictions whatsoever for what the final quarter of the year may bring—a period which includes the crucial holiday sales season.