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Corning Target Raised at UBS

It cites strengthening LCD sales and a better semiconductor market.

UBS raised its target price on


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, reflecting strong demand for liquid crystal display glass and an improved outlook on semiconductors.

Analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos sees double-digit sequential volume growth at Corning's LCD glass business in the current third quarter. On that basis, he raised the company's price target to $12 from $10 and also raised its revenue and EPS estimates.

The analyst said top panel vendors in Taiwan had 9% month-over-month August LCD growth, and said he believes they will have double-digit September sequential growth as well.

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, for example, has forecast LCD television shipments will rise to 290,000 in the third quarter and to 370,000 in the fourth, from 160,000 in the first quarter and 180,000 in the second.

In addition, the analyst, who has a buy rating on the company, said LCD glass pricing could be stronger than initially expected.

Third-quarter estimates were raised to a profit of 3 cents a share on sales of $759 million, from 2 cents a share on sales of $754 million. In 2004, the analysts sees earnings of 31 cents a share, up from 28 cents a share, on sales of $3.3 billion. In 2005, sales are expected to be $3.8 billion with a profit of 48 cents a share, up from 45 cents a share.

Analysts' consensus is 2 cents a share in the third quarter, 20 cents a share in 2004 and 37 cents a share in 2005.

Shares of Corning were down 24 cents, or 2.7%, to $9.76 in morning trading, however.