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Needham Raises Corning to Strong Buy

Needham upgraded Corning (GLW) to strong buy from buy, and has a $17 target price.

Analyst John Harmon says shares declined late last week due to a couple of analyst downgrades, fearing weakness in the liquid-crystal-display (LCD) glass business. He disagrees. He says Corning remains sold out on LCD glass, and is turning away customers that don't have long-term supply agreements. He adds that fears of scarcity led customer Chi Mei to commit $510 million to guarantee its supply of glass starting in 2005.

Harmon thinks the business remains driven by enormous capacity increases in anticipation of demand for LCD TVs in 2006. Thus, he thinks the LCD-glass business remains solidly on track. Harmon sees 46 cents 2004 earnings per share and 76 cents in 2005.

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