Merrill Lynch downgraded Corning (GLW ) to near term neutral from accumulate.
Analyst Steven Fox says his recent field checks lead him to believe results in Corning's high margin fiber business (20%-25% of sales) over the next few quarters will be below even his worst-case scenario. Therefore, he lowered his fiber outlook for the next few quarters on unit growth, pricing, and sales mix to assume an extremely difficult environment. Fox expects pricing pressure to even spread to healthy markets in Asia.
The analyst cut his $0.85 2001 EPS estimate to $0.75 (single point), and his $1.00 2002 forecast to $0.80. He continues his long-term buy rating based on Corning's leading position in excellent long term growth areas.