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Shorter Television Replacement Cycles Mean Good News for Corning

Shorter Television Replacement Cycles

February 2013
Many consumers who bought TVs as recently as 2007 are already looking to replace or upgrade them with larger sizes – good news for Corning, with its ever-expanding offerings of glass for home electronics. That’s just one of many reasons Corning is upbeat about its future growth opportunities, Corning International President Eric Musser told financial analysts at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco this month.

Morgan Stanley representative Jeremy David led a 30-minute question-and-answer session with Eric and Chief Financial Officer Jim Flaws, and the outlook for LCD glass was among the topics.

Musser shared that the flat-panel television replacement rate is soon to be in the 6- to 8-year range – significantly faster than the 8-10 year replacement cycle of CRT televisions – and the largest screen sizes, once thought to be topped out around 40 inches, are now in the 50- to 60-inch range.

“We see a lot of growth in large-size TVs, especially the ultra-high definition models,” Musser said. “The user is getting a better viewing experience with better innovation at lower prices, and that’s driving them to replace their TVs more frequently.”

Early adopters of the new TV technologies are leading the charge now, he said – look for 2015 to begin this faster replacement cycle for a large part of the consumer population, meaning an ongoing demand for Corning display glass.

Television sales looked strong in China during the recent Lunar New Year season, he added. “Preliminary data indicates about a 15 percent (year-over-year sales) increase, so we were pleased with that,” he said. “Inventory (in the panel manufacturing supply chain) is in quite good shape.”

Corning is well-positioned to address several other emerging trends in 2013:

  • Regulatory environments in India should support growth for telecommunications (especially in 4G wireless networks and fiber-to-the-premises), environmental, and life sciences products. “Look for similar growth opportunities in Brazil,” Musser told the group.
  • Touchscreen notebook computers are a growing segment in consumer electronics. “Corning is working with manufacturers on about 20 touch-on-notebook models that should hit the market this year, and we think that provides further opportunity to grow our Gorilla business,” Musser noted.
  • Handheld device makers are motivated to incorporate new features like anti-reflective and anti-microbial covers to their products, and Corning plans to launch those glass products later this year. “We’re known as a problem-solver,” said Flaws. “Anti-reflective glass is a ‘high want’ on behalf of consumer electronics manufacturers.”

Keep an eye on Corning’s Investor Relations Events page for information on more upcoming sessions with investors.

Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995), which are based on current expectations and assumptions about Corning’s financial results and business operations, that involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include: the effect of global political, economic and business conditions; conditions in the financial and credit markets; currency fluctuations; tax rates; product demand and industry capacity; competition; reliance on a concentrated customer base; manufacturing efficiencies; cost reductions; availability of critical components and materials; new product commercialization; pricing fluctuations and changes in the mix of sales between premium and non-premium products; new plant start-up or restructuring costs; possible disruption in commercial activities due to terrorist activity, armed conflict, political or financial instability, natural disasters, adverse weather conditions, or major health concerns; adequacy of insurance; equity company activities; acquisition and divestiture activities; the level of excess or obsolete inventory; the rate of technology change; the ability to enforce patents; product and components performance issues; retention of key personnel; stock price fluctuations; and adverse litigation or regulatory developments. These and other risk factors are detailed in Corning’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the day that they are made, and Corning undertakes no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.