Corning Inc. cut its forecast for the glass market from already weakened levels saying TV manufacturers expected fewer consumers to buy new TVs over the holiday, and its shares fell 2 percent.
Corning sells liquid crystal display glass, a component in flat screen TVs, to major TV manufacturers, including Sony Corp. and Sharp Corp. and often has an early read on TV sales.
This is the second time in less than two months that Corning is cutting its glass forecast, which signals a major slowdown in a market that was once growing quickly when consumers were buying their first batches of flat-screen TVs just a few years ago.
At the end of July, Corning's finance chief, Jim Flaws, told Reuters that Sony, Samsung and LG were reducing their forecasts for glass, which prompted Corning to slash its glass demand at the time.
The specialty glass maker on Thursday lowered its outlook on volume at its wholly owned business to be flat, sequentially, from a mid-to high-single digit percentage rise that it forecast earlier.
Corning also expects volume at Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co. Ltd. — a joint venture with the world's largest television producer Samsung Electronics — to be down 30 percent sequentially, much lower than its earlier view of a mid-single digit range fall.
Gorilla Glass, the resistant and scratch-free material used as a cover glass in smartphones and tablets that is often viewed as one of Corning's biggest growth areas, was also expected to perform worse than expected.
The company said third-quarter sales at its Specialty Materials unit, which includes Gorilla Glass, will be flat sequentially compared with its earlier forecast of an increase in the upper-single digit range.
While Corning makes glass used in telecommunications, life sciences and the auto industry, its LCD business makes most of its profit.
However, the company affirmed its target of $10 billion in worldwide sales by 2014.
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