Barron’s Jumps on Corning Bandwagon

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Turns out that the highly-respected investment magazine Barron's likes one of the same stocks I do for the exact same reasons. They even have the same price target. The only difference between their article and mine? I liked the stock of the LCD glass-maker 3 months and 3 points before they did.

The last purchase I made for my online stock portfolio was Corning Glassworks – Back in August, I bought 500 shares at $16.67. My logic? From the post Stock Purchase: Corning – Glass Half Full?:

The LCD television market is huge, expanding, and Corning is a key supplier of the glass on the front of these TVs. Corning believes sales of LCD TVs will be up 28 percent this year. While fiber optic cable sales are growing slightly, the weak economy has kept growth for that material in the low single digits – but since fiber optic cable is the backbone of global communications, as the economy rebounds, so will sales.

There’s been a recent buzz about Corning’s Gorilla Glass: It’s a light, thin, but super strong, glass that Corning is touting for handhelds, computers, and the next generation of borderless TVs (check out this article). Corning expects to sell about $250 million of it this year, but that could quickly grow to $1 billion or more next year.

In short, new technology requires glass, and no company in the world is better positioned to exploit that need than Corning. In addition, the stock is trading at less than 10 times this year’s expected earnings, has a ton of cash, and a manageable debt level.

My goal for Corning is around $25/share within the next two years. If I’m right, that’s a 50-percent gain.

It appears someone from Barron’s was reading my article. Since Barron’s is subscription-only, I can’t direct you to that story. But here’s part of a Reuters story that appeared this morning about the Barron’s recommendation…

Shares of video screens maker Corning Inc could reach $25 next year as investors recognize the company’s pipeline of new products and new uses for liquid crystal displays, Barron’s said in its Dec. 13 edition.

…But ultra-thin monitors will soon show up in more rooms in middle-class homes, and consumers are likely to replace their TVs more often than they did in the past, the weekly said.

The company also has a promising product in Gorilla Glass, a strong-scratch-resistant sheet that accommodates touch-screen functions in products like Apple iPhones and iPads.

Unlike when I wrote my similar endorsement of Corning on Aug. 16, the Barron’s mention moved the stock higher in today’s trading – as I write this, it’s at $19.65, up $0.65. So Barron’s readers who read the Barron’s article over the weekend and bought at today’s open are up 3.45 percent. But those who bought the stock at $16.67 when I wrote about it in August are up 17 percent.

Check out my real-money portfolio every now and then. I don’t make stock recommendations – you need to decide for yourself what’s suitable for you. But unlike many others out there dispensing advice, at least I put my own money where my mouth is.

Stacy Johnson

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