While Weeks said he expected the new material to perform well, he gave no specific sales figures.
Trader Joe Terranova wasn’t bowled over.
“There’s slowing end demand, there’s overcapacity, and that means there will be further price cuts in 2012. It’s one of the reasons why at the end of November they came out and preannounced they moved their Gorilla Glass sales volume from down 15 percent quarter-on-quarter to down 25 percent quarter-on-quarter,” he said. “I think they’ve got structural problems, and I don’t think the smoke clears anytime soon.”
“Fast Money” pro Tim Seymour sounded more bullish.
“I would just say that the opportunity to see it in other applications is very real, though,” he said. “I mean auto, household appliances, at least the large multi-touch monitors and what not. You’re getting outside of at least your iPhone structure and the LCDs, which Joe is talking about, is clearly a place where there is overcapacity. But at 7½ times earnings, this is still a very strong company and brand.”
Seymour said new end uses for Gorilla Glass 2 were the factors that investors should follow.
“I don’t remember the last time that I saw a component maker for handsets advertise their products individually and having that product used as a selling point for those handsets, which is true for Gorilla Glass,” said trader Mike Khuow of Cantor Fitzgerald.
Khow said interest in the options side of this play has been growing.
“It’s obviously tough to try to catch the falling knife, but in this particular situation I think buying calls might not be a bad idea if you are looking out maybe six months or so,” he said.
Dan Nathan, FGC Securities options strategist, sounded more wary on Corning’s stock price.
“It’s 20 percent off the lows from October, but you know when you see some of these other stocks in the PC supply chain, like Intel, multi-year highs, you have to ask where this thing is going,” he said.
Corning shares closed up 1.8 percent at $13.99.