We've Hit Bottom: Corning CFO


Corning stock softened in early morning trading despite reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings on Monday.

“It’s too early to declare that the recession is over, but I think clearly we think we’ve hit bottom and hopefully some bright signs in some of our businesses,” said Jim Flaws, chief financial officer at Corning.

Corning CFO on Earnings, Outlook

(See the accompanying video for the complete interview.)

The world’s largest maker of liquid-crystal-display glass said it earned $611 million in the second quarter, which fell sharply from $3.2 billion from a year earlier. Sales fell 18 percent to $1.4 billion, yet exceeded analysts’ expectations of $1.36 billion.

Despite softness in the company's telecommunications and environmental technology units, Corning has enjoyed growing global demand for flat-screen television glass.

“The beginning of recovery starts with sequential being up, so we’re please by that,” he told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

So far, global LCD sales have averaged up some 35 percent in units through the first half of the year, with particular strength in China, Flaws said. The business is also expected to make year-over-year increases in the back half of the year.

“The supply chain is seeing the good results, rebuilding some inventory, getting ready for that holiday season,” he said.

The company had originally forecasted flat market volume in the glass market, he said, though it now expects it to hit 15 percent for the year.

Although the company has ramped up its production workforce for a number of its business units this year, it has yet to add to its salaried headcount, he said. The company is operating its wholly owned flat screen business by 75 percent and its Korean LCD unit by close to 100 percent, Flaws said.

“We’re actually going to be able to get flat pricing [on LCDs],” he said. “No price decreases to customers in quarter three. So there’s no bad news in our results.”

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