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Corning earnings soar in 1Q

CORNING, N.Y. — Corning Inc. said Wednesday its profit soared to $816 million in the first quarter on surging sales of LCD glass for flat-panel televisions and computers and highly durable cover glass for cell phones and handheld video devices.

The world’s largest maker of liquid-crystal-display glass said it expects robust demand for LCD-TVs, laptops and desktop computers, along with an improved retail outlook for those consumer electronics products, will bump up LCD glass industry volume in 2010.

Corning now expects LCD glass volume to reach 2.9 billion to 3.1 billion square feet in 2010, up as much as 27 percent from 2.45 billion square feet in 2009. It previously forecast a range of 2.8 billion to 3 billion square feet this year.

Sales in Corning’s display technologies segment more than doubled to $782 million in the January-March period from $357 million in last year’s first quarter. “We were essentially sold out,” said Chief Executive Wendell Weeks.