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Monday, June 1, 2009

LCD glass - a leading indicator?

It's often said that semiconductors are a leading indicator for the tech sector. What about LCD glass?

Corning (GLW) has announced that it raised its expectations for second-quarter sequential volume growth. CEO Wendell Weeks was extremely positive in his statement:
"Our recent checks indicate the LCD supply chain is in full recovery mode. The LCD supply chain continues to replenish; glass supply and demand is very tight right now, much stronger than we anticipated. This has led to an imbalance in glass supply and demand that will likely last through the end of the third quarter. As a result, we are raising our second-quarter glass volume expectations."
Is this company specific or is it a harbinger of improvement in the tech sector in general?

Consider the list of products that use LCD glass: flat panel TV sets, PC monitors, laptops and now high-end mobile devices. Corning emphasized that much of the improvement in demand was due to TVs; nevertheless, it's not unreasonable to look at this situation and see the beginning of improvement in a large swath of the consumer electronics sector.

As investors hunt for a bottom in this recession, these kinds of little victories will eventually add up to a recovery.

Disclosure: no positions

You may also enjoy this general article on stock market leading indicators: Using Stock Market Internals to Predict Market Movement.

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