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Corning shares rise on strong LCD TV demand

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NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of specialty glass maker Corning Inc. rose Monday, helped by expectations for strong LCD TV demand this year.

The stock was up 59 cents, or 3 percent, at $20.48 in midday trading after hitting a 52-week high of $20.85 earlier in the day.

In a note to clients, Deutsche Bank analyst Carter Shoop said he expects Wall Street to start raising estimates for Corning’s financial results, driven by strong demand both for TVs and personal computers. He upgraded his investment rating on the company to “Buy” from “Hold.”

Corning, headquartered in Corning, N.Y., makes the biggest chunk of its revenue selling LCD displays.

Jefferies & Co. analyst George Notter, who also has a “Buy” rating on Corning, lifted his price target for the company’s shares to $23 from $22.50 in a note Monday.

“We think the Street is underestimating the long-term market size and trajectory for LCD TV unit sales,” he said, citing strong December retail sales at Best Buy, Target, BJ’s and Costco.

Significant price cuts helped drive LCD flat-panel TV sales after Thanksgiving last year, according to the market research firm iSuppli Corp.

In a December report the group found promotional prices were 22 percent below pre-Black Friday levels, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Sony Corp. gave the biggest price cuts.