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This 800-Pound Gorilla Hauls in the Cash

04/02/2012 8:45 am EST


Mark Skousen

Editor, Forecasts & Strategies, High-Income Alert

When you stake your business on one commodity, sometimes business can get a bit volatile...but when you've been around for 160 years, it's a good idea to buy the dips, writes Mark Skousen of Hot Commodities Alert.

Since October, Corning (GLW) has been hurting due to the weak glass market, especially the sales of liquid crystal displays for televisions and computers.

But now the New York-based specialty glass and ceramic manufacturing is ready to explode upward. And it’s all due to Apple’s (AAPL) incredible demand for tablets used in its iPads.

Since its launch in 2010, Apple has sold 55 million units, and analysts expect iPad sales to exceed 325 million units by 2015.

Corning supplies the majority of Apple’s and other tablet manufacturers (Dell (DELL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), etc.) with its Gorilla Glass. Sales of Gorilla Glass are the primary reason Corning saw revenues advance 19% last year to $7.9 billion. Corning’s glass technology is also a feature on Apple’s iPhone, as well as notebook computers and display devices.

Corning’s price is 30% off its previous high in October, but with 23% operating margins and a return on equity (ROE) of nearly 14%, the stock looks cheap. It’s selling for only nine times expected earnings this year. It has $5.8 billion in cash, far above its long-term debt ($2.4 billion).

Director Gund Gordon smells a bargain, and recently bought 150,000 shares ($1.9 million worth) at $12.75 each.

Let’s join him and buy Corning at market and set a protective stop of $11.50 a share here. For those more adventuresome, consider buying the August $16 call options, which last was offered at 41 cents.

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