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Corning rises as analyst ups rating, price target

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Corning rose almost 3 percent on midday trading Wednesday as an analyst lifted the company's rating and price target, saying it should see an increase in its fourth-quarter earnings per share for the first time in two years as liquid crystal display fundamentals stabilize.

THE SPARK: Simona Jankowski of Goldman Sachs raised Corning to "Buy" from "Neutral" and increased its price target to $16 from $14.

THE ANALYSIS: Jankowski says Corning will likely lower its dependence on liquid crystal display glass to 74 percent of net income in 2013, compared with 96 percent in 2009. Corning, based in Corning, N.Y., makes Gorilla Glass used in iPhones, among other products.

"We see Corning's diversification efforts helping drive mid-to-high single-digit earnings growth in the next two years," the analyst wrote in a client note.

Jankowski said that Taiwan's August LCD panel sales were at their highest level in 17 months, and that pricing has stabilized at both the panel level and glass level.

SHARE ACTION: Corning Inc.'s stock gained 37 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $13.10 in midday trading. Over the past year, the shares have traded in a range of $10.62 to $15.75. The stock is down 4 percent for the year to date.