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Lab Deal Adds Life to Corning’s Glass House

Category : Business

NEW YORK (TheStreet) – Corning, the world’s largest supplier of glass for flat-panel television sets, is continuing to diversify into the life sciences business, buying the majority of Becton Dickinson’s laboratory products unit, called Discovery Labware, for $730 million in cash. Corning is banking on growth in its life sciences division as a way to drive overall revenue to $10 billion over the next few years.

The diversification by way of deal-making couldn’t come at a better time for Corning as pressures in the glutted LCD market intensify. A drop in demand for flatscreen TVs, a core earnings driver for Corning, resulted in electronics giant Sony announcing a record loss on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, LCD TV maker Sharp increased its annual loss forecast to $4.67 billion.

In 2011, profits at Corning’s display technologies unit fell over 20% to $2.3 billion, driving overall profits down by roughly the same amount, even as revenue increased to a record $7.9 billion.

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