Corning Incorporated (GLW), PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG), 3M Co (MMM): The Clear Investment Choice

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Glass isn’t a sexy business, but Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) is making it just that. While the decline in TV demand has lead to some concerns over Corning, there’s no need to worry; enter its newest game changer, Gorilla Glass.

Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW)’s Gorilla Glass is an extremely tough and scratch-resistant glass that’s being used in mobile phones, tablets, notebooks and other applications. The rise of smartphones and tablets is a long-term positive for Corning.

Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW)Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW)’s management believes growth for Gorilla Glass will go from 20 million units in 2010 to 180 million units in 2014. Some of the other promising markets for Gorilla Glass include uses in autos and electronic appliances. 

Although its Gorilla Glass could be a game changer, Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW)’s display-technologies segment only accounts for just over 30% of revenue.

Telecom for the future

Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW)’s other major segment includes telecommunications, which also makes up 30% of revenue. The telecom space is another one of Corning’s biggest opportunities for the near future. This segment’s sales are expected to be up 20% year-over-year this year as the demand for high-bandwidth services increases due in large part to the increased usage of mobile data and cloud computing.

Last quarter, the segment’s revenue was up 27% sequentially, well above company guidance of 20%. This comes as growth in wireless, fiber and cable and data-center projects in China took hold.

Industry shakeout

PPG Industries, Inc. (NYSE:PPG) is another major diversified-products company. The company is over a century old and has six major segments, which include glass, various coatings, and specialty materials.

PPG Industries, Inc. (NYSE:PPG)’s glass segment makes flat glass, where the majority of its products are sold to manufacturing companies. PPG has a leading position in paints and coatings, and is seeing marked growth in its auto segment in North America.

Earlier this year, the company separated its commodity and chemical business. Billionaire Nelson Peltz might be pushing for DuPont to further break itself up, and in February the company sold-off its paints business. Thus, it would be no surprise to see PPG Industries, Inc. (NYSE:PPG) spin-off more assets over the near term.

Scotch tape?

3M Co (NYSE:MMM) is another vastly diversified company. Back in 1902, when the company was founded, it was known has the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.

Now the company has five segments, which include industrial, safety and graphics, electronics and energy, healthcare, and consumer. Household-product brands include Post-it, Scotch, Scotch-Brite, and Scotchgard. One of 3M Co (NYSE:MMM)’s initiatives going forward should be continuing to divest non-core assets.

On the other hand, 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) is also active in the acquisitions market. Acquisitions are expected to add 1.5% to sales in 2013. 3M’s 2Q EPS came in at $1.71, versus the $1.66 for the same period last year and sales are projected to be up 4% in 2013.

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