Corning (GLW), founded in 1851, has come a long way from its roots as a glass maker. In 1989, the Corning, N. Y.-based company, with $5 $5.8...

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Corning (GLW), founded in 1851, has come a long way from its roots as a glass maker.

In 1989, the Corning, N.Y.-based company, with $5.8 billion in annual sales and 2006 earnings of $1.86 billion, changed its name from Corning Glass Works.

With 4,700 patents and applications pending for 3,400 more, Corning’s brands include Pyrex heat-resistant glassware, found in cookware and in laboratories; Steuben fine glass, used to make sculptures, and decorative items; and DuraTrap, a filter for diesel emissions.

C.J. Muse, an analyst with Lehman Brothers, calls Corning a “best-of-breed” technology company whose growth will stem mainly from spending on televisions and telecom networks.

Corning shares lost 16 percent in the past six months as investors worried about manufacturing in a slowing U.S. economy.

But LCD TVs are a global phenomenon, Muse says. Over 70 percent of sales in display technology are outside the country.

Muse expects panel makers like Samsung and LPL, major Corning customers, to boost production because of soaring demand.

The company has invested $3 billion in China and is expanding in Russia, India, Mexico and Brazil, which are rapidly building telecommunications infrastructure.