Timing the market may be impossible to accomplish with any consistency, but timing your marketing -- that you can do. For example, say you are a private company and want to float your shares publicly, and say you further want to do so at a good price. What better time to go public than right after posting a banner earnings quarter?

That seems to have been the thinking over at LG Philips LCD, a 50-50 joint venture between Philips Electronics N.V. (NYSE:PHG) and Korean electronics king LG Electronics. Last week, LG Philips released an earnings report showing an 80% gain in sales and a more than 200% rise in earnings over the year-ago quarter. This Thursday, the maker of liquid crystal displays -- such as those used in Nokia (NYSE:NOK) cell phones, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) computers, and Gateway (NYSE:GTW) flat-panel TVs -- will debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "LPL." Asking price: $15 per American Depositary Receipt.

The funny thing is that LG Philips had previously considered pricing its ADRs anywhere from $15 to $18 -- a range that had itself already been cut by about half. The fact that it ultimately decided upon the lowest figure under consideration does not seem logical, considering the blowout earnings numbers.

However, it does appear to confirm what we were speculating about earlier this month: that Wall Street is already looking beyond Q2 2004, toward the second half of this year and well into the next, and seeing nothing but glut in the LCD market. It also demonstrates how even the best marketing plans can be undone by factors outside one's control. LG Philips had the discretion to float its shares when it wanted and chose to schedule the floatation for the week following its good earnings news.

Little did the company know, however, that just a few days after it released its earnings, rival LCD-producing alliance Samsung and Sony (NYSE:SNE) would announce the grand opening of their new South Korean LCD factory. The factory is reportedly as large as six soccer fields and will begin producing as many as 60,000 LCD screens per month by early next year.

Wall Street apparently looked at LG Philips' past profitability, weighed it against Samsung/Sony's future production capacity, and decided that LG Philips' shares were no longer quite as desirable as they had been. Result: for anyone still interested, LG Philips' shares will be marked down once more, from their previous price of 50% off.

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares in any company mentioned in this article.