Before revealing its view of the glass industry to Wall Street's best and brightest yesterday, Corning (NYSE:GLW) did ordinary investors a favor early in the morning, and released an abstract of what CEO Wendell Weeks planned to speak about. Corning also released a transcript later in the evening.

According to the company's transcript, Weeks reiterated previous guidance on his firm's sales and earnings. Specifically, he predicted third-quarter sales between $1.525 billion and $1.575 billion, and per-share profits of $0.34 to $0.37. He mentioned that some of this is because of the yen-to-dollar exchange rates. If the current rate continues, Q3 earnings will be positively affected by about $.01 per share.

Also key to putting the earnings in context is the fact that Corning gives guidance in pro forma-speak: The numbers exclude effects of restructuring, impairment, and other charges; benefits to earnings; and in particular, charges or credits related to the value of the 25 million shares Corning plans to contribute to the Pittsburgh Corning Corporation reorganization plan, pursuant to its participation in the asbestos litigation settlement. Because Corning contributed "X number of shares," rather than "X number of dollars," to the settlement fund, whenever the value of those shares rises, this has the effect of increasing the amount of money Corning will be paying out in settlement of claims -- hurting GAAP earnings. Conversely, when Corning shares decline in value, Corning pays less under the settlement, boosting GAAP earnings.

Corning's biggest moneymaker these days is the ultra-thin glass it manufactures and sells to LCD panel makers such as Chi Mei, AU Optronics (NYSE:AUO), and LG.Philips LCD (NYSE:LPL). Apparently, these panel makers have worked through their inventory glut and will be buying plenty of new glass from Corning. But farther downstream, the normalizing levels of inventories could spell higher prices for LCD TV makers like Sony (NYSE:SNE) and retailers like Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Circuit City (NYSE:CC) -- and, yes, for Joe Fool consumers like you and me.

Secret weapon
What's foremost on everybody's mind is what Weeks had to say about "Corning's recent breakthrough optical fiber technology," which, if you buy into the industry buzz, will make it easier for Verizon (NYSE:VZ) to install fiber-to-the-premises and spark the next big sales jump at Corning. Corning also intends to ship this fiber to European FTTP customers and the Chinese market. These markets represent a great opportunity for Corning to increase its sales.

What else has been up with Corning lately? Find out in:

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Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. The Motley Fool has a clear disclosure policy.