Bloomberg News

Panasonic Shares Rise After Profit Beats Estimates: Tokyo Mover

July 31, 2012

Panasonic (8253) Corp., maker of the Viera range of televisions, rose the most in three years in Tokyo trading after reporting first-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates.

Panasonic climbed as much as 7.9 percent to 589 yen, headed for the biggest gain since July 24, 2009, and changed hands at 576 yen as of 10:12 a.m. in Tokyo. The stock was the second- biggest percentage gainer on Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average, which dropped 1.3 percent.

The Osaka-based electronics maker yesterday reported its first net income in six quarters after cutting jobs and shutting factories. Net income was 12.81 billion yen ($164 million) in the three months ended June 30, compared with a net loss of 30.4 billion yen a year earlier. That beat the 9.2 billion-yen average of three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg News.

“Panasonic is steadily gaining earnings strength,” Takashi Watanabe, an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., wrote in a report today. Rationalization and cost cuts may “continue to have an effect from second quarter, which should help absorb the impact of any further decline in sales,” he said.

Watanabe raising his 12-month price estimate for the stock by 3 percent to 690 yen and maintained a buy rating.

The maker of Lumix cameras is trying to turn around its unprofitable TV, electronic component and battery operations this fiscal year after closing plants and eliminating 36,000 jobs amid falling prices and a surging yen.

President Kazuhiro Tsuga, who replaced Fumio Ohtsubo in the role last month, has pledged to revive the Japanese manufacturer “by all means.”

The audio-visual network division, devices unit and battery-making division all turned profitable during the quarter from a loss a year earlier after reducing costs, Panasonic said.

Panasonic will probably cut costs by 130 billion yen this fiscal year after a 64 billion-yen reduction in the first quarter from a year earlier, Chief Financial Officer Hideaki Kawai said yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariko Yasu in Tokyo at myasu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net


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