Bloomberg News

Sony Shares Rise After Maintaining Profit Forecast

November 01, 2012

Sony Shares Rise After Maintaining Profit Forecast

Sony’s loss from making TVs narrowed to 10.2 billion yen in the quarter ended Sept. 30 from 16.8 billion yen in the previous quarter. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Sony Corp. (6758), Japan’s biggest consumer- electronics exporter, rose the most in six weeks in Tokyo trading after maintaining its full-year profit forecast as losses on televisions narrowed.

Sony climbed 3.6 percent, headed for the biggest gain since Sept. 18, to 948 yen as of 9:11 a.m., trimming its decline this year to 31 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 1.2 percent.

The electronics maker will probably post 20 billion yen ($249 million) in net income for the year ending March 31, it said in a statement yesterday, reiterating its previous forecast even as it posted a seventh straight quarterly loss. Sony’s loss from making TVs narrowed to 10.2 billion yen in the quarter ended Sept. 30 from 16.8 billion yen in the previous quarter, Chief Financial Officer Masaru Kato said yesterday.

“The results for the second quarter were slightly better than expected, and the company maintained the full-year forecast,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “Their restructuring efforts may bear fruit in the second half.”

Sony is cutting 10,000 jobs and selling assets as Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai focuses on mobile devices, games and digital imaging after four consecutive annual losses. The company sold a chemical-products making unit, stakes in two display-making ventures and invested in Olympus Corp. (7733) to revive growth after racking up 692 billion yen in losses selling TVs in the past eight years amid falling demand and competition from market leader Samsung Electronics Co.

TV Sales Target

The company cut its annual TV sales target to 14.5 million units from 15.5 million units. The business, slated to post a ninth consecutive loss this year, will turn profitable next fiscal year, Kato told reporters.

The second-quarter net loss was 15.5 billion yen, Tokyo- based Sony said in the statement. That compared with the 15.6 billion-yen average profit of three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The maker of Bravia TVs, PlayStation game machines and Vaio computers cuts its overall sales forecast to 6.6 trillion yen from 6.8 trillion yen.

“The operating environment for Sony continued to be severe primarily due to a slowing of the global economy,” Sony said in the statement.

Sony is ahead of its plan to turn around the TV business, Hirai said in October. The company has halved the number of Bravia models sold in the U.S. and Japan to a combined 39 from 79.

The company ended a TV panel venture with Sharp Corp. earlier this year after closing down a similar partnership with Samsung last year as part of efforts to trim costs.

Industrywide TV demand fell 8 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter of this year, according to DisplaySearch, led by a 77 percent plunge in shipments in Japan. Sony’s domestic peers Panasonic Corp. (6752) and Sharp also posted record losses last year mainly because of falling demand at the TV unit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terje Langeland in Tokyo at tlangeland1@bloomberg.net

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


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