torsdag 4. februar 2010

Sony posts sharply higher earnings and offers upbeat outlook

For the first time in a while, Sony blew away earnings forecasts for the quarter ended Dec. 31 and predicted a much better outlook for its fiscal year that ends March 31.
After years of restructuring under chief executive Howard Stringer, the company reported net profit of 79.2 billion yen ($861 million), up about eight fold from a year ago and more than twice the amount that analysts expected (33.73 billion yen) according to Thomson Reuters. The profit was the first in five quarters.
The Japanese electronics giant said that revenue rose 3.9 percent to 2.24 trillion yen while operating profit was 146.1 billion yen, up eight-fold from a year ago. Sony expects to report a full fiscal year operating loss of 30 billion yen, down from its previous forecast of 60 billion yen.
Sales of the PlayStation 3 grew after the redesigned PS 3 Slim version hit the market in August at a price that was $100 less than the previous version. During the past year, Sony has closed 18 percent of its plants and eliminated 20,000 jobs in an effort to cut costs. At the same time, the company is overhauling its product lines to connect them to online services. At the Consumer Electronics Show, Sony executive Kaz Hirai said that the company’s PlayStation Network online service was the model for the whole company to follow.
Sony’s Network Products and Services business, which includes the video game business, Sony reported a profit of 19.4 billion yen, compared to a loss of 5.9 billion yen a year earlier. Sales rose 1.9 percent to 606.1 billion yen. Sony’s flat-panel TVs recovered, and the company saw a profit in its joint venture in TV screen manufacturing with Samsung. But its Sony Ericsson joint venture in cell phones reported a loss.
Sony sold 10.8 million PS 3 units in the first nine months of its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, and it expects to sell 13 million by the end of March 31, 2010. That compares to 10.1 million units sold in all of fiscal 2008. The PlayStation Portable is hurting, however. The PSP is expected to sell 10 million units in the year ended March 31, 2010, compared with 14 million units in the prior year.

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