Sony’s Troubles Return

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Sony Corp.'s CEO Kazuo Hirai

In July, it looked like Sony was turning itself around.  But last week it reported a surprise loss, with TV sales dipping back into the red, leading some to question how the once top CE brand can remake itself.

The Wall Street Journal wrote Friday, “Sony’s quarterly loss was mainly due to its movie business, but what is worrying analysts and investors is the bleak outlook for its consumer electronics…. The biggest concern is that the profit warning isn’t just a temporary outcome of a harsher economic climate, but an indication that the turnaround scenario as a whole may not be working.”

Sony reported a quarterly loss of about $197 million, and lowered its forecasts in TVs, PCs and cameras.  This is contrast to Panasonic, which reported strong gains this quarter, in part due to its OEM automotive sales.

Sony has already made significant cost cuts—it recently laid off 10,000 employees.

At least one analyst has called for the company to start moving away from consumer electronics. “Sony needs to make harsh decisions about what its product portfolio is going to be,” said Steve Durose, senior director at Fitch Ratings, reported the WSJ.

Sony is betting on its Xperia smartphones and the PlayStation 4 videogame console to boost its electronics performance, but analysts are still wary given the intense competition in those markets.

Sony says consumer electronics sales will pick up with the release of the PlayStation 4 November 15.

For the full story see The Wall Street Journal here (subscription may be required).

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Reuters

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