Sony Corp. on Thursday predicted a surge in operating profit for the current fiscal year, with its entertainment and digital image sensor businesses leading the way.
Sony said it expected operating income of Yen320 billion (US$2.7 billion) and net income of Yen140 billion in the current financial year. Sales are expected to slip to Yen7.9 trillion from Yen8.2 trillion.
The improved outlook follows a net loss of Yen126 billion for the year ended March 31–Sony’s sixth net loss in seven years. But the company posted an operating profit of Yen69 billion for the year, up sharply from preliminary forecasts. The net loss was caused primarily by one-time costs in Sony’s troubled smartphone unit.
Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai and Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida are spearheading a plan to rebuild Sony around its Hollywood studio and music arms, its videogame division and the image sensor unit, which supplies camera parts to smartphone makers such as Apple Inc. The company’s shares have surged on recent strength in the image sensor and game businesses, as well as cost-cutting in Sony’s troubled consumer electronics operations.
Analysts say the forecasts for the current year might be too modest. Those surveyed by data provider Quick expect the company to post an operating profit of Yen398 billion and net income of Yen177 billion.
Mr. Yoshida has gained a reputation for cautious forecasting. Since he took over as chief financial officer last year, the company has reversed its previous pattern of missing earnings expectations and downgrading forecasts. Instead, it has several times revised its forecasts upward or beaten predictions.
Source: Market Watch