Sony's TV lineup fueled strong gains that outpaced a weakening dollar in the company's latest earnings report  (Source: AntBlog)

Sales of Sony's PSP dropped 50 percent on a yearly quarter-to-quarter basis.  (Source: PSP Blog)
Growth in LCD television sector is offset by currency concerns

Sony Corporation, Japan's largest electronics exporter and the fifth largest media conglomerate in the world, reported mixed news when it came to its fiscal second quarter earnings report on Friday.

The earnings were highlighted by some impressive gains.  Most notably, net profit (net revenue) rose from ¥26.3B (approximately $326M USD) to ¥31.1B (approximately $386M USD).  Sales rose from ¥1.6612T (approximately $20.6B USD) to ¥1.7332T (approximately $21.5B USD).

The sales gains were driven by large gains in sales of televisions, which jumped from 3.3 million units in Q2 2009 to 4.9 million this quarter.  Sales of PCs and the PS3 also rose.  The biggest loser was the PSP, whose sales nearly dropped in half on a quarterly year-to-year basis.  The PSP is obviously being hurt by strong competition from Nintendo and Apple (makers of the iPhone).

The report heads into less than optimistic territory, as well, discussing the company's problems with the American dollar.  Due to the U.S. Federal Reserve's anti-recessionary tactics inflation in the U.S. is rising and the dollar is weakening.

Sony reports a loss of ¥23.4B to "Foreign Exchange Impact" in its earnings report.  The Euro, the standard currency of the European Union (France, Germany, etc.) also was a subject of Sony's scrutiny.  It fell even farther than a dollar, dropping 14.7 percent versus a 7.5 percent drop for the dollar.

Political and corporate leaders in America and Europe have been voicing an opposing criticism.  They have vocally argued that certain nations, such as Japan, are artificially preventing their currency from appreciating.

Who's right in this debate is largely a question of whose rhetoric you choose to embrace.  It is clear to most, though, that there is a growing rift between the world's economic superpowers in terms of policy that could have a serious detrimental impact on the fragile recovering economy.

Sony appears to be just one of many companies that's getting dragged down in the process.  That casts a cloud over what otherwise would be a very rosy earnings report and puts pressure on the core TV/PS3 business units to continue to post gains.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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