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Panasonic will likely survive because it focuses on more than just consumer electronics

A credit rating agency said that Panasonic would likely survive longer than Sony after downgrading both electronics companies.

Credit rating agency Fitch recently lowered Panasonic's rating down two notches to BB, but cut Sony down three notches to BB minus. Other credit rating agencies have put them at the same level.

The reason for Fitch's credit ratings? It claims Panasonic has a "relatively stable consumer appliance business," such as refrigerators and washing machines, aside from just consumer electronics. Sony, on the other hand, is mainly depending on the extremely competitive consumer electronics market.

Right now, tech giants like Apple and Samsung have a strong hold on the electronics market, such as smartphones and tablets.

Sony's troubles largely stem from its failing TV business. It has seen eight straight years of quarterly losses, and last December, Sony decided to shake up its TV division by negotiating a buyout of its 50 percent manufacturing stake with Samsung in the LCD joint venture. It also split its TV division into three units consisting of sales of LCD TVs, outsourcing manufacturing to cheaper foreign facilities and developing future TVs.

To make matters worse, Sony reported a record annual loss of $5.7 billion USD in May 2012.

However, new Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has been working to turn the company around since he took over in April 2012. In fact, he offered an entirely new plan for restructuring the company. A key idea behind the restructuring was to strengthen core businesses, including digital imaging, games and mobile. He also opted to take over the failing TV business, expand business in emerging markets, create new businesses and realign the business portfolio.

Just last month, Sony closed a factory in Japan and cut 2,000 jobs at its Tokyo headquarters.

While Hirai is trying to make Sony profitable again, Fitch said "most of their electronic business are loss making" and "appear to be overstretched."

Fitch said Panasonic, on the other hand, is focusing on areas other than consumer electronics like home appliances, lithium batteries, solar panels and automotive parts.

Source: Reuters

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By Uncle on 11/24/2012 10:32:02 PM , Rating: -1
Sony was doing just fine until they decided to have a white Anglo Saxon take the helm by the name of Sir Howard Stringer. Till this day I still don't know why. He started to work for sony in 1997-98 and became CEO in 2005. From the day he was hired sony was going down hill. sony had to give him the boot, now its just going to take time to heal. They did learn that just because your white doesn't mean you know how the western business world functions, especially with the sir in front of your name. I assume sony thought he had connections. Well after all this I hope sony dies a slow death.

RE: Downhill
By integr8d on 11/25/2012 1:18:17 AM , Rating: 2
What an idiotic statement. By that logic, you'd better call up Nissan and remind them that they hired a French Lebanese Brazilian to run the company (and pull it back from the brink of disaster).

"just because your white doesn't mean you know how the western business world functions..." But it may mean that you know the difference between your and you're.

The Force is strrrrrong with this one.

As for Sony, their problem is marketing. And that's it... For those saying that they're spread too far and thin; How could they be spread out any more than Samsung? I do agree with the appliance and heavy industry thoughts. Appliances are somewhat of a necessity. TV's, however, are bought with disposable income. Heavy industry is also solid. It doesn't evaporate overnight (nor is it built at that rate). It's kept Mitsubishi going, when they were putting out nothing but garbage here in the states.

Personally, I like the idea of a Sony microwave or dishwasher. If they put their sense of styling to those products they could have some winners. I think there are enough people that still associate the name with quality. On the other hand, maybe the 90's was their hay day and they're on life support.

RE: Downhill
By StevoLincolnite on 11/25/2012 2:56:39 AM , Rating: 3
Personally, I like the idea of a Sony microwave or dishwasher. If they put their sense of styling to those products they could have some winners.

Sony have Microwaves and Dishwashers... A quick google can tell you that. :P

But this just hows how far down the toilet Sony's advertising is.

RE: Downhill
By Uncle on 11/25/12, Rating: -1
RE: Downhill
By Schadenfroh on 11/26/2012 10:59:13 AM , Rating: 1
Sony is one of the largest publishers / content providers of TV shows, movies and music in the world. Ever hear of Columbia, Tristar, MGM and BMG?

Their media division (Sony Pictures / Sony Music) likely does better than their consumer electronics and just happens to be Stringer's bread & butter.

RE: Downhill
By Uncle on 11/26/2012 12:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
The section that Stringer is an expert at is only 25% of sonys total business. -expand-7000007435/

RE: Downhill
By DiscoWade on 11/25/2012 8:01:29 AM , Rating: 4
I don't think Sony is spread too thin; I think Sony products are not worth the extra price you pay for them anymore.

RE: Downhill
By rdhood on 11/26/2012 3:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
As for Sony, their problem is marketing. And that's it...

I am sure that this is what upper management have been saying for years... and they (and you) would be WRONG!

Look, no amount of marketing is going to get me to pay $2500 for a TV that is marginally better than a $1200 TV. Now YOU may convince the purists that Sony has the best blacks, and that the best blacks are worth 2x the purchase price. But to me and most of the rest of the world, they aren't. No amount of marketing is going to get me to purchase a $238 BluRay player when I just purchased an LG BluRay player for $38. IT IS NOT A MARKETING PROBLEM! IT IS A VALUE PROBLEM. I think that most everyone stipulates that the vast majority of Sony products really are pretty good. But they just aren't price competitive. Put an Element (at $600) side by side against a Sony (at $2000), and most people won't see the $1400 difference, and no amount of marketing is going to make up for that $1400 difference. Vizio, on BF, just sold a 60" set for $688 from multiple vendors. Sony's cheapest 60" set goes for about $1500. Which set do you think the vast majority of U.S. families (with 8% unemployment and stagnating wages) are going for? Again, THIS IS NOT A MARKETING PROBLEM.

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