Fitch: Sony More Likely to Sink Than Panasonic
November 24, 2012 8:40 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
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RE: my analysis
11/25/2012 8:02:06 PM
That is relative.
I'm finding PS3 very nice, even though I am PC gamer as well. We have one at home and it gets utilised well.
I also happen to like design of Sony Android phones, quite distinctive. I'm finding them nicer looking than Samsung/HTC..., and if I decide to go Android for my next phone, I will definitely consider Sony models.
Sony does some very nice cameras, some unique as well. NEX line of mirror-less APS cameras is well reviewed. RX100 is first pocket camera with large (for pocket camera standards) sensor and full manual control. RX1 is full sensor camera in compact body, also not done before Sony.
Sony VAIO S series are good portable 13" laptops let down by poor screens on all but top of the line models. Still, they pack decent battery, backlit keyboard, extended slate battery, docking station port, built in optical drive and dedicated graphics good for some casual gaming (nVidia 640M)in really highly portable and well designed body.
Sony tablets are just another Androids, but I still like design direction they took.
Sony TV, well. My LG LED backlit 200Hz 42" TV was expensive and presumably top of the line unit. It works fine 3 years down the path, but out of the box we have noticed that front plastic does not fit well, there was about 1cm gap between plastic and actual screen. We got it replaced, though 2nd one still had gap (a bit smaller). We were told they are all like that, which is a bit disappointing... so for my next TV, I will be looking Samsung and Sony.
So you see, there are quite a few compelling Sony products for me... and that is just among those I was bothered to check.
"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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