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  (Source: AP/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Troubled 2011 is behind it, but much work remains

Sony Corp. (TYO:6758), one of Japan's largest companies, in its fiscal 2013 reversed its money bleed from the prior year, despite some of its units struggling.  Compared to a disastrous 2011 (fiscal 2012) that saw Sony hacked hacked several times by LulzSec, losing millions of customer records and bleeding ~$4.6B USD (¥456.7B) in cash, the fiscal year that ended in April was relatively temperate.

I. Smartphones and Gaming Should Sail Strong in 2013

In 2013 Sony smartphone unit performed well, nearly doubling in sales to 33 million smartphones.  That number pales in comparison with Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) 130 million iPhones or Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s  (KSC:005930) roughly 206 million smartphones sold last year.  

Neil Mawston, executive director at market researcher Strategy Analytics comments, "The Xperia range is selling well where available, but Sony's limited retail presence in major markets like the U.S. and China is restricting its growth.  Sony captured less than 1 percent of the valuable U.S. market in 2012."
Sony Xperia

But Sony is emerging as a power player with revenue roughly doubling from $6.27B USD (¥622.7B) in 2012 to $12.66B USD (¥1257.6B) in fiscal 2013.  The company did take a hit $1.034B USD (¥97.2B) due to its acquisition of Sony Mobile.  Sony forecasts that for the rest of this year (fiscal 2014) it will sell 42 million smartphones, a 27 percent rise.  That would amount to around a 4 percent share of the predicted global smartphone market.

The gaming business, anchored by the Sony PlayStation Pocket (PSP) Vita and PS3 suffered, falling 12.2 percent in revenue to $7.52B USD (¥707.1B).  The drop was due to a drop in sales of the gaming consoles -- Sony sold a mere 16.5 million PS3s/PS2s and 7.0 million PSP Vitas globally.  Sony predicts an even steeper plunge next year to 10.0 million PS3s/PS2s and 5.0 million PSP Vitas.  

However, its forecast did not include the PS4, which launches this holiday season, so there's still hope for Sony's fiscal 2014 gaming-wise.  And Sony is predicting game sales to soar from 266 million units this year to 319 million units in fiscal 2014.

II. Digital Cameras, TVs Have Mixed Outlook

Digital cameras continue their ride out into the sunset as they're replaced by smartphones for on-the-go imaging purposes.  This year Sony sold 17 million; next year it only expects to sell 13.5 million.

Sony continues to be a bit player in the PC market, with sales of its Vaio-branded laptops and desktops essentially flat at 7.5 million units.

One of the biggest areas of turbulence for Sony is its TV unit.  Sales, which include the flagship Bravia brand, were riding high at 19.6m units in fiscal 2012 (ending March 2012), but in fiscal 2013 they plunged to 13.5m units.  That places Sony narrowly ahead of its domestic rivals like Toshiba Corp. (TYO:6502), Panasonic Corp. (TYO:6752), and Sharp Corp. (TYO:6753), but behind South Korea's Samsung and LG Electronics, Inc. (KSC:066570).

Sony is third-place in the TV market.
Sony believes sales will briefly recover, reaching 16.0m units for fiscal 2014.

Sony's biggest profits came from its financial/insurance unit which earned $1.47B USD (¥146B).  Sony Pictures and Sony BMG (music) cumulatively made $960M USD (¥95B).

Sources: Sony [1], [2]

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the BBC
By GulWestfale on 5/9/2013 4:32:40 PM , Rating: 2
as usual, other sites have much more balanced and well-researched articles. here's one example:

Sony has reported an annual profit for the first time in five years, boosted by asset sales and a weakening yen.

some analysts said gains from asset sales had skewed the latest numbers.

Gerhard Fasol of Eurotechnology Japan said that these gains "really need to be subtracted from the results, to understand the regular operating results". Mr Fasol pointed out that the firm's results indicated that its electronics division continued to struggle and that the unit had not been turned around yet.

RE: the BBC
By someguy123 on 5/9/2013 5:02:35 PM , Rating: 3
Those sites appear to be properly analyzing the revenue stream whereas this article seems to be plagiarized from gaming websites that want to see sony survive for the sake of the playstation brand.

Sony sold off more than two billion dollars worth of assets to achieve a profit of 400 million. The outlook should be absolutely abysmal for anyone who bothers to take the time to actually read through their fiscal reports.

RE: the BBC
By marky321 on 5/10/2013 12:28:40 AM , Rating: 2
Sony sold $3.5 billion in assets and issued $1.8 billion in bonds last year.Which means they finished $4.8 billion in the red.

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