Sony soars as an­a­lysts see record profit

New Straits Times - - Business -

TOKYO: Sony Corp shares jumped to their high­est since May 2015 af­ter a bullish earn­ings re­port trig­gered an­a­lyst pre­dic­tions that the elec­tron­ics maker could achieve record profit this year.

The firm rose three per cent to 3,873 yen at the close, here, yes­ter­day af­ter fore­cast­ing op­er­at­ing profit of 500 bil­lion yen (RM19.58 bil­lion) for the fis­cal year through March 2018, thanks to con­tin­ued dom­i­nance in gam­ing and strong growth in phonecam­era chips.

While that was mostly in line with the 507 bil­lion yen av­er­age es­ti­mate, an­a­lysts from Gold­man Sachs Group Inc to Jef­feries Group said Sony could sur­pass its pre­vi­ous record profit of 525.7 bil­lion yen in 1998.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kazuo Hi­rai, who took the helm in 2012, has steered the firm through years of re­struc­tur­ing and put more fo­cus on gam­ing, cam­era chips and fi­nance.

“We ex­pect Sony to achieve its medium-term plan op­er­at­ing profit tar­get for the first time in 10 years and be­lieve it may sur­pass its record high,” said Gold­man an­a­lysts Masaru Sugiyama and Yusuke Noguchi.

Sony’s stock, which has dou­bled since 2013, is up 18 per cent this year, out­per­form­ing the Topix In­dex.

Op­er­at­ing profit in the fis­cal year through March slipped 1.9 per cent to 288.7 bil­lion yen while net in­come halved to 73.3 bil­lion yen as earth­quakes in Kyushu a year ago de­railed the com­pany’s chip and cam­era busi­nesses. Revenue fell 6.2 per cent to 7.6 tril­lion yen. Bloomberg

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