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Sony reports quarterly loss, delays forecast to assess quake damage

Sony Corp. reported a fourth-quarter loss after booking a charge against its chip business and delayed giving a full-year forecast to assess damage from an earthquake that shut its main plant for camera sensors.

The net loss was ¥88.3 billion in the quarter ended March, the Tokyo-based company said Thursday. Sony, which also recorded its first full-year profit in three years, will probably see annual net income in the current fiscal period climb to ¥212.2 billion, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Slowing demand for smartphones has hit growth in image sensors, a business that Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai had been able to count on to bolster profits as he shifted away from consumer electronics. Sony will have to generate more of its earnings from PlayStation 4 consoles, streaming services for its 50 million online users and movies and music.

While Sony didn’t release projections for whole company, it issued forecasts for some divisions. Operating income in movies will rise 12 percent to ¥43 billion, while music earnings will drop 28 percent and profit from financial services will decline about 4 percent to ¥150 billion.

Shares of Sony fell 2.1 percent to ¥2,778 at the close in Tokyo before earnings were released. The stock has declined 7.5 percent this year, compared with a 13 percent decline in the Topix index.

(Source: The Japan Times)