Sony shares up on report of bullish results

TOKYO Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:56pm EST

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares in Sony Corp rose more than 4 percent on Thursday after a report by the Nikkei business daily that the company would likely post an operating profit of about 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion) for the latest quarter, helped by a recovery in its game and TV operations.

While Sony has been widely expected to post its first profit in five quarters, the Nikkei's estimate is higher than the market consensus for an operating profit of 74.2 billion yen in a poll of 7 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Although the Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate enjoys strong sales and healthy profit from its digital camera operations, its loss-making TV and video game businesses had until recently been major drags on its earnings.

But it has seen sales of its PlayStation 3 game console grow sharply after a price cut earlier last year. The video game business will post its first operating profit in four quarters in the October-December period, the Nikkei said.

The maker of Bravia brand flat TVs has also benefited from strong sales of LCD TVs, and payroll cuts and the consolidation of facilities have helped that business return to the break-even level on an operating basis, the Nikkei said.

Sony shares were up 4.4 percent at 3,070 yen, outperforming the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index, which gained 2.5 percent.

A Sony spokeswoman declined to comment on the report. The company is set to announce its third quarter results on February 4.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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