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TOKYO, May 23 (Reuters) - Sony on Monday changed its earnings estimate for the year to March 2011 to a net loss of 260 billion yen ($3.2 billion) from a profit of 70 billion, in the company's first indication of the financial impact of the devastating March earthquake and tsunami.
The company maintained its estimate of an operating profit of 200 billion yen, which compares with analysts' consensus of 197 billion yen, according to a SmartEstimate by ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S. SmartEstimates place additional weight on recent forecasts by top-rated analysts.
The maker of Bravia televisions and Vaio computers is set to announce its January-March earnings on Thursday.
Sony factories in northeastern Japan were among those damaged in the March 11 disaster, which also snarled the electronics industry's supply chain and triggered a plunge in domestic consumption.
Many of Sony's rivals, including Panasonic Corp , have yet to issue forecasts for the current financial year to March 2012, due to lingering uncertainty over the effects of the quake. ($1 = 81.710 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Edmund Klamann)