April 13, 2012 / 12:40 AM / in 6 years

Sony shares tumble as revival plan disappoints

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares of Sony Corp (6758.T) fell as much as 5 percent to a two-month low on Friday as new CEO Kazuo Hirai’s roadmap to revive the iconic consumer electronics maker failed to impress investors who were looking for a more aggressive strategy.

Sony is struggling to recover from four years of losses and regain the innovative flair of its 1980s glory days, having been overrun by today’s gadget leaders Apple (AAPL.O) and Samsung Electronics (005930.KS).

The company this week forecast a record net loss of 520 billion yen ($6.4 billion) for the just-ended fiscal year and has been floundering under the weight of a TV business that has not made a profit in eight years.

Hirai, less than two weeks into his job as chief executive, mapped out on Thursday a plan to revitalize the company, including a major push into smartphones, growth in games and cameras, and cutting costs.

He confirmed media reports that Sony would cut 10,000 jobs, 6 percent of its global workforce, and take a 75 billion yen restructuring charge this business year.

A customer looks at Sony Corp's portable music players displayed at an electronic store in Tokyo April 9, 2012. Japan's Sony is to cut 10,000 jobs, about 6 percent of its workforce, the Nikkei newspaper reported, as new CEO Kazuo Hirai looks to steer the electronics and entertainment giant back to profit after four years in the red. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

In the TV business, Hirai aims to cut fixed costs by 60 percent and operating costs by 30 percent over two years, while offering fewer models.

“I don’t see anything new here,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a senior market analyst at Monex Inc. “They’ve talked about bringing the TV business back to profits. The comments about the electronics business are the same. Nothing has changed from what they’ve flagged in the past.”

    A Sony executive previously told Reuters that Sony may forge a grand alliance with Sharp Corp (6753.T) and Panasonic Corp (6752.T), combining their television set-making divisions with the backing of a Japanese government eager to safeguard jobs.

    “We are looking at a number of possibilities, but there are other parties to consider. At this moment, there’s not anything I can share,” Hirai told a news conference on Thursday when asked about such an alliance.

    Sony shares were last down 3.9 percent at 1,468 yen after dropping to 1,447 yen, their lowest since early February.

    ($1 = 80.9000 Japanese yen)

    Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Paul Tait and Matt Driskill

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