Sony nose-dives in 2nd quarter

Sony Corp., parent of Columbia and TriStar Pictures and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of consumer electronics, is still reeling from the lukewarm world economy, with earnings sliding dramatically in the second fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30.

The Tokyo-based giant did reap big rewards from its Hollywood connection, especially with “A League of Their Own,” softening a blow that has battered Japanese companies.

The company posted a net income of $ 227,311 (7 cents an American Depository Share), a reduction of 42.7% from the same period last year due in part to the strength of the yen vs. the dollar and a worsening domestic market.

Sony noted that earnings for the entertainment unit, before interest, taxes and depreciation, were $ 198 million. Wall St. rule-of-thumb typically assigns two-thirds, or $ 132 million, of that to the music unit and one-third, or $ 66 million, to film group.

Sony’s biggest revenue winner, indeed, was filmed entertainment, where receipts increased a whopping 35.5% to $ 729.5 million, from the comparable quarter. The unit benefited from “A League of Their Own,””Single White Female” and “Mo’ Money.” The downside, however, was the lack of product from TriStar, which contributed “Universal Soldier” to the peak summer months.

The other entertainment component, music–which includes the Columbia and Epic record labels–saw sales fall off a fraction to $ 915.2 million. The combined entertainment divisions contributed a hefty 19% to Sony’s overall revenues of $ 8.4 billion, which was up 5.4% for the quarter.

Performances by the companies electronics divisions turned in mixed operating revenues, with video equipment down slightly to $ 1.9 billion, audio equipment up 1% to $ 2 billion, televisions up 6.3% to $ 1.3 billion and other products showing a 12.2% increase for the period.

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