Sony’s rosy pix returns zapped by electronics

Falling product prices, competish, phone recalls cited for losses

NEW YORK — As Sony’s U.S. arm dramatically downsizes its TV biz, giant Japanese parent Sony Corp. said Thursday it lost 13.2 billion yen ($111 million) in the latest quarter as a downturn at the giant electronics group more than offset surprisingly upbeat numbers in motion pictures and games.

Revenue rose 5.7% to $15 billion.

Electronics makes up 70% of the total, so when it sneezes, the rest of the company feels it. The unit’s sales were about flat at $11 billion, but it swung to a $209 million loss in the second quarter ended Sept. 30 from a profit a year ago.

Sony cited a host of ills, including falling product prices, heightened competition, mobile phone recalls and severance costs.

Sony Pictures Entertainment saw revenue jump 29% to $1.2 billion and pulled into the black, with operating profit of $186 million.

SPE exec VP and chief financial officer Bedi A. Singh attributed the upturn to several factors: theatrical releases, led by “America’s Sweethearts”; carryover DVD and video sales from prior-year pics, including “The Wedding Planner,” “Vertical Limit” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”; and initial syndication revenue from “Just Shoot Me.”

TV trims will help

Sony’s move to trim its TV production biz will likely prove a boon to SPE’s earnings going forward, Singh told Daily Variety. “Deficit financing looks better when you don’t have the deficits,” he said, “although you’re not getting the infusion of revenue either.”

He also said SPE, which houses Sony’s interest in Telemundo, will see a cash infusion when the sale of the Spanish-lingo net to NBC closes. SPE had been carrying a portion of Telemundo’s losses for several years, although the net was expected to break even in 2002.

Sony’s game division also swung to an operating profit of $34 million as sales surged 98% from the year before to just over $2 billion. Company cited lower production costs and higher sales of its flagship PlayStation 2 software.

Music losses widen

At Sony Music, sales rose 4.7% to $1.2 billion and operating losses widened to $44 million. Sony noted weak industry conditions worldwide, with a big hit after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, escalating digital piracy, restructuring costs and digital media investments. Bestsellers for the quarter included Macy Gray’s “The Id,” Jamiroquai’s “A Funk Odyssey” and Maxwell’s “Now.”

A weaker yen quarter to quarter penalized some divisions but helped Sony’s overall numbers. On a so-called constant currency basis, for instance, consolidated sales were down 2%, not up 6%.

Sony shares rose 1% to close at $40.43.

More Biz

  • NFL Network Thursday Night Football on

    NFL Network Suspends On-Air Analysts Amid Sexual Harassment Probe

    NEW YORK — As Sony’s U.S. arm dramatically downsizes its TV biz, giant Japanese parent Sony Corp. said Thursday it lost 13.2 billion yen ($111 million) in the latest quarter as a downturn at the giant electronics group more than offset surprisingly upbeat numbers in motion pictures and games. Revenue rose 5.7% to $15 billion. […]

  • Get Hard

    Writer Claims 'Get Hard' Ripped Off His 'Prison 101' Idea

    NEW YORK — As Sony’s U.S. arm dramatically downsizes its TV biz, giant Japanese parent Sony Corp. said Thursday it lost 13.2 billion yen ($111 million) in the latest quarter as a downturn at the giant electronics group more than offset surprisingly upbeat numbers in motion pictures and games. Revenue rose 5.7% to $15 billion. […]

  • Tax Plan Strikes Fear Among Below

    Hollywood's Below-the-Line Workers Anxious About New Tax Plans

    NEW YORK — As Sony’s U.S. arm dramatically downsizes its TV biz, giant Japanese parent Sony Corp. said Thursday it lost 13.2 billion yen ($111 million) in the latest quarter as a downturn at the giant electronics group more than offset surprisingly upbeat numbers in motion pictures and games. Revenue rose 5.7% to $15 billion. […]

  • Rupert Murdoch Bob Iger Disney Fox

    Disney Nearing Finish Line With 21st Century Fox as Comcast Bows Out of Acquisition Hunt

    NEW YORK — As Sony’s U.S. arm dramatically downsizes its TV biz, giant Japanese parent Sony Corp. said Thursday it lost 13.2 billion yen ($111 million) in the latest quarter as a downturn at the giant electronics group more than offset surprisingly upbeat numbers in motion pictures and games. Revenue rose 5.7% to $15 billion. […]

  • Bill Hearn, CEO of Capitol Christian

    Bill Hearn, Chairman of Capitol Christian Music Group, Dies at 58

    NEW YORK — As Sony’s U.S. arm dramatically downsizes its TV biz, giant Japanese parent Sony Corp. said Thursday it lost 13.2 billion yen ($111 million) in the latest quarter as a downturn at the giant electronics group more than offset surprisingly upbeat numbers in motion pictures and games. Revenue rose 5.7% to $15 billion. […]

  • Time Square Station Explosion

    NYPD Investigating Explosion in Times Square Station, Suspect in Custody

    NEW YORK — As Sony’s U.S. arm dramatically downsizes its TV biz, giant Japanese parent Sony Corp. said Thursday it lost 13.2 billion yen ($111 million) in the latest quarter as a downturn at the giant electronics group more than offset surprisingly upbeat numbers in motion pictures and games. Revenue rose 5.7% to $15 billion. […]

  • Celebrities Respond to Viral Keaton Jones

    Celebrities Send Messages of Support to Bullied Boy: 'Stay Strong'

    NEW YORK — As Sony’s U.S. arm dramatically downsizes its TV biz, giant Japanese parent Sony Corp. said Thursday it lost 13.2 billion yen ($111 million) in the latest quarter as a downturn at the giant electronics group more than offset surprisingly upbeat numbers in motion pictures and games. Revenue rose 5.7% to $15 billion. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content