Sony slashes forecast

Co. sees slower sales in music, computer parts

NEW YORK — Electronics and entertainment giant Sony cut its earnings outlook for the current fiscal year to 10 billion yen ($84 million) from $755 million, citing currency fluctuations and global economic downturn.

Conglom had already lowered its outlook in July from an initial forecast of $1.3 billion last April. Company follows Viacom, AOL Time Warner, Walt Disney and a host of other entertainment giants to warn of earnings shortfalls in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Unlike these groups, however, Sony’s U.S. entertainment assets are only a small portion of its overall operations. Company sees slower sales in music, computer chips and personal computer parts and a downturn at its ailing Aiwa subsidiary.

Sony also cut its revenue forecast to $63 billion from $64.4 billion. It will spend an additional $251 million in restructuring expenses this year for a total of $418.5 million to discontinue unprofitable businesses.

Sony shares plunged 10.73% to $33.20 Friday on the warning. The shares are down 50% for the third quarter ended Friday.

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