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Report stings Sony

Shares slip though other media stox surge

Shares of Sony Corp. dipped Wednesday even as other media stocks rallied on reports, denied by the company, that its accounting practices may come under fire.

The electronics and showbiz giant weighed on the Tokyo market after a report posted by the Center for Financial Research and Analysis in Maryland questioned a jump in revenue Sony recorded from sales to affiliated companies for the fiscal year ended in March.

Accounting defended

A Sony spokesman in Tokyo said the company’s financial results and practices are in full accordance with generally accepted accounting principles — comments that buoyed the shares and the broader Tokyo market.

Still, Sony stock fell 3.57% in New York while shares of other media giants like Vivendi Universal, AOL Time Warner and News Corp. rose. Viv U jumped 8.91% to $16.75. AOL TW was up 3.97% to $13.11 and Viacom rose 2.48% to $47.82.

Stock watchdog

The author of the controversial report, Howard Schilit, was traveling and not available for comment. His organization’s Web site said its mission “is to warn investors and creditors about companies experiencing operational problems and particularly those that employ unusual or aggressive accounting practices to camouflage such problems.”

Such sites are getting ever more attention from wary investors spooked by seemingly endless disclosures of corporate wrongdoing and questionable accounting. Media firms have been hit in particular by meltdowns at Adelphia Communications and questions swirling around Viv U and AOL Time Warner.

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