Pix give Sony a lift

B.O. hits prompt conglom to increase forecast

NEW YORK — Sony Corp. boosted its profit forecast Tuesday for the fiscal year ended in March, citing in part a strong performance at Sony Pictures.

Studio had an upbeat run recently with pics like “50 First Dates,” “You Got Served” and “Secret Window” plus earlier releases including “Something’s Gotta Give,” “S.W.A.T.” and “Anger Management.”

Also, the previous fiscal year was hit by particularly tough comps, as the studio couldn’t come close to matching the windfall from the first “Spider-Man.” “Spider-Man 2” hits screens June 30.

Sony will report its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results this coming Tuesday.

Optimistic forecast

The giant Japanese conglom said it expects net income of ¥88 billion (about $812 million), up 60% from its previous forecast of $507 million.

Sony noted that U.S. earnings increased without a corresponding increase in taxes as the company used tax-loss and foreign-tax-credit carry-forwards. It also cited foreign exchange gains.

Conglom sees income before taxes of $1.3 billion vs. $1.2 billion the previous fiscal year and sales of $69 billion vs. $68 billion.

Expectations for operating income were ratcheted down slightly to $913 million from $922 million on higher-than-expected restructuring costs.

Sony only provided figures in yen. All dollar figures are based on Tuesday’s exchange rate.

The numbers boosted Sony stock, which closed up 1.64% to $42.23.

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