Sony ‘deepening’ discussion of billionaire Loeb’s proposal
Full-year forecast rises on weaker yen
Billionaire investor Daniel Loeb, who has proposed the purchase of part of Sony’s entertainment business. Photograph: Reuters/Steve Marcus
Sony’s board is “deepening” its discussions of billionaire investor Daniel Loeb’s proposal to sell part of the entertainment business, the company said after raising its full-year revenue forecast on the weaker yen.
Investors have asked for more information about the units making films, TV shows and music, and Sony is getting input from financial advisers, chief financial officer Masaru Kato said at the company’s earnings press conference today in Tokyo. He declined to comment on a time frame for a decision. Loeb questioned executives publicly today on a conference call.
“It is an important proposal, and the board will make a decision after having a thorough discussion,” Kato said. “The discussions are only midway, and we cannot comment further.”
Japanese monetary policy is stoking the value of exports for Sony, which gets almost 70 per cent of revenue from overseas. The company raised its revenue forecast by 5.3 per cent to 7.9 trillion yen (€60.5 billion) for the year ending March 31st, even while cutting expected shipments of TVs, digital cameras and personal computers as it tries to match Samsung Electronics.
Chief executive officer Kazuo Hirai has said he doesn’t plan to spin off entertainment assets as he builds services linking mobile devices and TVs with content including movies. The company cut its target for TV sales to 15 million units from 16 million and lowered its projected digital-camera sales to 12.5 million units from 13.5 million.
Sony reported first-quarter net income of 3.48 billion (€26.5 million) yen in the three months ended June 30st, compared with a loss of 24.6 billion yen a year earlier. Operating profit, or sales minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, was 36.4 billion yen in the quarter. – (Bloomberg)