Sony warns of worse-than-expected $6.4 billion loss
The bad news just keeps coming for Sony.
The company informed investors today that a February forecast indicating the company would lose 220 billion yen ($2.7 billion) during the fiscal year that ended March 31 has been revised downward. Sony now expects to post a loss (PDF) of 520 billion yen ($6.4 billion).
Although the steep loss might worry investors who think things are worse than expected at Sony, the revision will not have an impact on the company's operations or cash flow. Instead, Sony has been forced to write off deferred tax credits due to the losses it has continued to post. According to Sony, about 80 percent of the increased non-cash expense is coming from the U.S., where the firm is governed by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) -- a standard public companies use to prepare their financial statements.
Despite Sony's increased loss not having an impact on the company's cash flow, it's yet another worrisome development. Sony still forecasts that it generated about 6.4 trillion yen in revenue last year, down about 11 percent compared to the 7.18 trillion yen it posted in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2011. With the new loss charge, Sony's net loss will double last year's 259.6 billion yen in red ink.
Still, the company is confident that the situation will turn around. In today's statement, Sony said it believes the company will "return to positive operating results" this year and will generate a profit of 180 billion yen by the end of March 2013.
In order to achieve that goal, however, Sony's new chief, Kazuo Hirai, has some serious work ahead of him. And he's doing it with an all new cast, hand-picked by himself, to lead his firm's many divisions. The new executive appointments, which have been hitting the wire for the last several weeks, follow a new strategy called One Sony. The initiative is designed to make Sony more agile and to refocus the company on three main areas: mobile, gaming, and digital imaging.
Sony announced last week that Hirai will fully detail his plans at a special event on Thursday. Recent reports suggest part of his plan will include laying off 10,000 Sony employees.
Sony's shares are down nearly 8 percent in pre-market trading to $18.50. In the last year, Sony's shares have slid 34 percent.