Finally, after closing 18% of its manufacturing facilities and cutting 20,000 heads across its global organization, Sony just posted a profit for the quarter. We're talking an operating profit of ¥146 billion ($1.5 billion) for the quarter on ¥2.2 trillion in sales. Sony's net profitability came in at ¥79.2 billion after three straight quarters of losses
, handily beating The Street's mean estimate of ¥33.73 billion sending stock up some 4% at the time of this post. Unfortunately for us gadget nerds, Sony's return to prosperity is largely due to a doubling of sales at Sony's financial unit and a 16% rise in its movie business -- sales from its consumer products and devices division were off 11% thanks to flat-panel TV price competition and component costs. VAIO PC sales were up a slight 2% worldwide while sales of its venerable PS2 (2.1 million units vs. 2.5 million a year earlier) and PSP (4.2 million vs 5.1 million a year earlier) were both off for the quarter. At least the price cuts on the PS3 helped push sales up to 6.5 million from 4.5 million. Still, profit is profit and profit must grow regardless of crummy consumer sales, you know.