Sony could be posting a net loss of ¥75.8 billion (US $630 million), its biggest in four years, in the fiscal quarter that ended March 31, according to Bloomberg. The financial publication took a median estimate culled from 11 surveyed analysts.
Five of the analysts expect the games division, home to the PlayStation, to post a 121 billion yen (US $1 billion) loss and a record deficit of ¥245 billion (US $2.04 billion) -- figures that may not be offset by Spider-Man 3's record-setting box office returns. Production delays are cited as one of the reasons Sony is currently in third place in worldwide hardware sales, though Sony is still the world's largest console maker due to its PS2 sales. All other divisions are expected to have generated profit.
CEO Howard Stringer, pictured, has promised to raise the company's annual operating profit to 5% of revenue by March 2008; analysts expect Sony to have a 4.1% operating margin. Merrill Lynch analyst Hitoshi Kuriyama believes that Stringer can still reach that target if there is no price cut with the PS3. "But I'm expecting a 20 percent price cut," he said. That's a steep figure that, if true, would put the 60GB version at ¥48,000 (US $390) in Japan and $480 in the United States.
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