Sony Ericsson stems -- but doesn't stop -- losses in fourth quarter

Sony Ericsson still has a hell of a trek to get back on its feet, but by all appearances, it's taking baby steps toward that goal on news of its fourth quarter '09 earnings. The joint venture did €1.75 billion (about $2.47 billion) in sales in the most recent reported quarter -- an improvement of €131 million over the quarter prior -- and posted an operating margin of -2 percent, an improvement of 10 percent against the third quarter and the closest Sony Ericsson has come to turning a profit since 2008. Here's the problem, though: that operating margin reflects data before €150 million in restructuring charges. Once you factor that little problem into the equation, its net income is actually just as bad as it had been earlier in '09. So yeah, a mixture of good and bad news; maybe this X10 can make a dent, eh?