Panasonic remembers how to make money, reports $667 million profit last quarter

Just as Sharp offered a slightly more hopeful glimpse at its balance sheet this morning, so too does Panasonic have something worth celebrating: a net profit of 61.4 billion yen ($667 million) in the last three months of 2012. Much of this profit stems from a weaker yen and previous cost-cutting exercises, however, rather than any surge in demand for Panny products -- in fact, underlying sales continued to slip, with cameras, TVs and Blu-ray recorders proving especially hard to shift. Nevertheless, compared to the meager $164 million Panasonic made at the start of 2012, or the ego-crushing $2.1 billion net loss it suffered in the last three months of 2011, no one in that big HQ is likely to be complaining.