Panasonic reverses its fortunes amid electric vehicle boom

Not every struggling company story has to have a depressing ending. Though its troubles are far from over yet, Panasonic has just announced 73.7 billion yen ($730 million) in net earnings for Q3. That's up 20 percent over last year, a disastrous period that saw nearly $10 billion in full-year losses and painful company-wide layoffs. While those cuts are finally helping the bottom line, Panasonic also said it's no longer relying on its consumer electronics division for profits. Instead, it saw the most growth in the automotive sector, highlighted by booming battery sales to EV makers like Toyota and Tesla -- a key part of new president Kazuhiro Tsuga's strategy. Unfortunately, another part of the plan is to keep eliminating unprofitable divisions until March 2016. That means the recent death of its much-loved plasma TV unit isn't the end of the slashing.