Sony shares slid almost three percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday after an industry analyst dropped his rating of the company and halved his PlayStation 3 shipment expectations for the fiscal year, according to the Reuters news service.
In a note to investors, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities analyst Masahiko Ishino expressed doubt in Sony's ability to reach its goal of 6 million units shipped by the end of its fiscal year, March 31, 2007, the report said. Ishino instead offered a new projection of 3 million units, saying that Sony would fall short of its goal because it wouldn't be able to obtain enough of the high-tech parts it needs.
While such a shortfall in systems could damage Sony's game business in the short term, Ishino was also concerned with its longer-term effect on the company. If Sony can't get the units out the door, it will take longer for the company to recoup its substantial investment in developing the system. That was the reason Ishino gave for lowering his rating of the company's stock, Reuters reports.
Last week, Sony Computer Entertainment America president Kaz Hirai told GameSpot he was expecting to ship 2 million PS3s by the end of 2006. That was quickly followed by clarifications from Sony saying that the company was still planning to have 2 million systems ready for the November launch and another 2 million shipped by year's end.
When asked by GameSpot to address the analyst's note, a Sony rep said the company does not comment on each analyst report, speculation, or rumor that surfaces. However, he did reiterate Sony's previous position.
"SCE has not changed its shipment schedule and is still on target to ship 2 million by launch window, 4 million by the end of this year, and 6 million by the end of FY 06," the representative said. However, the company did release a new batch of photos of the PS3, showing it and its controller up close and personal.
Sony's shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 150 yen ($1.29) to close Thursday at 5,100 yen ($43.78).