Sony profit predictions plunge

Japanese electronics giant shows signs of susceptibility to weakening global economy as net income is revised downward a further 39 percent.

Sony Computer Entertainment may have turned a corner with its PlayStation 3, but Sony Corporation on the whole is ailing. As part of its first-quarter financial performance results in July, the Japanese electronics powerhouse saw its games division post revenues 17 percent higher than a year prior, due in large part to surging PS3 sales. However, those figures weren't enough to offset its foundering electronics and film-making businesses, which saw respective 31 percent and 57 percent declines year over year.

On the whole, Sony Corporation saw flat revenues of ¥1.98 trillon ($20.4 billion) during the April-June quarter. Ominously, net profits were off a substantial 47.4 percent over a year prior, falling from ¥66.3 billion ($684 million) to ¥34.9 billion ($360 million).

It now appears as if Sony's fortunes will maintain their downward trajectory. Today, the Japanese electronics giant revised its annual forecast for fiscal year 2008, saying it now expects revenues to fall 2 percent compared to a year prior to ¥9 trillion ($92.6 billion). The publisher also now anticipates that net income--that is, profit--will nose-dive a further 39 percent from estimates made in July, or 59 percent compared to the same annual period a year ago. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, Sony believes profits will now come in at ¥150 billion ($1.54 billion).

Sony attributed the grim earnings revision to a number of factors, not the least of which is the current global economic crisis. "We expect the results of certain businesses in the Electronics segment, such as the LCD television, compact digital camera, and video camera businesses, to be lower than the previous forecast due to a deterioration in the market environment brought on by the slowing global economy and an intensification of price competition," Sony said in a statement. Other contributing factors to Sony's revision include stock-market declines and price competition from rival electronics companies.

The strength of Japan's yen is also weighing heavily on Sony's gaming business, a segment heavily reliant on exported goods. Previous earnings estimates had been modeled on the belief that $1 would match up to ¥105, with €1 corresponding to ¥162. Sony now expects $1 to equate to ¥100, and €1 to buy ¥140.

Luckily the currency cloud had a bit of a silver lining. Sony now anticipates that it will sell 16 million PSPs during the year, up from previous estimates of 15 million. The handheld is selling especially well in Japan, thanks to the wild popularity of Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G. The game will be released in the US next spring under the title Monster Hunter Freedom Unite.

Sony's economic woes may be indicative of a more severe issue within the company. As noted by financial news service Forbes, CLSA analyst Atul Goyal said in a recent note to investors that the yen's softness compared to other currencies was masking weaknesses within Sony's core businesses.

Forbes also cites a Tokyo-based analyst speaking under conditions of anonymity as saying, "This is just the beginning of a big earnings collapse. Given the track record of this company, it will under-deliver all the way." The Japanese analyst further added that there is a "good chance" Sony will post a loss for the fiscal year.

In an investor note obtained by GameSpot titled "Another Victim of the Consumer Spending Slowdown," Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson said, "Sony is in the precarious position of having high inventory and aggressive price competition as demand is dropping."

"Although Sony has revised its forecast downward, investors undoubtedly will question whether another cut is looming," observed Wilson. "Given the economic headwinds just a month young and the magnitude of the cuts we have seen from other consumer electronics companies compared with the 2 percent revenue reduction from Sony (4.5 percent, excluding Sony BMG), these concerns will likely continue to weigh on the stock."

Wilson also mentioned the rise in expected sales for the PSP, calling it the one bright spot in Sony's announcement today. Still, Wilson notes that the uptick will have only "a minor positive impact on results," and Sony is still expecting to post a ¥30 billion ($309 million) loss from its games business for the full year.

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Discussion

158 comments
Luthmann_D
Luthmann_D

Blame the hippies End of Comment

darkride66
darkride66

PRforce97 said "Give it up son PS3 will never win the console war this generation." You seem to be laboring under the false assumption that I care who wins the console wars. I really don't, as a gamer who enjoys all three consoles, no matter who wins, I win. What bothers me is that fanboys have overrun a once noble site that I've enjoyed for the better part of a decade now - spreading outright lies and misinformation about each and every gaming system. It's sad and brings down all gamers as a result. If you're one of those 80 million PS2 owners who haven't made a choice yet this gen, how are you going to find which system is right for you with these blatant campaigns of misinformation perpetrated by "fans" of each system. I try to defend every console when I see blatant attempts to spread falsehoods about them, it just happens that on Gamespot the worse offenders are the more hardcore 360 fanboys. Here's a perfect example. You mention XBL is "A lot better" than the PSN. That's simply uninformed. XBL, a pay service, currently has cross game chat and a larger library of games due to being out longer but those are the only things that it has over the revamped PSN. If that's important to you, you might want to pay the $50 a year. If that's not important to you because you aren't going to download 100 game right off the bat, or can live without cross game chat until it's added to the PSN - you just saved yourself $50. It's all about being informed.

YoJim8obaJoe
YoJim8obaJoe

Well PRforce97 add me to the small list of supporters of PS3.I think it will win in the long run due to it being more powerful,they dont break as easy and multiformat games are starting to swing in PS3's favour.Also take into account that Micro and Sony have said they dont plan on new console till 2012/2018 that makes me think PS3 even more.Whats the chance of a 360 surviving till 2010? let alone 2012 or 18.Also if multiformat games are swinging in PS3's favour now imagine how it will be in 2-3 years times.And exclusives for PS3 while not as common as 360 exclusives look 10 times better.Just look at resistance 1 compared to any 360 launch game and even 360's later exclusives like halo 3 and resistance still laughts at them from a technical point

PRforce97
PRforce97

LOL wow Darkride66 from most of the posts I see he is the only person here defending PS3. Give it up son PS3 will never win the console war this generation. Xbox 360 will stay on top with Wii (even tho I dont really count it as a next gen console) running second and of course PS3 at third. I respect your deadication to PS3 but you cant win with trying to convince people PS3 is better. Like I said I have a PS3 also but I jsut use it for Bluray movies. If an online game comes out for both 360 and PS3 I always get it for 360 since the online is easier and ALOT better. Like you told me "PRforce97. He asked. I answered. Obviously those features don't matter to you - but that doesn't instantly negate them, it just means that maybe the PS3 isn't for you". It just shows from these posts that you are the only one PS3 is for. Just enjoy your PS3 and stop trying to make it better then 360.

darkride66
darkride66

nintendokid said "So let's talk about the here and now. 360 vs PS3 multiplatform games. Want some more?" Go for it. You list one game with problems, I list 5 without. You started with fallout. DMC4 (actually better on the PS3) Burnout Paradise (oh, also better on the PS3) Soul Caliber GTA4 (Rockstar prez himself said he preferred the PS3 version) Dead Space. You said Baja. Madden 2009 NHL 2009 Tiger Woods 09 Fifa 09 Bioshock You mentioned Madden 08 Oblivion Grid (and we all remember when gametrailers tried to pass off the PS3 version as the 360 version and complained about it but got busted) COD4 (better on the PS3 as well) Eternal Sonata (hmm, better on the PS3 as well, I understand) Far Cry 2 Sure there are some sloppy ports out there, but they're the exception, not the rule these days. Fanboys love to crow about how the 360 is superior because if you squint just right and tilt your head to the side in a certain lighting a texture of a bush looked a bit better on their console but any gamer will tell you that slight graphical differences trump not being able to play all your games because your system is busted, any day.

darkride66
darkride66

DiscGuru101 said "Sony has lost almost all of its exclusives." Third party exclusives, not in house developed stuff. Last I checked, Sony's 26 internal studios were still developing for Sony. Go figure. "Sony is bleeding cash like never before." Last I checked, Sony Computer Entertainment was in the black.

GhostStalkerX1
GhostStalkerX1

All this hate towards each others game system. Wonder what ppl would do if MS and SOny merged to make one system. Hypotheticaly of course, but I wonder.......

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

darkride66 Posted Oct 28, 2008 12:42 pm PT @ Yuck_Too. So rather than verify whether its true or not, you'd just rather dismiss it. Nice. ~~~ I'm sorry are you trying to be obtuse today...I thought it was plain and obvious that I said your "article" was several months old and still un-verified. As for Fallout 3...metacritic agrees on average the PS3 suffers graphic problems...like it or not GS is not just simply site being "anti-Sony" as you would have people believe...it's the majority of them.

It's just the way things are, that go against how you would like them to be.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

@darkride66: "Gamespot is notoriously anti-Sony" Oh brother. Leaning coverage to the more popular system is not anti-Sony, it's trendy. When PS2 was hot, people cried that Gamespot was anti-Xbox. I didn't see it then, or now. Again I say, write them a letter or stick to Playstation.com but do not keep spamming it.

nintendokid
nintendokid

You must really love to get proven wrong. IGN has Fallout 3 scored at 9.4 for the PS3 and 9.6 for the 360. Small difference, yes. But you asked and I presented. IGN states: And yes, Bully was better on the PS2! The 360 version is full of glitches and bugs! Sure, it is more crisp thanks to the hardware, but it wasn't meant to run on 360. So by that concept you have proven yourself wrong. GameSpot isn't as pro-XBOX as you claim because they scored the 360 version almost two full points below the PS2 version and one full point below the Wii version, acknowledging the horrible glitches. Thank you. Bully is a re-release. A 2006 game and as you stated earlier, we shouldn't talk about the past. So let's talk about the here and now. 360 vs PS3 multiplatform games. Want some more?

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

@darkride66: I think thou dost protest too much. Sony has lost almost all of its exclusives. This is a matter of common knowledge and admitted to by Sony itself. -Times are changing. The PS3 surge is over, and Sony is bleeding cash like never before.

darkride66
darkride66

@ nintendokid. You know, Bully was way better on the PS2 vs the 360 port. That must mean the 360 is inferior to the PS2 following your logic.

darkride66
darkride66

@ nintendokid. Please. Gamespot is notariously anti-Sony, known the internet over and they prove it again and again. It probably comes from being owned by CBS - who have a partnership with Microsoft and have exclusive deals to deliver their shows via XBL. Gamespot has given Fallout on of the lowest scores going and they certainly aren't the only ones to notice slight graphical differences. Does that equate to "poor quality graphics"? Of course not. @ PRforce97. He asked. I answered. Obviously those features don't matter to you - but that doesn't instantly negate them, it just means that maybe the PS3 isn't for you. Personally, I prefer hard copies for movies as well, but some like digital distribution. I thought that was a nice option to mention. Play what you like.

PRforce97
PRforce97

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

PRforce97
PRforce97

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

nintendokid
nintendokid

@darkride66 Baja is a 2008 game and just came out recently. As Yuck_Too pointed out, Fallout 3 scored 8.5 on the PS3 vs 9.0 on 360. Quoted from GameSpot's review: You are right, this is not 2007 anymore, this is 2008. Same problems, different year. Some guy in a suit with a Sony employee badge told you that the PS3 is superior and you took it as gospel truth. Why don't you open your eyes, read some facts, look at the stats, and come to your own conclusions instead of paraphrasing Sony PR propaganda.

darkride66
darkride66

@ Yuck_Too. So rather than verify whether its true or not, you'd just rather dismiss it. Nice. Also, you said "Don't forget Fallout 3...same issues with poor graphics once again." Yeah, and it's such an issue, IGN gave the PS3 version a 9.4 and said "Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions look great, even if they do suffer from occasional framerate issues that cause the game to stutter. The difference in looks between the two console versions is small." Yeah, that just screams "poor graphics" doesn't it? I suppose if you're one of those guys who runs up to a wall and compares the concrete texture to the screen print of the other console version you might notice the difference if the light hits it just so and you squint just right. But if you did that you'd be a huge tool and there'd be no hope for you anyway. Personally, if it's multiconsole and the differences are negligible, why not play on system with the reliable hardware? That just seems a no-brainer to me if you have the choice. I've been burned before waiting for my 360 console to be shipped back and not being able to play the bulk of my games. That'll change your gaming habits pretty quick.

darkride66
darkride66

FatalFist said "No body has ever been able to give me a real and valid reason for buying a PS3 ever." Well, the 120 games on the PS3 with metacritic scores of 75% and up should is enough to keep most gamers going for about 3 years even if nothing else was released. The Blu-Ray and Divx are great for the home theater guy, as well as support for Dolby TrueHD. The unit is quiet, the wi-fi will save you $100 vs the 360, the hardware is rock solid. Blu-Tooth support is nice for keyboards and headsets, PSN is great and free. We should see Home before year end, games are getting better and better (I still think the 360 peaked with Gears...let's hope Gears 2 raises the bar), you can not only rent but buy movies. And all that for the same price as a 360 Elite. Now that being said - if you already have a 360 I don't think there's any reason to switch, but if you're one of those 80 million PS2 owners that haven't commited to this gen yet - the PS3 is looking like a pretty good value.

PRforce97
PRforce97

I have all 3 systems ( 360, PS3, Wii) and I have to say I play my 360 ALOT more of the three. Xbox has the best online format and I dont care when people say "PS3 online is free and Xbox you gotta pay for" that is a lame excuse because it's only $50 a year. That is less then an actual game. If I had an option to pay for a PS3 online version of Xbox's online I would. My PS3 is just used to play Blu Ray movies and Metal Gear Solid but from what I hear even that game will be heading to Xbox 360 soon.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

As for darkride66's comment about the revenue numbers, that topic has been floating around since June and yet EA reports have never actually come out much less the others, so it's a better bet that was fanboi musings. All you have to do it look at the numbers, 360 titles have always outsold PS3 titles on multi-platform versions, and the 360 has had just as many exclusives, so how that could possibly equate into larger revenue for PS3 is beyond me. Unless I missed something like it costs $10 for a PS3 title (sarcasm). But all that aside Revenue does not mean anything...Heck EA lost how many $10's of Millions this year on increased revenue.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

--nintendokid-- Don't forget Fallout 3...same issues with poor graphics once again.

darkride66
darkride66

@ nintendokid. You're right. There were a handful of 360 ports to the PS3 that didn't stack up - mostly in the first year the PS3 was out. Now we hardly see any of this as more and more developers either have a handle on the PS3 hardware or are using the PS3 as the lead console for development. I know the point of your post is to somehow make it seem like the handful of inferior ports are somehow a reflection on the PS3's capabilites - but anyone with eyes who's played MGS4, LBP or seen trailers for RFOM2, Killzone 2 or Heavy Rain knows that all doubts to the PS3's graphical capabilities were put to rest when Uncharted and Ratchet and Clank came out. This isn't 2007 anymore.

nintendokid
nintendokid

@darkride66 scored 8.5 on both but everyone knows that the PS3 version was inferior with its pathetic 30fps.

FatalFist
FatalFist

No body has ever been able to give me a real and valid reason for buying a PS3 ever....Sony fanboys, just cant swallow the fact that the PS2 times are over!. The 360 pwns all.

darkride66
darkride66

DiscGuru101 said "There are no "Sony Devs" anymore. Virtually everyone has gone multi-platform." Well, that's just a lie. Sony has the most in-house studios, and just recently announced they're expanding as well. And third party developers are finding the PS3 is moving software as well. EA reported in their earnings that the PS3 accounted for 17% of their revenue vs the 360's 10%, Namco Bandi says the PS3 is moving 57% more software than the 360, Konami said 57% of sales last quarter were to the PS3 and Ubisoft said the PS3 made up 20% of it's sales for the last 6 months vs the 360's 14%. Not bad considering the 360 still has a 5 million console lead over the PS3. The times, they are a changing.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

@Azuki: There are no "Sony Devs" anymore. Virtually everyone has gone multi-platform.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

"ominously, net profits were off a substantial 47.4 percent over a year prior" -That is a crazy amount of money by the way.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

--smc_sewer-- Sony support has always been abysmal...but after 12+ years of it what else would you expect.

tawagivercetti
tawagivercetti

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

smc_sewer
smc_sewer

Bahh who cares. after update 2.40 bricked my console and sony's statement over the phone to me they can side down to ruin as far as i'm concerned..the nerve of them making an update that not only stuffed the PS3 but wanting $350aus to repair it

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

Sony better make it through this cos they make the Greatest Full HDTV's in the whole world and i'm planning on getting a PS3 soon. Seriously, the only reson why M(b)$ is still going strong is because Bill Gates (who is a great person and donates millions and million of dollars to people in third world countries every year) doesn't own the place anymore and you have to pay for membership fees.

Kaspii00
Kaspii00

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

The UK is going to be in recession just in time for Christmas. Sales of games and consoles is going to be very poor indeed this year.

robbie_sla
robbie_sla

time to finally chip in to support the company i hold dearest to my heart :'(

Jebril
Jebril

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

king_bobo
king_bobo

I guess this is why they're not going to rethink the PSP 3000. It's a real shame because it had so much potential. I just hope, so much, that they release another PSP that fixes the screen problems and adds a load more stuff. I know it doesn't contribute much to their overall business, but the PSP 3000's screen certainly hasn't helped Sony.

darkride66
darkride66

@ thingta42. Huh. I didn't agree with a single point you made. First off you're operating under the assumption that the PS3 is somehow just another games console. It's not, nor has it ever been marketed as such. It's a full featured entertainment hub - and considering the features packed into it it's still a value at $400. Just a wireless adapter alone for the 360 costs half the price of the console. Secondly it was only a handful of games that looked slightly better on the 360 - and a handful of games look better on the PS3. Most reviewers don't even think there's a difference and you'll almost never see a review score lower on the PS3. Your argument about release titles is moot - that was 2 years ago, and the 360 had diddly when it launched as well. After I finished King Kong and COD2 I ended up playing Joust of 6 months waiting for more games on the 360, and the PS3 was no different. The 360 screamed exclusives...back in 2007. This year it's been pretty anemic and if it weren't for Fable 2 and Gears 2 it would have been pretty much a blowout for the PS3 in 2008. Actually, I will agree with one thing. The Wii is doing really well. Based on your whole post I'd have to ask... do you own a PS3? It certainly doesn't sound like it, you just seem to be regurgitating a lot of ideas that uninformed fanboys love to through out on these forums - not a one of which is actually based in fact. You claim you're not a fanboy and yet you sound just like those Sony guys that say every 360 is defective, all it has is shooters..etc...etc. It's all just the same old system wars crap that has no basis in what's actually going on.

UltimateRAGEX
UltimateRAGEX

Ooh... it's not looking good for Sony is it... *shakes head*

thingta42
thingta42

PS3 Fails for number of real life reasons And NO! im not a Fanboy Hating Sony i have a Mindfull View on all three Major Game Companys and having 15 years of Gaming Experince i just whana share my view on this whats happening with dear sony. 1. Games you can get on a ps3 you can get on 360 apart from a few Exclusives(MGS4 etc) and with the 360 Price drops the 360 is becomming a better console than the ps3. Iwont buy a PS3 for that reason Too Expensive and the games aint worth it 2.PS3 had poor selection of Release titles and the price of the PS3 when it came out compaired to the 360 was expensive, 3. 360 is known to play better and the games Generaly look better. 4. MSG4 Might come to 360 they are alot of Rumours about it and if its true then PS3s flagship title is gonna be on 360 4, 360 screams Exlusives that PS3 dont have i can name 2 killer Apps Halo 3 and Geard of War 1 & 2 5. Wii is Beating Both Consoles hands down with the Casual aproach and getting people who are not gamers to play the Wii 6. the PS3 is Targeting the Gamer and not the people who have not got a Console, The Downfall of the PS3 is Close it how many years i have no idea alot of the Developers will go to 360 and Wii (Square Enix might go back to a Nintendo Console or Wii and 360) I love Sony they Have made some great Hardware and PS2 is still good,

heavymetalzplin
heavymetalzplin

no wonder the xbox 360 is outselling the ps3, just look at the online environment and the game exclusives for both consoles.

Azuki
Azuki

So basically because of microsoft we're potentially going to lose the greatest electronic goods company of all time or at the very least there entire games division. I look forward to 200 dollar video games and having to buy a new 'box' every 3 years with a subscription fee of 50 dollars a month just to be able to play my games. I wonder what would happen to all those sony devs in that scenario.

lamprey263
lamprey263

Well, I thought Sony was hurting last year, being as they were only able to turn a profit by selling their chip factory to Toshiba and selling 40% of their shares for their financial services. Still, I think their fiscal year (ending in late March) will get a bump considering the mandated change regarding United States television broadcasting to go all high definition. After all, if they're hurting then now's a good time to drop the price of their televisions when Americans will be desiring HDTVs. I think this will give all electronics companies a nice bump. It may not give them the rebound they need but at the very least it should soften their losses.

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

It will only be a matter before time before the PS3 is retired, Sony is left only with the PS2 because they wasted billions on R&D for PS3 that they don't even have plans for a PS4 and the door will be open for SEGA to re-enter the console market.

AngelsongCA
AngelsongCA

Yes we all know Sony is dropping their projections, and the PS3 is still comfortably in last place in the console race. I mean when you hear XBOX 360 is selling more than PS3 in Japan, you know something is wrong. In addition XBOX 360 is gaining momentum and with this debt filled economy it will only move further ahead come the holiday season due to the price drops. Soon Sony will probably be posting loss projections.

darkride66
darkride66

@ Yuck_Too. I'm not bashing, and I'm not arguing with buy low/sell high. Greedy when others are fearful, fearful when others are greedy. I 100% agree, I just didn't realize that's what you were trying to say at first. You were making unsupported statements about Sony's current financial woes when the answers had nothing to do with what you were stating. I appreciate the stock lesson though, but your reasons for bashing Sony aren't supported. You know, you don't have to argue with everything I say. Just admit that I'm most likely right given the same thing is going on with the other Japanese electronics ADR's and you're just voicing your own personal dislikes with the company.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

--darkride66-- "Yeah, thanks. Sell high, buy low. Genius. You should write a book, I've never heard that one." ~~~ Why, no one would read it, much less actually understand the concept. Too much greed, laziness and arrogance out there on the top side. And too much fear, loathing and ignorance on the flip side. You don't need to be a day trader or a simplistic buy and hold investor. There is a wonderfully lucrative market for investors based off common news and monthly timeframes. Markets setting all time highs and economic conditions simply not supporting those outcomes. Then more and more people announcing more and more troubling signs and still even higher market values. Sell High, just that simple.

And if 12-months ago you had said you could buy Microsoft, GE or Sony stock for under $20 people would have died laughing. But now that is exactly where those stocks are and what are people doing?...nothing, complaining, arguing, waiting. Buy low, again, just that simple. So trash me and my unfounded opinions all you like, my history has been plain, clear and now proven accurate, I'm still here and laughing. And now like I said, a far larger financial supporter of Sony then probably most here.

Fusible
Fusible

Sony has lost a considerable amount of it's value this year. In Jan. shares were at $57+ and today they opened up at $19.75 and hovered back up above $20+ it's not a good time at Sony. They have way to much invested in other areas. They need to sell off some assets to become buoyant.

darkride66
darkride66

Yuck_Too. Yeah, thanks. Sell high, buy low. Genius. You should write a book, I've never heard that one. I'm sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought you were saying you've made 60% recently during this turmoil we've been seeing, and that's what had me worried for you. Sorry. I won't make that mistake again.