The following is excerpted from IRG's weekly stock report:
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• Sony Corp. (SNE) is still committed to its mobile handset joint venture with Sweden's L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. (ERIC) and has no plans to divest its stake in Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson expects a first-quarter pretax loss of 340 million euros (US$452 million) to 390 million euros (US$518 million). The loss estimate at Sony Ericsson is already reflected in Sony's net loss forecast of 150 billion yen (US$1.5 billion) for its fiscal full year ending March 31. Sony Ericsson has been largely dependent on high-end devices in developed markets, making it more exposed in areas that have been hardest hit by iPhone, as well as Samsung Electronics (SSNKF.PK) and LG Electronics (OTC:LGERF) both of which increased their global market share in the fourth quarter at Nokia's (NOK) and Sony Ericsson's expense.
• NTT DoCoMo Inc. (DCM) has completed its planned acquisition of 26 percent of the common shares of Indian mobile phone carrier Tata Teleservices Ltd. for 250 billion yen (US$2.6 billion). The Japanese mobile phone giant said it bought a 20 percent portion of Tata Teleservices through the issuance of new shares and purchased a 6 percent stake from existing shareholders in line with an accord signed in November 2008. The move shows how DoCoMo is tying to seek new sources of revenue in fast-growing markets outside Japan.