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Thanks to the success of its restructuring (cost cutting) and strong sales of Bravia LCD TVs, Cyber-shot digital cameras, Sony-Ericsson cellphones and The Da Vinci Code, Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE) was able to overcome weakness and development costs in its Game segment, higher costs in its Pictures segment, and weakness in its Financial Services segment due to unfavorable conditions in the Japanese stock market, to return to profitability.

Positive foreign exchange impact also played a significant role, totaling +80.1 billion yen ($686m) for sales and operating revenue and +18.8 billion yen ($161m) for operating income.

For the quarter Sony increased sales and operating revenue by 11.2% y-o-y to 1.74 trillion yen ($14.9b). Operating income came in at 27 billion yen ($231m) after a loss of 6.6 billion yen ($56.5m) in Q1 last year. Income before income taxes totaled 54 billion yen ($462.3m), a 318.7% increase y-o-y. Equity in net income of affiliated companies was 3.6 billion yen ($30.8m) versus a loss last Q1 of 9.1 billion yen ($77.9m). Net income was 32.3 billion yen ($276.5m) after a loss in the same period last year of 7.3 billion yen ($62.5m). Net income per share 'basic' was 32.25 yen ($0.276) and 'diluted' was 30.75 yen ($0.263).

In its Electronics segment Sony boosted sales by 13.5% to 1.28 trillion yen ($10.96b) and recorded operating income of 47.4 billion yen ($405.8m) versus a loss of 26.7 billion yen ($228.6m) last Q1. Sony recorded increased sales in its Bravia LCD TVs, Cyber-shot digital cameras, and VAIO PCs (especially notebooks). Decreased sales were recorded for CRT TVs and plasma TVs. Sales of electronics were particularly strong in Europe with a 27% y-o-y increase. Domestic sales increased y-o-y by 17% and U.S. sales were up 10%.

Its Game segment suffered a 29.1% y-o-y decrease in sales to 122.5 billion yen ($1.05b) -- hurt by lower PS2 and PSP hardware sales and weaker overall software sales. The segment's operating loss expanded to 26.8 billion yen ($229.5m) versus a 5.9 billion yen ($50.5m) loss last Q1.

Its Pictures segment increased sales by 41.8% y-o-y to 204.8 billion yen ($1.75b) obviously boosted by the success of The Da Vinci Code, which according to Sony generated over $740 million at worldwide box offices. However, due to marketing costs and costs incurred for Q2 theatrical releases, operating income was negative at 1.2 billion yen ($10.3m) against 4.2 billion yen ($36m) of profit in Q1 last year.

Its Financial Services segment struggled against unfavorable conditions in the Japanese stock market. Revenue fell 19.3% to 124.1 billion yen ($1.06b) and operating income dropped 79.1% to 4.6 billion yen ($39.4m).

Click here to access Sony's investor relation's web site - Earnings Release section, or click here to directly access its Q1 financial results in .pdf format and click here to see its Q1 financial presentation, also in .pdf format.

Click here for Sony's earnings coverage by Yuri Kageyama of AP.

Sony's ordinary shares (Tokyo: 6758) gained 2.24% ahead of its earnings announcement to close at 5,020 yen ($42.98). Its ADRs closed yesterday up 0.70% at $42.95.

Sony Corp (SNE) 1-year chart:

Source: Sony Back in Black in Q1

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