The following is excerpted from IRG's weekly stock report:
Media, Entertainment and Gaming
• Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) announced its move to launch a video-sharing site in Japan, making the electronics and entertainment conglomerate the latest to enter the market dominated by Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ:GOOG)YouTube service. Sony said it aim to introduce the service abroad as well, but said it would like to see first how well the site is received in Japan before it decides on the overseas launch schedule. Earlier in March, News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) and NBC Universal (NYSE:GE) announced their plans to launch a free online video site this year, indicating the move of media firms to compete with popular video-sharing services.
• The Japanese arm of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced the opening of a virtual shopping mall that allows third parties to set up shops on its web site. Before this, Amazon Japan KK had previously focused on selling directly to consumers online. Industry observers see the move as boosting competition with existing shopping malls, such as Rakuten Inc.'s Rakuten Ichiba, the nation's largest online mall, and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) Japan Corp.'s Yahoo! Shopping portal. Amazon Japan KK had previously focused on selling directly to consumers online. The U.S. Amazon.com has launched similar services in the United States, Britain and Germany. The president of Amazon Japan said the selected companies would open stores on an invitation-only basis, a move aimed at maintaining the quality of products offered online. Even with the company not disclosing its sales in the country, the Japanese unit is estimated to have accounted for more than 10 percent of the company's global consolidated sales of US$10.7 billion in the year through December 2006.
• Trend Micro, Incorporated (TMIC) , a leader in network antivirus and Internet content security software and services, announced earnings results for the first quarter 2007, including record net sales for the first quarter 2007. The company posted net sales of 23.2 billion yen (US$ 194.9 million. The company posted operating income of 6.6 billion Yen (US$55.5 million) and net income of 4.3 billion Yen (US$36.45 million) for the quarter. The company said it has continued to see strong growth, led by a 20-percent year-over- year revenue increase in North America and 14-percent in Europe, this was followed by Asia Pacific and Japan at 10-percent and 6-percent growth respectively.
• Yahoo Japan Corp. released its forecasts of a group net profit of 14.7-16.6 million yen (US$123,000-139,000) and an operating profit of 28.1-30 million yen (US$235,000-251,000) forthe April-June quarter, almost flat from the previous quarter but registering up to 26 percent year-on-year growth. Yahoo Japan said it projects revenue of 55.6-58.2 billion yen (US$465 million-487 million) for April- June, flat from the previous quarter and up 13-18 pct from a year before. A top company official explained that Yahoo Japan has presented a slightly conservative sales estimate because its revenue share in the Yahoo! BB broadband Internet service will decrease based on a review of its contract with business partner Softbank BB Corp (OTCPK:SFTBF). For the year to March 2007, Yahoo Japan reported a 23.1 percent rise in its group net profit to 57.9 million yen (US$484,500) up from the previous year.
Disclaimer: IRG is not responsible for the accuracy of the news compiled within this article, which is based on publicly available information.