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Sony Corporation (SNE)

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  • Aug. 6, 2013, 4:57 AM
    • Third Point plans to continue talks with Sony (SNE) and look at "further options to create value" for shareholders after the latter rejected a proposal from Daniel Loeb's fund to partially list its entertainment arm.
    • Sony intends to improve transparency at the division, including providing revenue figures for certain categories of its pictures and music segments.
    • However, Loeb, who holds 7% in Sony, wants the company to provide more specific plans about how it will improve the performance of the unit.
    • Sony's shares -4.6% in Tokyo.
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  • Aug. 5, 2013, 7:34 PM
    • Sony's (SNE) board has rejected Dan Loeb's proposal to spin off the company's entertainment ops in an IPO by a unanimous vote.
    • The company asserts 100% ownership of its entertainment ops is crucial to its success.
    • Shares -2.1% AH
    • More on Loeb/Sony
    | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 2, 2013, 5:02 PM
    • George Clooney doesn't pull any punches while attacking Dan Loeb's critical view of the performance of Sony's (SNE -1.5%) studio ops.
    • Playing the role of a populist, Clooney accuses Loeb of "trying to spread a climate of fear that pushes studios to want to make only tent poles," and of failing to note Sony's recent successful releases, including some unconventional winners.
    • On top of calling for the spinoff of Sony's entertainment ops, Loeb has been upset over the box office numbers delivered by big-budget Sony summer releases After Earth and White House Down. He also bemoans a lack of new hit Sony TV shows, and declares the company "has missed the market for unscripted television."
    • Loeb thinks an entertainment spinoff/IPO would yield accountability for the division's missteps. "While CEO [Kazuo] Hirai focuses on Electronics, Entertainment is in desperate need of proper supervision."
    • Sony's Pictures division saw a 16% Y/Y revenue drop (in dollars) to $1.61B in the June quarter. Operating income only amounted to $38M, and would've been -$68M if not for the $106M sale of the division's music publishing catalog.
    • More on Loeb/Sony
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  • Aug. 1, 2013, 3:06 AM
    • Sony (SNE): FQ1 net profit ¥3.48B ($35.38M) vs loss of ¥24.64B a year earlier and forecasts of ¥4B.
    • Sales +13% to ¥1.71T vs consensus of ¥1.64T.
    • Operating profit jumps nearly six-fold to ¥36.35B vs ¥25.25B.
    • Maintains FY forecast for a net profit of ¥50B and an operating profit of ¥230B, but raises its sales projection by 5% to Y7.9T.
    • Earnings lifted by weak yen and the increase in Japan's stock market, which has helped boost the returns of Sony's financial division.
    • The board said it is still discussing Third Point's proposal to spin off Sony's entertainment business to raise cash to turn the electronics business around. The remarks contradict a report that Sony has ruled out Dan Loeb's plan. (PR)
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  • Jul. 31, 2013, 2:09 PM
    • Sony (SNE -2.2%) won't spin off its entertainment business despite pressure from Third Point and other investors, according to a report in Nikkei.
    • Shares of Sony have put in a volatile session with volume already twice the stock's daily average.
    | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 29, 2013, 3:19 PM
    • Criticism of the current board and management at Sony (SNE -1.3%) is dialed up a few notches, although the overall tone of Third Point's letter is positive.
    • Dan Loeb says Sony will benefit from economic headwinds.
    • On the upcoming PlayStation 4, Loeb notes "the visible improvement in Sony’s new products has caused us to rethink our approach to valuing Electronics." He thinks devices and games can help make up for the slim margins with Sony's TV business.
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  • Jul. 12, 2013, 11:54 AM
    The Chinese government is reportedly planning to end a 13-year ban on game console sales, on the condition the consoles are made in a proposed Shanghai free trade zone. The legalization of console sales could be a modest negative for Chinese online gaming firms such as NTES, GA, GAME, PWRD, CYOU, and TCEHY.PK, but TechInAsia thinks Sony (SNE) and Nintendo (NTDOY.PK) investors shouldn't rush to celebrate. Consoles aren't hard to find on the black market today, and buyers tend to go for hacked systems that support pirated games. On the other hand, legalization will allow console vendors to advertise in China and sell translated titles.
    | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 12, 2013, 7:53 AM
    Sony (SNE +2%) plans to launch two new versions of its AXN-branded pay-TV channel in central Europe. AXN is a valuable Sony property which has taken on heightened importance as TV viewing moves to mobile.
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  • Jul. 10, 2013, 2:55 PM
    T-Mobile USA (TMUS -0.1%) announces its rumored Jump upgrade plan. For $10/month, customers can trade in their phones twice a year, for the same price paid by new customers (in tandem with installment plans) or less. The #4 U.S. carrier is also launching a family plan for the ~1/3 of U.S. customers whose credit isn't strong enough for a regular postpaid plan, and (as expected) announcing it's selling Sony's (SNE) Xperia Z and Nokia's (NOK) Lumia 925. Also: CEO John Legere tries to counter the view the iPhone is solely responsible for T-Mobile's recent postpaid strength. He claims the iPhone (AAPL) made up 39% of April smartphone sales, but only 29% of May sales, and that May was the stronger month for the carrier. (live blog)
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  • Jul. 10, 2013, 8:11 AM
    China's box office soared 36% to 10.99B yuan ($1.79B) during the first half of the year as the nation remains on track to pass the U.S. as the world's largest market for films before the end of the decade. While Hollywood studios continue to fine-tune their approach to adapting films for Chinese audiences (Iron Man 3 was a major success in H1 while Djiango Unchained (SNE) was an unmitigated disaster) - IMAX (IMAX) is the major film industry company that is the purest play on China.
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  • Jul. 3, 2013, 10:19 AM
    Movie studios continue to make up ground for a slow start to the year with June box office sales soaring to $1.25B to smash the previous record for the month. Disney (DIS +0.1%) and Lion's Gate (LGF +0.6%) have put up the most impressive numbers for the first half of the year, while Sony's (SNE -1.3%) studio has been a major disappointment. What to watch: A huge 4th of July weekend showdown features Disney's high-budget The Lone Ranger vs. Despicable Me 2 (CMCSA), with the resilient World War Z (VIAB) and Monsters University still big factors.
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  • Jul. 1, 2013, 7:21 AM
    Box office report: Disney (DIS) movie Monsters University dominated the weekend box office as the Pixar movie took in $46.1M during the film's second weekend for U.S. audiences. Fox (FOXA) film The Heat took second place to surprise, while Sony's (SNE) summer of discontent continued with White House Down debuting with a disappointing with a $25.7M weekend. Time Warner's (TWX) Man of Steel lost more momentum with the field crowded, and could fall short of analyst estimates for summer box office sales.
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  • Jun. 28, 2013, 8:21 AM
    Sony (SNE) discloses in a SEC filing that it sold video and medical equipment to a dealer in Dubai that then resold the products to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions against the nation. By the letter of the law, the U.S. government could seek fines against Sony. (20-F)
    | 1 Comment
  • Jun. 27, 2013, 7:10 AM
    Smart TVs and 50-inch LCD TVs are selling well in Taiwan, according to Digitimes. Industry analysts see broad strength for Smart TVs in Asia with penetration rates tipped to go as high as 50% in China in 2014. Sellers: Samsung (SSNLF.PK), Sharp (SHCAY.PK), Panasonic (PC), Sony (SNE).
    | 1 Comment
  • Jun. 25, 2013, 10:37 AM
    Ahead of the much-rumored iWatch and possible rival offerings from Google, Samsung, and Microsoft, Sony (SNE +1.9%) is launching the SmartWatch 2, a wristwatch with a 1.6," 220x176, touchscreen display, Android-like home, back, and menu buttons. Its main purpose (other than to tell the time) is to control, pull in data (maps, e-mail, etc.), and show off notifications from a paired Android phone. The original SmartWatch didn't receive great reviews. Sony is also unveiling the Xperia Z Ultra, a 6.4" "phone" with a 1080p display and Qualcomm's high-end Snapdragon 800 processor. Sony sold 8.1M units of the regular Xperia Z (5" display) in Q1.
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  • Jun. 25, 2013, 7:21 AM
    Sony (SNE) expands its unlimited streaming music service and plans to cut prices in half in order to turn up the heat on Spotify. Subscribers of the company's Music Unlimited service will have access to over 20M songs at less than $5 per month.
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Company Description
Sony Corp is engaged in the development, design, manufacture, and sale of various kinds of electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional and industrial markets as well as game consoles and software.
Country: Japan