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Sony Corporation (SNE)

- NYSE
  • Dec. 11, 2014, 2:28 PM
    • Nielsen reports that so-called digitals, what the company calls consumers aged between 12 and 24, saw 7.1 movies in theaters this year - compared to the 8.4 movies the group saw the previous year.
    • Moviegoers between the ages of 25 and 44 increased the number of theater trips this year to 8.1 from 7.7 in 2013.
    • No great surprise, but digitals increased the amount of content they streamed this year, including more full-length movies.
    • Perhaps of interest to studios (LGF, SNE, CMCSA, TWX, FOXA, DIS), a majority of digitals say they trust trailers and the opinions of friends over movie commercials aired on TV.
    • Full Nielsen report
    • Theater stocks: CKEC, AMC, CNK, RLD, IMAX, RDI, MCS.
    | 4 Comments
  • Dec. 11, 2014, 2:12 PM
    • The PS4 (SNE +0.5%) will become (legally) available in China on Jan. 11 at a price of RMB2,899 ($468).
    • The Xbox One went on sale in China on Sep. 29 at a price of RMB3,699 ($568), following the lifting of a 14-year ban on foreign console sales. Microsoft is reportedly aiming for 1M Chinese sales in the One's first year of availability.
    • Both Sony and Microsoft have to contend with the enormous popularity of PC gaming in the Middle Kingdom, as well as content censorship and the availability of black-market consoles that can run pirated games.
    • Sony had sold 13.5M PS4s globally as of the end of its calendar Q3. The Xbox One hit 10M sales in November.
    | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 11, 2014, 10:27 AM
    • An official with the FBI testified in front of a Senate committee that the malware used during the hacking incident at Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) would have sailed past 90% of the cybersecurity systems in the private industry.
    • The analysis could help Sony as it faces a myriad of legal issues tied to the breach.
    • Previously: Legal quicksand for Sony after breach (Dec. 10 2014)
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  • Dec. 10, 2014, 11:06 AM
    • The sophisticated hacking incident at Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) could put the company into a legal and financial bind for years if it's found to have been negligent in protecting its network, according to an assessment from The Hollywood Reporter.
    • Class-action: Attorneys now have mounds of inside information at their disposal as they consider discrimination claims of different varieties.
    • Deals: Media companies looking to do distribution or rights deals with Sony can compare pricing on similar contracts, while current Sony distribution partners might claim Sony violated NDA clauses.
    • Privacy: Employees have a valid complaint after social security numbers and personal information were leaked. Even actors are in the mix with the breach exposing data on hundreds of well-known stars (sorry Rambo) - while other could use disclosed contract information as bargaining chips in future movie deals.
    | 2 Comments
  • Dec. 8, 2014, 7:15 AM
    • Sony's (NYSE:SNE) online PlayStation store was inaccessible to users on Monday, with a twitter group called Lizard Squad taking credit for the outage.
    • The hack is most recent in a series to hit Sony. A major cyber attack took down the network at Sony Pictures for the last two weeks.
    • In August, Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for a disruption to the PlayStation network and warned that explosives might be on a flight that included Sony exec John Smedley.
    | 4 Comments
  • Dec. 7, 2014, 4:21 AM
    • "The bottom line is that this was an unparalleled and well planned crime, carried out by an organized group," wrote Kevin Mandia, the top executive at FireEye's (NASDAQ:FEYE) Mandiant forensics unit, in an email to Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) CEO Michael Lynton.
    • "The scope of this attack differs from any we have responded to in the past, as its purpose was to both destroy property and release confidential information to the public," added Mandia.
    • Restoring Sony's network is taking a considerable amount of time, as each drive needs to be manually replaced or re-imaged, making them expensive to repair.
    • Questions regarding the extent of damage and who was behind the attack still remain, although reports suggest that North Korea is still the prime suspect.
    | 41 Comments
  • Dec. 5, 2014, 3:18 AM
    • It now appears that the cyber attack on Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) revealed far more personal information than previously believed, WSJ reports.
    • The leaked files included the Social Security numbers of more than 47,000 current and former employees as well as Hollywood celebrities.
    • Sony, the FBI and computer-security firm FireEye continue to say that the hackers used methods similar to ones previously attributed to North Korea.
    | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 3, 2014, 1:32 PM
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  • Dec. 3, 2014, 12:50 PM
    • 10% of all U.S. households with broadband purchased a streaming box during the first three quarters of 2014, according to Parks Associates.
    • The rapid growth of OTT devices (Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV) in the U.S. households bodes well for new streaming entrants such as Showtime (NYSE:CBS) and Sony (NYSE:SNE), note analysts.
    • Recent forecasts have also pushed higher the addressable streaming household market in the U.S. for Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).
    | 3 Comments
  • Dec. 3, 2014, 7:43 AM
    • Americans decreased the amount of daily time spent watching TV by 4.4% Y/Y to 4 hours and 32 minutes in Q3, according to a new report from Nielsen.
    • The amount of time viewing video on the Internet and time-shifted content both rose during the quarter.
    • "What used to be a schedule to watch programming now seems like little more than a suggestion," observes Nielsen.
    • This year's upfront ad meetings saw flat sales for broadcast networks and a 6% decline in ad sales for cable networks.
    • Related stocks: NFLX, FOXA, CBS, CMCSA, DIS, SNE, AMCX, TWX, VIAB, DISCA, SNI.
    | 26 Comments
  • Dec. 2, 2014, 10:38 PM
    • Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) warns employees in an internal memo that some of their personal information may be in the hands of the hackers who disabled the studio's computer system last week.
    • The company is also dealing with leaked versions of new Sony movies circulating online and an anonymous Internet post listing salary information for management.
    • The FBI is investigating if the sophisticated hack was sponsored by the government of North Korea.
    • Previously: After the breach it's pen and paper at Sony Pictures
    | 3 Comments
  • Dec. 1, 2014, 1:52 AM
    • Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) has hired FireEye's (NASDAQ:FEYE) Mandiant forensics division to to help restore the studio's computer network nearly a week after a massive cyber attack paralyzed the company's systems.
    • The FBI has also been approached to investigate the illegal release of several films.
    • Some reports link the attack to Sony's upcoming release of The Interview, a comedy about a CIA attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
    • Previously: Sony investigates possible role of North Korea in hacking attack
    | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 29, 2014, 9:53 AM
    • Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) is investigating if a crippling hacking incident which took down its computer system could be the work of the North Korean government.
    • North Korea has threatened retaliation for an upcoming Sony comedy in which journalists are enlisted by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-Un.
    • Sources indicate a link between the serious hack and North Korea hasn't been confirmed.
    • Previously: After the breach it's pen and paper at Sony Pictures
    | 2 Comments
  • Nov. 28, 2014, 9:49 AM
    • The hacking incident at Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) appears to be serious with computer servers still offline and concerns growing that key corporate information was part of the breach.
    • The company has been quiet about the nature of the hack and over the growing speculation that private information on movie stars is in the hands of the hackers.
    • Workers at Sony Pictures have reported that pen and paper are being used at offices instead of computers.
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 26, 2014, 6:02 PM
    • Sony (NYSE:SNE) is prepping a smartwatch whose "face and wrist band will be made from a patented material that allows the entire surface area to function as a display and change its appearance," Bloomberg reports. The product could arrive as soon as next year.
    • Aside from providing more usable surface area, an e-paper smartwatch might also be less power-hungry than rival offerings using LCDs or OLEDs. The product is reportedly being developed by a new business unit created by CEO Kazuo Hirai to fast-track promising ideas (previous).
    • Sony's existing SmartWatch 3 (launched in September) features a 1.6" LCD, and (like many rival offerings) runs on Google's Android Wear platform. All signs suggest initial sales have been limited. The Apple Watch is expected to begin shipping in early 2015.
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  • Nov. 26, 2014, 8:08 AM
    • The FTC has announced that Sony (NYSE:SNE) Computer Entertainment America will issue millions of dollars in refunds to settle charges related to the rollout of its PlayStation Vita.
    • The FTC alleges that Sony falsely promised consumers that they would be able to pause games on their PS3 and continue them seamlessly on their PS Vita and also falsely implied that consumers who bought a PS Vita with a 3G connection could play live against other players.
    • Sony is expected to refund customers who bought a PS Vita before June 1, 2012 either $25 in cash or credit or a $50 voucher for merchandise including videogames.
    | Comment!
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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