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Panasonic, Sharp expect red ink despite yen help

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 1, 2013 at 4:39 am •  Published: February 1, 2013

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese electronics makers Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp. both stuck to full year forecasts for massive losses even as results for the latest quarter got a boost from the weaker yen.

The two Osaka-based companies are among the Japanese electronics makers battered by price plunges in gadgets and hot competition from more successful rivals such as Apple Inc. and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co.

Panasonic reported a 61.4 billion yen ($667 million) profit for the October-December period Friday. It had a loss of 698 billion yen in the previous quarter and a loss of 197.6 billion yen a year earlier. Quarterly sales slipped 8 percent to 1.8 trillion yen ($19.6 billion).

The company, which makes Viera TVs and Lumix digital cameras, said global demand weakened for flat panel TVs and digital products and devices while sales grew in LED lighting and auto-related equipment.

Sharp, which makes Aquos TVs and solar panels, reported a smaller flow of red ink for October through December. Its quarterly net loss shrank to 36.7 billion yen ($399 million) from 173.6 billion yen a year earlier.

It posted an operating profit for the period, the first time in five quarters, thanks to a recovery in liquid-crystal panel TVs and devices for smartphones. The operating result excludes one-time gains and losses to provide a clearer picture of financial performance.

Key to its improving fortunes was a return to the black in flat-panel TV operations, which had lost money for a year until the latest quarter. Sharp is promising to return to profit for the fiscal year through March 2014.

Sharp's quarterly sales rose 15 percent to 678.2 billion yen ($7.4 billion).

But both companies left unchanged their dismal forecasts for massive losses for the fiscal year through March.

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