There was a time when names like Sharp
, Panasonic, and Sony
were the cream of the crop when it came to consumer electronics, but things have not been going well for any of those companies.
Sharp announced that it is unlikely to survive on its own after posting an expected net year loss of $5.6 billion, which is about double what it predicted for the time period. This is despite drastic measures to return to profitability that included a $1.1 billion restructuring this summer with bank loans, deep job cuts, and mortgaging its factories and other facilities. The Japan-based company is hoping that by leveraging its portfolio of technologies and persuading other companies such as Hon Hai to become larger shareholders.
"We have lots of great technology and we want to tap that asset to revive and make money”, Sharp CEO Takashi Okuda told Reuters. “But I can't say we are now a company with that vitality."
Sharp president Takashi Okuda (Image credit: Reuters)
A report also notes that Sony has slashed sales expectations for most of its products, including its handheld gaming devices, TVs, and digital cameras, although it expects PlayStation sales to hold firm. The company also expects to see a modest operating profit this spring. For its part, Panasonic saw about a 20% drop in its share price last week, which impacts its market value by around $3 billion.
The future of these companies is unclear, but what is apparent that barring some sudden fortunes, their time on top has passed.