Bureau Chief, Helsinki
Ritsuko's Feed
Feb 10, 2015

Canon to buy video surveillance leader Axis for $2.8 billion

TOKYO/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Canon Inc (7751.T: Quote, Profile, Research) made a 23.6 billion-Swedish-crown ($2.83 billion) offer for network video surveillance leader Axis AB (AXIS.ST: Quote, Profile, Research) on Tuesday — the biggest purchase ever for the Japanese firm trying to expand beyond a shrinking camera market.

Canon said it had launched a bid to buy all the Swedish company’s shares at 340 crowns apiece, a premium of nearly 50 percent to their closing price of 226.90 on Monday. At 1126 GMT (06:26 a.m. EST), shares of Axis were up 48 percent at 336.50 crowns.

Feb 5, 2015

Sony shares post biggest daily gain in nine years after upgrading outlook

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp’s (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) shares surged on Thursday to post their biggest daily gain in nine years after the consumer electronics and entertainment group lifted its full-year forecast, raising hopes its restructuring efforts were finally bearing fruit.

Backed by cost cuts and stronger sales of sensors and videogames, Sony on Wednesday trimmed its net loss estimate for the year through end-March and forecast a full-year operating profit instead of a loss.

Feb 3, 2015

Japan tech strategy shifts see Sharp skid as Panasonic prospers

TOKYO (Reuters) – In an industry dominated by Apple Inc APPL.O, Samsung Electronics Co (005930.KS: Quote, Profile, Research) and other Asian firms, the differing strategies used by Japan’s technology firms to try to cope have led to losses for some and profits for others.

On Tuesday, Osaka-based Sharp Corp (6753.T: Quote, Profile, Research) warned it will slip into its third annual net loss in four years, saying a supply glut squeezed sales of smartphone displays in China, the business line it had counted on for growth. Best known for the Aquos TV brand, it said it’s now rethinking its businesses.

Feb 3, 2015

Japan’s Sharp sees third loss in four years as smartphone display sales sag

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese electronics supplier Sharp Corp warned it will slip into its third annual net loss in four years as fierce pricing competition saps sales of smartphone displays, the business line it had been counting on for growth.

Reporting it reversed into a net loss for the quarter ended December, Sharp said on Tuesday it will rethink strategy as it expects to book a net loss of 30 billion yen ($256 million) this fiscal year, compared with the 30 billion net profit it previously forecast. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a full-year net profit of 22.4 billion yen.

Feb 3, 2015

Japan’s Sharp sees 3rd loss in 4 years as smartphone display sales sag

TOKYO, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Japanese electronics supplier Sharp
Corp warned it will slip into its third annual net loss
in four years as fierce pricing competition saps sales of
smartphone displays, the business line it had been counting on
for growth.

Reporting it reversed into a net loss for the quarter ended
December, Sharp said on Tuesday it will rethink strategy as it
expects to book a net loss of 30 billion yen ($256 million) this
fiscal year, compared with the 30 billion net profit it
previously forecast. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had
expected a full-year net profit of 22.4 billion yen.

Jan 28, 2015

Nintendo says slack console sales to hit operating profit, weak yen to lift bottom line

TOKYO/OSAKA (Reuters) – Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co on Wednesday issued a profit warning with a silver lining – even as it sells fewer consoles, the sharp weakening of the yen means overseas sales will inflate its net income this fiscal year.

The home of famed game characters like Mario the plumber said sales of its 3DS handheld device came up short in the year-end holiday season amid intense competition. While operating profit still grew nearly 50 percent in October-December from a year earlier, the third quarter is Nintendo’s biggest by far and it won’t make up the shortfall by end-March.

Jan 20, 2015

Itochu, CP Group to invest $10 billion in China’s Citic

TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Japanese trading house Itochu Corp and Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) said on Tuesday that they plan to jointly invest $10 billion in Citic Ltd, part of China’s oldest and biggest conglomerate.

Itochu and CP Group plan to take a joint stake of 20 percent in Citic Ltd, increasing their exposure to the world’s second-biggest economy even as it slows from the blistering growth of the past decade.

Jan 12, 2015

Sony CEO eyes options as pressure mounts on weak TV, mobile

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Sony Corp CEO Kazuo Hirai has weathered a crisis over a cyberattack on its Hollywood studio and its controversial comedy “The Interview”, but his toughest moment may be just arriving as he prepares a new business revival plan.

After failing to turn around the storied creator of the Walkman since taking the helm in April 2012, Hirai and his deputies are now open to options including sales and joint ventures for its money-losing TV and mobile phone operations, company officials familiar with the leadership’s thinking say.

Jan 6, 2015

Sony CEO sees no major financial impact from cyber attack

LAS VEGAS, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Sony Corp Chief
Executive Kazuo Hirai on Tuesday said he does not expect the
November cyber attack on the company’s film studio to have a
significant financial impact, two weeks after the studio rolled
out the movie at the heart of the attack.

The studio, Sony Pictures Entertainment, said separately
that the film, “The Interview,” has generated revenue of $36
million.

Jan 6, 2015

Sony CEO praises employees, partners for standing up to hackers

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Sony Corp Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai on Monday praised employees and partners of the company’s Hollywood movie studio for standing up to “extortionist efforts” of hackers who attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment.

In his first public comments on the massive cyberattack, which the U.S. government has blamed on North Korea, Hirai said current and former employees of the studio were “the victims of one of the most vicious and malicious cyberattacks we have known in recent history.”