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Sharp Widens Annual Net Loss Forecast To $4.7 Bln

Sharp Corp. (SHCAY.PK) on Tuesday widened its annual loss forecast which would be the biggest annual loss in its 99-year history. The Japanese TV maker now expects a net loss of 380 billion yen or about $4.7 billion for the fiscal year.

The company revised the view following delays in shipments of liquid crystal displays, slumping television sales, currency weaknesses, as well as higher restructuring expenses. This is the third downward revision for the year ended March 31.

The company's February forecast of 290 billion yen loss was reversed from earlier forecast for a profit of 6 billion yen, on declining prices for its Aquos televisions, an economic slowdown and a tax charge. Loss per share is now projected to be 345.35 yen, compared to prior estimate of loss of 263.56 yen per share.

Revenue for the year is now expected to be 2.45 trillion yen, lower than previous forecast of 2.55 trillion yen. Operating loss would be 40 billion yen for the year, compared to a breakeven forecast earlier.

Sharp plans to release its earnings for the fiscal year on April 27. The company is looking for a hefty investment from Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group, the assembler of Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPads, and its founder Terry Gou.

Earlier in the day, Sharp's domestic rival Sony Corp. (SNE) more than doubled its annual net loss forecast to 520 billion yen or about $6.41 billion as it takes a tax charge. The Japanese consumer electronics and entertainment firm, which is going through the worst phase in its history, however, expects to return to positive operating results in the next year on foreign exchange impact.

The electronic giants are loosing their markets to foreign rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., with the effects of a strengthening yen and a stuttering global economy impacting its results. Both Sharp and Sony recently replaced their respective top executives aiming to boost turnaround efforts.

In Japan, Sharp shares closed Today's trading at 530 yen, down 24 yen or 4.3 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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