Sony (SNE): WSJ Sees Good Earnings, NYT Sees Bad

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Somewhere between The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, the signals got crossed. After Sony’s earnings announcement, Rupert Murdoch’s paper ran a headline saying "PC, Camera, Flat-Screen Sales Help Sony Swing To Net Profit" The financial publication went on to point out that "Sony’s results marked a reversal from a year ago as it trimmed losses in its struggling PlayStation 3 video game business. Sales were solid in liquid-crystal display TVs, digital cameras and Vaio computers." That sounds like a solid turnaround nearly finished.

Over at the newspaper of record, as the NYT is known, the headline said "Sony Reports Surprising Quarterly Loss". Did the company make money or not? Hard to tell. The Times writes that Sony "posted a surprise quarterly loss on Wednesday after a weak stock market ate into the value of securities held by its financial arm."

While Sony did narrow losses at its gaming division, it is cutting prices on the PS3 which could hurt margins. There is no guarantee that it can make further progress against the Nintendo Wii or Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox 360.

Maybe Sony broke even.

Douglas A. McIntyre