Sony Corporation - Restructuring Continues, Problems Remain

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR361
Case Length : 22 Pages
Period : 1995-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Sony Corporation
Industry : Consumer Electronics
Countries : Japan

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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“Seven out of eight years, Sony has failed to meet its own initial operating profit forecast. This is probably the worst track record amongst most major exporters. That means that either management is not able to anticipate challenges... or they fail on execution almost every time. Either way, it does not reflect well on Sony's management.” 1

- Atul Goyal, Analyst, CLSA2, in January 2009.

Sony in Crisis, Again

In May 2009, Japan-based multinational conglomerate, Sony Corporation (Sony) announced that it posted its first full year operating loss since 1995, and only its second since 1958, for the fiscal year ending March 2009. Sony announced annual loss of 98.9 billion3, with annual sales going down by 12.9% to 7.73 trillion. Sony also warned that with consumers worldwide cutting back on spending in light of the recession, the losses could be to the extent of 120 billion for the year ending March 2010 (Refer to Exhibit IA for Sony's five year financial summary and Exhibit IB for operating loss by business segment).

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1] Tina Wang, “Earnings Collapse Looming for Sony,” www.forbes.com, January 13, 2009.
2] Headquartered in Hong Kong, CLSA is a leading equity broker in the Asia-Pacific markets. The services provided by CLSA include broking, investment banking, and asset management.
3] 1 US$ ≈ 93.25 as of August 31, 2009.


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