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Panasonic Rises As Sharp Slips

Panasonic Rises As Sharp Slips

The good news at Panasonic is in startk contrast to news cominmg out of Sharp and Sony. 

In an industry dominated by Apple, Samsung and LG Japanese Companies appear to be struggling to compete up against the Korean and US brands. 

Overnight Sharp 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.

Meanwhile Panasonic  has sought to reinvent itself as a maker of high-tech parts for cars and energy-efficient homes, shifting away from smartphones and TVs.

Like Sony which reports third-quarter earnings later today Sharp and Panasonic have been forced into restructuring their businesses in recent years after losing market share to Apple, LG and  Samsung and a raft of aggressive, cheaper Chinese manufacturers. In fiscal 2013 alone, Sharp and Panasonic combined piled up losses of about $11 billion.

“I believe it is my responsibility to compile a new business plan as soon as possible,” Sharp Chief Executive Officer Kozo Takahashi told reporters at a briefing in Tokyo on Tuesday. Sharp will present a new business plan around May, he said.

Reporting it reversed into a net loss for the quarter ended December, Sharp said it expects to book a net loss of $256 million this fiscal year through March, compared with the 30 billion net profit it previously forecast.

Takahashi said that in addition to pricing pressure, he was seeing a slowdown in smartphone sales in China that had left it with a supply glut that would take until the middle of the year to correct. “We’re aware that this is an extremely serious situation.”

After posting record losses, Panasonic along with rivals Sony and Sharp have launched painful restructuring as falling prices in the television business weighed on their bottom line.

As it moves away from consumer products, Panasonic is pulling the plug on its last remaining TV manufacturing factory in China and will reportedly sell its plant in Mexico owing to a sharp decline in television prices its TV business has lost money over the last six years.

It has also signed a deal with US electric carmaker Tesla to build a huge battery-making plant in the United States.

The company’s shares rose 0.74 percent to close at 1,357.5 JPY in Tokyo on Tuesday, before the results were published.