Sony profits top estimates thanks to PlayStation and camera chips
Sony Corp.’s quarterly earnings beat analyst estimates, thanks to demand for smartphone camera chips, a healthy music business and brisk sales of PlayStation 4 consoles and games. Operating profit was 157.6 billion yen (£1.4 billion) in the fiscal first quarter that ended in June, beating analysts’ average projection for 133.3 billion yen. Net income was 80.9 billion yen, exceeding the prediction for 66.5 billion yen.
After a tumultuous year that included an earthquake that crippled camera-chip production and a £1 billion writedown in films, the latest quarter is a return to stability for Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai. The increasing number of PlayStation 4 owners is driving sales of software and online services, while smartphone makers adopt more camera chips per device and more people pay to stream music. Investors are betting that more predictable, stable profits will deliver buybacks and higher dividends.
“PS4 continues to grow which allows them to sell more games, while recurring revenue from their PlayStation Network is hitting full stride,” Kiyoto Utsumi, an analyst at Tachibana Securities Co., said prior to the release. “Hirai’s background is in the entertainment divisions, and we’re seeing him begin to successfully manage the music and films businesses.”
Sales rose 15 percent to 1.86 trillion yen, compared with the prediction for 1.73 trillion yen.
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