Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., a Japanese consumer electronics maker, reported strong quarterly earnings, due to brisk sales of DVD players and other audiovisual products.
The maker of Panasonic products said group net profit for October-December totalled 20.89 billion yen (U.S. $176 million) on sales of 1.87 trillion yen. The strong results were widely expected, and compared with a net loss of 172.03 billion yen in the same period a year earlier on sales of 1.74 trillion yen.
Operating profit, which excludes financial items such as gains and losses on securities investments and shows companies' core earnings power, was 42.78 billion yen, up from an operating loss of 69.71 billion yen a year earlier. Investors were looking to strong figures from Matsushita after competitors including Sony Corp reported buoyant third-quarter figures in late January, easing concerns about potential weakness in the Christmas shopping season.
In light of the robust performance, Matsushita revised up its operating profit forecast for the full year to March to 120 billion yen, from its prior estimate of 100 billion yen. Matsushita, however, slashed its group net profit estimate for the year to 25 billion yen from its prior estimate of 37 billion yen, citing restructuring charges and stock losses. ($1=118.68 yen) (Reuters)
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