Spidey Boosts Sony’s Q2 But Can’t Prevent a Loss; Films Lift Warner in Q3

Japanese consumer electronics giant has revised its full fiscal year downward to a loss

Last Updated: November 2, 2011 @ 10:49 AM

Even “Spider-Man” couldn’t save the day for Sony.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant, which has been hammered by a tsunami and hacking woes this year, on Wednesday reported a $350 million loss for its second fiscal quarter on an unfavorable exchange rate and lower LCD TV sales.

Sony also revised its guidance for its full fiscal year downward: It now forecasts a $90 billion yen loss (about $1.15 billion at current exchange rates) for the 12-month period ending March 31.

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One bright spot came from the company’s favorite web slinger: Sales of an interest in “Spider-Man” merchandise boosted Sony Pictures’ revenue 17 percent to $2.2 billion during the three-month period ended Sept. 30.

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Sony stockholders took a $0.35 per share loss for the period, below Wall Street expectations.

A year ago, the company posted a 31 billion yen ($396 million) profit on higher revenues during the comparable three-month period. Revenue declined 9.1 percent to $20.45 billion during the recent quarter.

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Sony Picture revenue, aside from that merchandise gain, was “virtually unchanged year over year,” according to the company, with higher TV and home entertainment sales making up for lower theatrical revenue.

Sony said that TV revenues "were significantly higher" during its second quarter on higher revenue from U.S. network and made for cable programming. The studio's biggest theatrical release during the period was “The Smurfs.”

Sony Music also reported lower revenue during the period. Sales declined 6.6 percent year over year to $1.346 billion due to lower album sales outside the U.S. Best selling albums for the period include Adele’s “21” and Beyonce’s “4.”

The company, which reported its earnings after a tough day on the world financial markets, said it was revising its full-year forecasts downward on expectations about the foreign exchange rate and last month’s floods in Thailand, which damaged Sony facilities.

It also forecasts lower sales for its Consumer Products and Professional Device and Solutions divisions.