Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Why Sony’s reporting a $1 billion loss

Scott Tong May 14, 2009
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Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Why Sony’s reporting a $1 billion loss

Scott Tong May 14, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: Sony makes those thin, flat-screen TVs. But this next number looks bad, in any resolution: One billion dollars. Today the Japanese company said it lost that much money in the last fiscal year. From Shanghai, here’s Marketplace’s Scott Tong.


SCOTT TONG: It’s Sony’s first annual loss since 1995. But its products have already been losing ground for years. The one-time portable music king got bonked on the head by Apple’s iPod. Then, Sony’s Playstation 3 undersold Nintendo’s Wii by half. Now its TV sales stand second to Samsung.

Sony blames its losses on the global economy. And a stronger yen, which jacks up the price of every Japanese export. The company thinks next year will get worse — as in losses of more than a billion dollars.

CEO Howard Stringer has ordered cost-cutting. Sony’s losing 16,000 workers, several factories, and it may outsource TV-making to China. But even if all that works seamlessly, some think the real issue is innovation: What Sony’s missing is a must-have product.

In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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