Sony Losing Power

Toshiba announced that it's recalling some laptop batteries, and it comes as little surprise to anybody that the company involved is Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) . After all, computer makers Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) already announced similar battery recalls involving Sony, although Toshiba's impetus for the recall is admittedly less "explosive."

This is much less dramatic than the Dell and Apple recalls; Toshiba's only involves 340,000 notebook batteries. And the news report from Dow Jones Newswires says that "at least some" of the batteries, which were included with Dynabook and Satellite devices, were manufactured by Sony. The problems are not of the incendiary kind, as in the Dell and Apple laptops. Rather, the defect merely involves recharging problems, or running out of power (which still could be inopportune and annoying for Toshiba laptops owners).

The recall is yet another reason why investors should be leery of Sony. The company has had a whole lot of problems with execution lately -- not to mention a few downright poor moves, like the rootkit controversy. Recent word that it will delay its launch of PlayStation 3 in Europe -- and release fewer consoles than anticipated in other markets, including the U.S. -- hasn't helped matters either.

My Foolish colleague Nate Parmelee wrote about Sony's struggle with quality issues and fundamental changes within the company. While he rightly points out that Sony will be a formidable force if it can get its quality control under control, it's still struggling with transition for the time being.

Over the last six months, Sony's shares have dropped by 10.4%, as some of these issues have increasingly worried investors. Still, with the stock trading at 32 times earnings, I see no reason for investors to consider buying right now. Investors should require a lot of proof that Sony's getting things under control before deeming it a solid investment.

For more on Sony, take a look at the following Foolish articles:

Dell is aMotley Fool Stock Advisorrecommendation. To find out what other companies David and Tom Gardner have recommended to subscribers, try a30-day free trial. Dell is also recommended in Inside Value.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.


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