The Japanese electronics giant said its annual net loss will be 150 billion yen, or about $1.65 billion; it previously forecast an annual profit of 150 billion yen. (Whoops!) Its operating loss is expected to be a whopping 260 billion yen, or nearly $3 billion. On the revenue side, it said sales will fall 14% to 7.7 trillion yen.
CEO Howard Stringer has long been trying to turn Sony around. Now he's resorting to job cuts and supposedly more extreme restructuring efforts. Well, good luck with that, although he did make an acknowledgement: "Our own historical legacies sometimes restrain us. There is still too much old Sony and not enough new."
When I think of old Sony, I think of its history of cluelessness, and while I'm pretty sure that's not what Stringer's referring to, I still think the company may be hard-pressed to change its old ways.
I have long been bearish on many, many instances of Sony's history of corporate cluelessness: rootkits, exploding batteries, fake blogs, and other new ways to annoy customers. And remember the launch delays of the PlayStation 3, with the company insisting there wouldn't be any delays (until there were)? I've often wondered if Sony is so big and bureaucratic that certain disconnects are inevitable.
Granted, Sony's public relations have seemed to improve since those chaotic days, but many issues seem to persist. More recently, pundits have insisted Sony needs to cut the PS3's price to compete with Microsoft's
There are lots of tech stock ideas out there, with solid track records of good products and delighted customers. Apple
Back in July, I pointed out many reasons to shy away from Sony shares, especially in a rotten economic climate. I rest my case. In these tough times, it seems smarter to seek out basically healthy companies, not the ones that have so much work to do to evolve from their old-school ways.
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