What: Shares of Sony Corp. (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) were up more than 17% as of 11:00 a.m. ET Friday after the company announced better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results.
So what: Quarterly revenue climbed 0.5% year over year to 2,580.8 billion Japanese yen (JPY) (or roughly $21.5 billion). Sony also demonstrated 11% growth in operating income to JPY202.1 billion (or $1.685 billion), 33.5% growth in net income attributable to Sony stockholders of JPY120.1 billion (or $1 billion), and 21.3% growth in net income per diluted share to JPY93.33 (or $0.78).
Analysts, on average, were anticipating lower revenue of JPY2,523.1 billion and earnings per share of just JPY73.69.
Sony's top line was driven by strong growth from the pictures segment (up 26.9% to JPY262.1 billion), helped by strong theatrical showings for both Spectre and Hotel Transyvania 2. Meanwhile, Playstation4-fueled software sales contributed to impressive performance from the game and network services segment, where revenue climbed 10.5% to JPY587.1 billion, and Sony's music unit enjoyed 8.2% revenue growth to JPY181.2 billion. But this growth was almost entirely offset by softness in the smartphone market, which drove a 14.7% decline in mobile communications sales to JPY384.5 billion, as well as a 12.6% decline in devices revenue (think batteries, image sensors, and camera modules) to JPY249.9 billion, and a 4.3% decline in home entertainment and sound to JPY402 billion.
Now what: Looking forward to rest of fiscal 2016 (ending March 31, 2016), Sony now expects full fiscal-year revenue of JPY7,900 billion, which was below analysts' estimates for JPY8,122 billion. At the same time, however, that's not terribly surprising given current economic headwinds and the impending deceleration of smartphone sales growth as indicated by Sony's devices segment performance. And given Sony's relative outperformance from arguably its two most promising segments in the crucial holiday quarter, it's no surprise investors are willing to overlook its underwhelming forward view.