Sony releases bittersweet Q3 2012 financial results: $198 million losses, $20.6 billion revenue

November 1, 2012
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For those of you living under a rock these past few days, I have to tell you that it’s that time of the year again. No, the holiday season didn’t come early, and no, I’m not talking about Sandy either (God forbid for that to happen every year). I’m referring to something much less critical for the world, but very intriguing for us nosy tech enthusiasts – quarterly financial results for big-time companies.

We’ve already heard about Apple and Samsung’s record breaking profits, Nokia’s terrible fall from grace, Google and Microsoft’s worrying drops, and HTC’s disastrous results, and now it’s Sony’s turn to let us peek into the conglomerate’s internal affairs.

Unlike everybody else, Sony can’t really be either happy or sad with the Q3 2012 (or Q2, as they call it, with their fiscal year ending for some reason in March 2013) financial results. From a historical perspective, things are starting to look good for the Japanese, who’ve managed to cut losses from $5.7 billion in total last year and $312 million in the previous quarter to $198 million between July and September 2012.

Still, the company continues to lose money, and that can’t be good, despite the pretty impressive revenue boost to $20.6 billion. Sony’s most profitable department continues to be mobile, who’s been responsible for generating $3.9 billion in revenue this latest fiscal quarter, which is more than double last year’s results.

Despite that, Sony can only “brag” with 8.8 million smartphones sold, which is significantly up from 7.7 million in the previous quarter, but not very impressive compared with some of the competition. That is a bit better than LG’s around 6 million gadgets shipped, but Samsung’s Galaxy S3 alone sold in at least 18 million units.

With probably that in mind, the report states that “growing sales and improving the profitability of the smartphone business are pressing issues for Sony”.

Hopefully, the upcoming Odin and Yuga flagships will help the company drive forward and really become a major global smartphone player. And I’m not saying that because I’m some sort of closeted Sony fanboy, but because we need increased competition in a market where the little guys are struggling, while some of the big guys are also knee-deep in money losing swamps.

Do you agree? Can Sony thrive and turn around its recent financial bad fortune with the help of mobile devices? Do you want it to?

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