Sharp, Panasonic shares sag on outlook, yen worries

* Sony also hurt by yen’s rise to 15-year high vs dollar

* Sharp’s TV business a concern next year – analyst

* Panasonic needs to speed up Sanyo integration – analyst

By Isabel Reynolds

TOKYO, Nov 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Shares of Japanese electronics
makers Sharp Corp (6753.T: ) and Panasonic Corp (6752.T: ) tumbled on
Monday after their quarterly earnings reports and the yen’s
persistent strength raised doubts about their outlooks.

The strong yen, which erodes the value of Japanese exporters’
overseas earnings, also dragged down shares of Sony Corp
(6758.T: ), even after the PlayStation game console maker on Friday
beat market expectations with its quarterly profit and raised its
full-year outlook. [ID:nTOE69S0BI]

Sharp shares slid 5.4 percent to 752 yen — their lowest in
nearly 20 months — after the firm cut its annual outlook on
Thursday, battered by the yen’s rise and falling prices for its
liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels. [ID:nTOE69R08L] The stock
has lost 10.9 percent since Thursday’s close.

Further problems lie ahead for the Aquos TV maker, whose
television sales are heavily biased towards the Japanese market,
where shipments are expected to collapse next year after the
March end of a government subsidy system and the late-July switch
to digital broadcasting.

“We believe that earnings will fall next year, but the Street
is not factoring it in yet,” Atul Goyal, technology analyst at
CLSA in Singapore, said in a report about Sharp, adding that the
firm remained his team’s top sell recommendation.

Other analysts saw Sharp’s mobile phone sales figures as
particularly disappointing, as foreign makers like Apple (AAPL.O: )
make deeper inroads into the domestic market.

PANASONIC NEEDS SPEED

Shares of Panasonic, the world’s top maker of plasma TVs,
dropped 3.4 percent to 1,143 yen, hurt partly by the yen’s rise
to a fresh (JPY=: ) 15-year high against the dollar earlier on
Monday.

Panasonic on Friday also kept its full-year forecast
unchanged in the face of uncertain second-half demand and the
rising yen, despite reporting a jump in quarterly profit.

Analysts said the company needed to emphasise the speed at
which it can complete its integration with subsidiary Sanyo
Electric (6764.T: ), the world’s biggest maker of lithium ion
batteries. The buy-out is intended to help Panasonic forge ahead
in such environmental technologies.

“They don’t have any time to waste in integrating with
Sanyo,” said analyst Keita Wakabayashi of Mito Securities.

“In lithium ion batteries, South Korean makers are catching
up quickly. I think if they show us how fast they can move on
this, they will find they are more highly rated.”

Sony shares ended down 1.5 percent at 2,651 yen, while the
broader electrical machinery index (.IELEC.T: ) fell 1 percent.
(Editing by Chris Gallagher)

Sharp, Panasonic shares sag on outlook, yen worries