UPDATE 2-Hitachi logs 1st profit in 6 qtrs, lifts outlook

* Q3 net profit at Y21.9 bln vs Y371.1 bln loss a year ago

* New outlook short of consensus, but could be conservative

* Shares end down 1.6 pct before results, in line with sector

(Adds executive comment, details)

TOKYO, Feb 4 (BestGrowthStock) – Hitachi Ltd (6501.T: ), Japan’s
biggest electronics maker, exceeded market expectations by
swinging to its first quarterly net profit in six quarters on
cost cuts and a recovery in its power system operations, and it
raised its forecast just below market consensus.

Hitachi, which was forced to raise funds to shore up its
depleted capital in December, is looking to consolidate its
sprawling operations and trim units whose losses are eroding
gains made in metals, cables and construction machinery.

The company, eyeing a recovery in demand from the auto
industry and further restructuring, lifted its forecast to a net
loss of 210 billion yen ($2.3 billion) for the year ending in
March, from a previous forecast of a 230 billion yen loss.

That was still slightly short of the consensus average of a
205 billion yen loss from 13 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S, but the new forecast is slightly conservative, Executive
Vice President Takashi Miyoshi told reporters following a news
conference on the firm’s results.

“Our outlook on domestic IT spending for next year is by no
means rosy,” he said. “We need to raise our cost competitiveness
to better compete in emerging markets. In that sense, we need to
go further with restructuring in the current quarter.”

Hitachi, which has a joint venture with General Electric
(GE.N: ) in nuclear power, hopes to shift more focus to its
batteries and power grid systems, in search of profit as it faces
its fourth straight annual loss.

Founded in 1910 as a repair factory of Kuhara Mining Co,
Hitachi swung to a 21.9 billion yen profit in October-December
from last year’s loss of 371.1 billion yen, beating an average
estimate for a loss of 22.8 billion yen by analysts at JP Morgan
and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities.

Its quarterly operating profit rose to to 66.4 billion yen
from a loss of 14.5 billion yen a year earlier. Sales fell 4.5
percent.

The company also said it would promote Executive Vice
President Hiroaki Nakanishi to president, replacing Takashi
Kawamura.

Prior to the announcement, shares of Hitachi fell 1.6
percent, broadly in line with Tokyo’s index of electrical
machinery (.IELEC.T: ) stocks, which lost 1.3 percent.

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(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Chris Gallagher and
Joseph Radford)

UPDATE 2-Hitachi logs 1st profit in 6 qtrs, lifts outlook