Sony has streamlined unprofitable electronics businesses and capitalised on the spread of smartphones with its image sensors. Now citing robust sales of image sensors as well as high-end TVs, Sony hiked its full-year operating profit outlook to $5.5 billion, up 26 percent from an earlier forecast and 7.5 percent higher than an average analyst estimate.
The most significant earners are the semiconductors department, which includes image sensors for mobile products, and the Game & Network Services which accounts for the PlayStation 4 sales - both hardware, and software.
Sony’s stock rose as much as 12.4 percent to its highest level since June 2008, becoming the most traded firm by turnover on Tokyo’s main board. It finished up 11.4 percent giving it a market capitalization of around $54.6 billion.
The new forecast is 20 percent above its current profit record, set two decades ago when strong sales of consumer electronics dovetailed with the popularity of its first PlayStation games console and its “Men in Black” box-office hit.
Out of eight business segments for Sony, only one posted an operating loss - The Mobile Communications division. The numbers went from $32.4 million of income in the same three months a year ago to a loss $21.9 million now. Sales saw a positive change of 1.9% in raw currency, but fell flat on a yearly basis because of the unfavorable exchange rates.
To develop new profits, the firm has also boosted investment in artificial intelligence and is expanding its consumer products portfolio. It unveiled its Xperia Hello! voice-activated communication robot this month and said it was reviving its robotic dog AIBO that went on sale in 1999. It also aims to lead the budding virtual-reality market by drawing on the content portion of its business such as music and film.