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Sony profit descrepency and PSP shipments down 72%

Filed under: PSP | Sony
Posted by Jeremy on January 30, 2007 12:16 PM
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As Allison wrote yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Sony's profits for the 3rd quarter were expected to be down 50%. Last night, Sony reported the actual numbers and their Q3 profits were only down 5%. What gives? The Bloomberg report used the average of 5 analysts expectations. How were the off by a factor of 10?


Meanwhile, the analysts were pretty much right on with their prediction of the Games Division losses: they said it'd be a loss of 50.9 billion Yen and Sony came in at a loss of 54 billion Yen.

What gives?

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Well, the Bloomberg report's analysts said that net profit would be 84 billion Yen, which is 50% of Q3 2006's net profit of 169 billion Yen. That's where the 50% number came from. Sony actually reported a net profit of 160 billion Yen, which is only a 5% drop over Q3 2006's 169 billion Yen.

So, despite being right in the ballpark for the gaming losses, what the heck did the analysts get so wrong?

I'm still trying to figure that out. The analysts expected sales of Sony TVs and cameras to be big, but I don't think they expected a record quarter with sales up 9.8% to 2.61 trillion Yen (that's a lot of Yen). That, plus a 40 billion Yen surge do to a weak Yen, and a 33.6 billion Yen surge due to its investment in Sony Ericsson must have been the difference.

Still, to be off by that much means that they are not very good analysts.

UPDATE: Here is the Bloomberg update stating why the analysts were so far off.

On another note, buried in Sony's Q3 results was a surprising statistic: shipments of the PSP are down 72%, coming in at 1.76 million units. That is shocking. I always said that the PSP would go the way of the N-Gage, I just never thought I'd be right. Well, to be fair, it isn't that bad, but the market for the PSP is fading. The DS dominates the handheld gaming category, Apple dominates the handheld music category, and nobody really has an all-in-one product that anybody really likes (although Apple may soon do this).

I said it when it came out and I'll say it now: people, in general, want one device to do something well. Gaming = DS. Music = iPod. Movie watching = laptop or portable DVD. Sony tried to do too many things with the PSP and ended up not doing any one of them very well.






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