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NEW YORK Jan 12 Sony Corp (6758.T) is expected
to post an operating loss of about 100 billion yen ($1.1
billion) for 2007/08, the Nikkei business daily reported, far
short of the company forecast for a profit of 200 billion yen.
The operating loss -- Sony's first in 14 years -- could be
double that, depending on inventory conditions in the
January-March quarter, the Nikkei said it had learned.
In October, Sony forecast a full-year operating profit of
200 billion yen for the year to March 31, down from 475.2
billion yen in 2006/07.
The maker of Bravia flat TVs and PlayStation 3 video game
consoles said in December that it would cut 16,000 jobs, curb
investment and pull out of some businesses to save $1.1 billion
a year as the global recession hits demand for its products.
The loss would be only the second since Sony went public in
1958 and the first caused by troubles in its mainstay
electronics business, the Nikkei said.
A one-time charge related to the company's U.S. film studio
business was primarily responsible for the previous operating
loss, reported for the year ended March 1995, it said.
Apart from restructuring charges and possible further
losses on exchange rates, Sony is expected to write down
roughly 50 billion yen of its holding in Sony Life Insurance
Co, the newspaper said.
Sony shares (SNE.N) fell 1.5 percent at $23.20 on the New
York Stock Exchange early Monday afternoon.
Many analysts expect Sony to undertake further
restructuring steps, but the company earlier this month denied
a report in the Times of London newspaper that it planned to
announce closures of Japanese factories and major divisions
(Reporting by Ted Kerr; editing by Gunna Dickson, Richard