with Sony up to bat this time, Its time for everyone’s favorite topic again – corporate financials. The company just released its Q3 financials and while there were dips in the gaming division which seems to be par for the course, Sony as a whole performed decently.
The PlayStation division’s revenue experienced a drop by 15 percent year over year, which seems to be inline with the rest of the industry, with Microsoft’s Xbox business experiencing a dip of 29 percent. It is not clear how much of a drop Nintendo experienced last quarter as the company reported its 9 month revenue which revealed a 2.4 percent dip year over year.
PlayStation revenue dropped from 316 billion ($3.3 billion) yen to around 268.5 billion yen($2.9 billion), a net decrease of about $400 million.
On the operating income side of things for the PlayStation, the division did post a profit but experienced a drop year over year of 86.4 percent from 33.8 billion yen down to 4.6 billion yen ($53 million dollars).
Sony reports that 6.8 million PS3+PS2s have been sold during the quarter putting the lifetime PS3 sales to around 77 million, in line with IDC’s estimate earlier last month. PS3 sales continue to surpass Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sales, which is around 75.9 million as reported last month, but still behind Nintendo Wii’s 99 million.
PS Vita and PSP sales totaled 2.7 million units for the quarter. Sony did lower its forecast from 10 million (originally 16 million) to 7 million.
With the most number of consoles sold on the market, it seemed odd that Sony would blame low software sales for the dip in profits in its PlayStation division, especially considering that it sold over 61.7 million games during the quarter. A decent sales figure despite a 7 percent drop from last year.
While Microsoft records R&D costs for the Xbox division, it doesn’t appear Sony’s subsidiary SCE separates this line out. With the rumors of a PS4 announcement this month, I would suspect that a sizable amount of that operating cost went towards it.
The company as a whole showed marked improvement with its operating profit returning to black for the third quarter in a row with a profit of $500 million after its disastrous loss of nearly a billion dollars same quarter last year. This is the third quarter straight where Sony has posted an operating profit.
In the previous financial year (2011) Sony posted an operating loss of $6.4 billion, but have dramatically turned things around with a net operating gain of $954 million so far with Kaz Hirai at the helm of the electronics giant.
The company did experience a net loss of $115 million “attributable to Sony Corporation’s stockholders.” Though this really doesn’t speak to Sony’s performance per se as its to do with how many stockholders converted dilutive securities to equity at some point during the quarter.
What does this all mean? Overall, Sony has consistently shown over the past three quarters, that the company can manufacturer and sell products at a profit, which goes a long way towards proving its investable. While two of the big three credit rating agencies scored Sony investment grade, Fitch lowered its rating to junk status noting that heavy restructuring will be needed. Kaz Hirai is doing just that and his plan seems to be working so far.
Sony’s stocks have increased by 60 percent since the start of the year rebounding from its 30-year lows.