Panasonic Loss Expected to Reach More Than $3 Billion

Osaka, Japan electronics giant Panasonic (NYSE: PC) is expected to post a loss of more than $3 billion for fiscal 2009, wire services are reporting. Reuters Tokyo bureau pegs the expected annual loss to come in at $3.9 billion, while Bloomberg sources say $3.3 billion. The company in late November forecast net income of 30 billion yen, or $333 million US for its fiscal year ending March 31.

Panasonic responded to the news with a brief statement saying “The forecast on the media report is not on any official announcements by Panasonic. Panasonic currently intends to announce consolidated financial results forecast for fiscal 2009, including whether to revise the current forecast, on the financials announcement for the fiscal 2009 third quarter scheduled on Feb. 4.”

Shares of Sony (NYSE: SNE) slid 10 percent Jan.22 on news that the electronics empire expected to post a record loss for its fiscal year ending in March. The Tokyo conglomerate issued a warning that it would report an operating loss of $2.9 billion. The result will represent Sony’s first operating loss in 14 years.

Sony cited the troubled economy as well as a strong yen for the downturn. The company also experienced weaker-than-expected sales in mobile music, gaming and flat-screen TVs. It’s shut down at least one TV plant in Japan and cutting 30 percent of the employees in that division. Sony last month announced that 16,000 jobs--about 4 percent of the workforce--would be trimmed from companywide payrolls. The restructuring charge is projected to be about $1.9 billion.