TOKYO (Reuters) - Sharp Corp lifted its full-year earnings forecast on Tuesday after receiving strong orders for its smartphone panels from Chinese makers, putting it firmer footing to secure the full-year net profit it needs as a condition for a $4.6 billion bank rescue.
Japan's largest display maker raised its full-year operating forecast for the year to March 31 to 100 billion yen ($988 million), up from a previous forecast of 80 billion yen, although it left its net profit forecast unchanged at 5 billion yen.
The net forecast compares with expectations of 8.82 billion yen, the average of the most accurate analysts' expectations according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.
The company, which also makes solar cells and TVs, cited strong orders for its small to midsize panels used in smartphones and tablets as it reported a 5.8 percent rise in operating profit on the year to 47.6 billion yen for the October-December quarter, exceeding expectations of 35.42 billion yen, according to the average of five analyst estimates according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.
Sharp, which racked up a net loss of 545 billion yen in the year through March 2013, has been trying to diversify its client base away from Apple Inc, which it supplies with small and mid-size panels for the iPhone and iPad.
(Reporting by Sophie Knight and Edmund Klamann; Editing by Matt Driskill)