Japan's Sharp raises forecast after first quarterly profit in over two years

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 03, 2017 1:17 AM

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sharp Corp lifted its full-year profit guidance after posting its first quarterly net profit in over two years as the Japanese liquid crystal display (LCD) maker pressed ahead with cost-cutting measures under the ownership of Taiwan's Foxconn.

Sharp, a major supplier of LCD panels to Apple Inc, raised its operating profit forecast to 37.3 billion yen ($329.85 million) for the year ending in March from an earlier forecast of 25.7 billion, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Net profit was 4.2 billion yen for October-December, compared with a 24.7 billion yen loss in the same period a year earlier. It was the first profit on a net basis since July-September 2014.

The result missed a Thomson Reuters Starmine SmartEstimate of 4.6 billion yen drawn from four analysts. SmartEstimates give greater weight to recent forecasts by top-rated analysts.

The return to profit comes as Sharp tapped Foxconn's massive parts procurement power, reviewed the lineup of products and implemented various measures to cut fixed costs.

Sharp also benefited as production cutbacks by Korean rivals in LCD panels for television sets fueled an industry-wide shortage of panels and pushed up market prices.

Its core display device unit posted an operating profit of 11 billion yen, against a 11 billion yen loss a year prior, swinging back to profit for the first time in two years.

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, bought two-thirds of Sharp for around $3.7 billion in August.

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)