Sharp Drops to Lowest Since 1975 on Report of Loss: Tokyo Mover

Sharp Corp. (6753), Japan’s biggest maker of liquid-crystal displays, fell to its lowest since 1975 after the Nikkei newspaper reported the company will probably post a quarterly loss and plans to cut jobs.

The consumer electronics maker dropped 1.7 percent to 278 yen as of the close of trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the lowest since December 1975. The stock fell as much as 5.4 percent intraday, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average was declined 0.2 percent.

Sharp will probably post a net loss of 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) for the three months ended June 30, Nikkei reported without saying where it got the information. The consumer electronics and appliances maker is considering cutting a few thousand jobs in its first workforce reductions, according to the report. Possible job cut measures include offering an early retirement plan, the Nikkei said.

“Sharp is considering various measures to improve earnings and will disclose a plan as soon as it’s completed,” Miyuki Nakayama, a company spokeswoman, said by phone today. “Sharp is not the source of the Nikkei report,” she said.

The company is projected to report a net loss of 76 billion yen for the first quarter ended June 30, according to the average of four analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sharp is scheduled to report earnings on Aug. 2.

“The early retirement drive represents an advance for Sharp in that it has the company willing to tread on what has been sacred ground,” Yuji Fujimori, a Tokyo-based analyst at Barclays Plc, said in a memo for investors today. “But it also involves cash outlays and might therefore not be received as a clear positive.”

Foxconn Funding

The maker of Aquos televisions in March turned to Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group and its founder Terry Gou for 133 billion yen in funding after forecasting a back-to-back annual loss. Sharp is among the Japanese electronics makers including Sony Corp. that are reeling from record losses after competition with South Korean panel and TV makers intensified and global demand slumped.

In April, Sharp promoted Takashi Okuda, 58, to president, replacing Mikio Katayama, after predicting the worst loss in its 100-year history amid slumping demand. Katayama became chairman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariko Yasu in Tokyo at myasu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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