Sharp Rises After Report of Job Cuts, Board Revamp

Sharp Corp. (6753) rose to the highest in a year in Tokyo trading after reports it will extend job cuts by 5,000 and reshuffle management as the unprofitable electronics maker seeks to end losses.

The shares jumped 6.4 percent to 450 yen, at the close of trade, the highest level since May 1, 2012. The stock has gained 40 percent in the past five trading days. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 2.9 percent today as a weaker yen boosted the outlook for exporters.

Sharp’s job reductions will include workers at its headquarters and television plants in China and Malaysia as the company reduces its workforce to about 46,000 in fiscal 2015, the Asahi newspaper reported today, without saying where it got the information. The manufacturer is targeting sales of 3 trillion yen ($30 billion) and operating profit of 180 billion yen for that year, the report said.

Osaka-based Sharp is set to announce its revival plan May 14 as the company tries to restructure its unprofitable liquid-crystal-display business ahead of deadlines to repay debt this year. The company, which has sold stakes to Samsung Electronics Co. and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), has 360 billion yen of loans due June 30 and 200 billion yen of convertible bonds that mature later this year.

“The market for its product such as LCD TVs are tough,” said Koki Shiraishi, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. “It is hard to justify the stock price right now from the fundamentals.”

Most of the company’s board will be replaced and Chairman Mikio Katayama will resign, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

The company isn’t the source of the reports on mid-term plans and management changes, Sharp said in a statement today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Naoko Fujimura in Tokyo at nfujimura@bloomberg.net; 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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