Sharp Shares Rise After Report of Operating Profit: Tokyo Mover

Sharp Corp., Japan’s biggest maker of liquid-crystal displays, rose the most in two weeks in Tokyo trading after the Nikkei newspaper reported it will post the first operating profit in five quarters.

Sharp gained as much as 5.1 percent to 327 yen and traded at 322 yen as of 9:26 a.m., extending its advance this year to 6.3 percent. The Osaka-based manufacturer, which reports earnings today, had an operating profit of about 2.5 billion yen ($27 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31, the Nikkei reported, without saying where it got the information.

The stock plunged 55 percent last year as Sharp posted a record annual loss amid falling demand, competition from Samsung Electronics Co., and a strong yen. Sharp’s main lenders may extend the maturity of 360 billion yen of loans due June 30 on the condition that it makes an operating profit for the six months ending March 31 and forecasts net income for next fiscal year, a person with knowledge of the matter said last month.

“The report is giving the stock a short-term boost,” said Makoto Sengoku, a Tokyo-based market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities Co. “Sharp still needs to show it has clear financing prospects.”

Sharp isn’t the source of the Nikkei report, the company said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange today. The company, set to report third-quarter results at 3 p.m., has forecast a full-year net loss of 450 billion yen.

The maker of Aquos TVs warned in November about its ability to survive after hemorrhaging 103 billion yen in cash from operations in the fiscal first half. Sharp is selling assets and cutting jobs to revive profit after posting a 376 billion-yen loss in the year ended March 31.

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