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$SNE Posts Profits From One Time Gains, Company Guides Below Estimates

Sony Corp. (6758) forecast annual profit that missed analyst estimates as Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai tries to win back customers from Samsung Electronics Co. with new Xperia smartphones and Bravia TVs.

Net income may rise 16 percent to 50 billion yen ($507 million) in the year started April 1, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement. That compares with the 66.4 billion-yen average of 18 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Hirai used job cuts, asset sales, a weaker yen and blockbuster movies to return the company to profit after four years of losses as the electronics business struggles to recapture ground lost to Samsung. The South Korean company’s smartphones outsold Sony’s 7-to-1 last year, and its flat-panel TVs generated more than triple Sony’s revenue.

“Sony is being bullish,” said Takashi Oba, a senior strategist at Okasan Securities Co. “It’s up to whether it can reduce the losses in its electronics business and produce hit products.”

Sony posted a profit in the year ended March after it generated about $2 billion in one-time gains selling stock holdings and properties including its New York headquarters, a chemicals unit and shares in health-care data provider M3 Inc. (2413) Sony’s movie studio also topped the U.S. box-office last year with hits including “Skyfall” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

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