SNE - Sony Corporation

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
+0.11 (+0.21%)
At close: 4:02PM EDT
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Previous Close52.10
Bid52.30 x 800
Ask53.00 x 800
Day's Range52.10 - 52.54
52 Week Range41.91 - 61.02
Avg. Volume1,829,765
Market Cap63.359B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.01
PE Ratio (TTM)10.98
EPS (TTM)4.76
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.26 (0.55%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-03-28
1y Target Est63.58
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Dan Loeb Calls on Sony to spin off businesses
    Yahoo Finance Video5 days ago

    Dan Loeb Calls on Sony to spin off businesses

    Activist investor Daniel Loeb has made another big call for Sony to break up its business. Yahoo Finance's Jen Rogers, Myles Udland and Julia La Roche discuss.

  • Sony and Microsoft's New Consoles Will Be Big Loss Leaders
    Motley Fool10 hours ago

    Sony and Microsoft's New Consoles Will Be Big Loss Leaders

    But that’s just the way the video game console market works these days.

  • Benzinga13 hours ago

    Video Game Sales In May Show Shift To Downloads

    Sales of traditional console-based video games were down 17% in May from a year ago, as gamers continue to shift to free-to-play games, mobile offerings and a couple of traditional games had lackluster debuts. Wedbush's Michael Pachter continues to have Outperform ratings on several game companies, but he noted the industry is changing. The retail sales figure missed his estimate of $150 million.

  • GuruFocus.com13 hours ago

    The Gabelli Asset Fund 1st Quarter Shareholder Commentary

    Discussion of markets and holdings

  • What Sony Would Look Like after a Semiconductor Spin-Off
    Market Realist14 hours ago

    What Sony Would Look Like after a Semiconductor Spin-Off

    Dan Loeb is proposing that, after the spin-off of its semiconductor business, Sony (SNE) would emerge as the leading entertainment company with global positions in gaming, music, and pictures. He sees "New Sony’s" EBIT growing by 10% compounded annually or better because of tailwinds in gaming and music. Let' take a closer look.

  • Can Sony’s Chip Business Stand Alone with Trade Wars Raging?
    Market Realist14 hours ago

    Can Sony’s Chip Business Stand Alone with Trade Wars Raging?

    Many of Sony’s (SNE) shareholders, both retail and institutional, have started pressuring the company to generate higher value and address its undervaluation. As Nikkei Asian Review reported, investors want answers on how the company plans to create value without approving Third Point’s suggestions. Here's why.

  • The Potential for Spinning Off Sony’s Semiconductor Business
    Market Realist14 hours ago

    The Potential for Spinning Off Sony’s Semiconductor Business

    Dan Loeb argues that while Sony (SNE) has long been considered an electronics company, it generates ~75% of its profits from four “crown jewels”: gaming, music, pictures, and semiconductors. Let's break down Loeb’s four-point strategy to unlock value in Sony’s stock.

  • Could Dan Loeb’s Changes Bring Sony’s Lost Glory Back?
    Market Realist14 hours ago

    Could Dan Loeb’s Changes Bring Sony’s Lost Glory Back?

    In a note and presentation, Third Point’s CEO, Dan Loeb, made a case for why Sony (SNE) stock is much more than the sum of its parts. Third Point holds a $1.5 billion stake in the company. Dan Loeb has proposed a detailed plan on how the company can unlock value…

  • 3 Reasons to Believe in the Contrarian Case for EA Stock
    InvestorPlace20 hours ago

    3 Reasons to Believe in the Contrarian Case for EA Stock

    Despite all the noise, video-game manufacturer Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) and EA stock has always had one ace up its sleeve: its core revenue-generating industry. Many of the younger InvestorPlace readers may not remember a time when video games represented the exclusive domain of partner-less nerds. I speak from personal experience.Source: Shutterstock Of course, the gaming marketplace is very different today. According to a recent industry report, 65% of American adults play video games. Moreover, the average age is 33 years. From the perspective of stakeholders of Electronic Arts stock, this rising demographic trend is extremely positive.How so? Back in the nascent stage of video-game consoles from Nintendo (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) and Sony (NYSE:SNE), parents would scream at their children to put down their controllers and finish their homework. Again, I speak from personal experience. Now, parents are playing alongside their children.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today With the gaming industry having attained mainstream credibility, the EA stock price should be on fire. However, several gaming stocks performed poorly last year due to a myriad of headwinds, including even geopolitical ones. Naturally, this has dampened the environment for EA and rivals like Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI).Still, investors should take solace in that Electronic Arts stock appears to have stabilized. Moreover, the company beat its earnings and revenue expectations for its fiscal fourth quarter of 2019. While one report doesn't change the entire narrative, it's a far cry from Q3's disappointing take.Here are three more reasons why contrarians can believe in EA stock: Management Can Fix What Went WrongLast year was an unusual one. Conspicuously, the Trump administration started to lose credibility in foreign affairs. That's an issue that the former real-estate mogul harped on during his campaign for the 2016 election.A consequence of the spiraling affairs in the White House was the U.S.-China trade war. That eventually sparked a severe correction in the broader markets. I mention this because looking back in hindsight, Electronic Arts stock would have suffered irrespective of management's decisions.But that doesn't excuse EA's top-level executives which made some unforced errors. Key among them was the Battlefield V mishap. Prior to launching the full retail version of the game, EA released a teaser-trailer during a gaming conference. Fans immediately complained about Battlefield V's historical inaccuracies, which was set in World War II.Management insisted that the fans were wrong, even mocking them at one point. They forgot the cardinal rule of business: the customer is always right.I don't need to dive into the gory details. Suffice to say, Battlefield V was an incredible disappointment, badly hurting the EA stock price.But here's the good news: presumably, the worst of the damage is over for Electronic Arts stock. Now, the leadership team just needs to concentrate on fixing what went wrong.If you think about it, that's the easy part: they must cease silly unforced errors. Furthermore, they should concentrate on what has always worked in any industry: give the customers exactly what they want. Apex Legends Delivers the Goods for EA StockSpeaking about fulfilling consumer desires, a discussion on EA stock is incomplete without mentioning Fortnite. Seemingly out of nowhere, this upstart first-person shooter (FPS) turned the broader gaming sector upside down.Personally, I found this phenomenon difficult to understand. Companies like EA and ATVI have dominated the FPS market with increasingly realistic graphics and gore. Fortnite, with its bright, cartoonish graphics, was almost a slap in the face to industry protocol. Yet everybody was talking about it, while the established giants faded into the background.Obviously, that also negatively impacted Electronic Arts stock. However, in this regard, management demonstrated that they're learning lessons from the battlefield (pun intended).Their online FPS title, Apex Legends, encompasses the core elements that made Fortnite a hit: free to play, and utilizing an improved version of "battle royale" mode. When it launched, Apex was an immediate success. More recent indicators suggest that nothing in that characterization has changed. * The 7 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 Best of all, Fortnite's vaunted user growth is finally slowing. Between November 2018 and March 2019, registered users gained 25% to 250 million. That rate pales in comparison to between June 2018 to November 2018, which was 60%. Love It or Hate It, EA Owns Sports GamingIn some ways, Electronic Arts is a drug dealer. Every year, they release essentially the same game but with prettier graphics. Oh, and some new feature that may or may not resonate with fans. They get away with it because the consumer base is addicted.When it comes to the company's EA Sports division, the old rules (i.e., the customer is always right) don't apply. Since EA owns the most lucrative sports licenses -- NFL and FIFA -- discerning sports fans have few alternative options.I don't see management ever giving up this cash cow, which offers multiple esports synergies. Therefore, I'm inclined to believe the turnaround narrative of EA stock.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long SNE. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * The 7 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today * 4 Semiconductor Stocks to Sell Compare Brokers The post 3 Reasons to Believe in the Contrarian Case for EA Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Sony Analysts Question Loeb's Push After Strategy Flip Flop

    Sony Analysts Question Loeb's Push After Strategy Flip Flop

    (Bloomberg) -- Dan Loeb is back trying to whip Sony Corp. into shape, but he’s drawing fire this time around after reversing course from his prior thesis.Loeb’s Third Point last week revealed a $1.5 billion stake in the Tokyo-based company and advocated for a spin off of its chip business to finance deeper expansion in entertainment, including games and movies. That’s the opposite of what he championed in 2013, when he called on executives to sell a part of their film division.“Loeb advocated for moving away from entertainment, but Sony is thriving today precisely because they went in the opposite direction," said Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center, referring to both movies and games. "Amid trade wars, losing chips would be a negative in terms of Japan’s national security. It’s not something that needs to be done right now."The cool reception came as Sony stakeholders gathered in Tokyo on Tuesday for the company’s annual general meeting. Loeb’s proposals are not up for a vote, although analysts said he will likely be a main topic of conversations among shareholders. Sony declined to comment on the Third Point proposal, but said it takes all shareholder suggestions seriously.Chief Executive Officer Kenichiro Yoshida repeated that message Tuesday, saying management is constantly studying how to increase long-term shareholder value. “That includes deliberations about how to structure our portfolio of businesses,” he said.Loeb laid out his thesis personally to Yoshida last week in New York. The CEO mostly listened and didn’t rebuff the activist in terms of valuation or feasibility of implementing the proposals, giving Third Point more confidence to move ahead.The hedge fund sees Sony as a different company from six years ago, which is why its focus has changed from shunning entertainment to embracing it. Sensing an opening with Yoshida’s more investor-friendly approach, Loeb is trying again with what he believes he can realistically achieve. The next step is getting a formal reaction from management.Analysts almost universally applauded his effort last week to reduce Sony’s so-called "conglomerate discount," or the idea that its many disparate businesses -- from entertainment to chips to finance -- are collectively undervalued and would benefit from being split apart. But they questioned whether Third Point’s proposals are realistic or make strategic sense.For one, some are not convinced that a standalone chip unit can finance the large investments necessary for growth and said it’s better done as part of a bigger group, which can offset temporary losses. They also argued that the unit currently enjoys strong synergy with Sony’s other product divisions and should be integrated more closely rather than spun out.“We think that spinning off the semiconductor business could in fact reduce its actual value,” Yasuo Nakane and Kenichi Saita, analysts at Mizuho Financial Group Inc., wrote in a report. “The semiconductor subsidiary’s technological assets and intellectual properties are inseparable from the electronics products and solutions.”Others questioned Loeb’s estimate for how much a standalone chips unit could fetch at a time when global phone sales are shrinking and the U.S. is waging war on one of Sony’s largest customers, Huawei Technologies Co.“We think Third Point’s US$33-39bn valuation is too high,” wrote Macquarie Group analysts Damian Thong and Hiroshi Taguchi, who currently value the chips division at $11 billion. "But there is wide scope for price discovery above the current embedded value."Then there’s the issue of Sony’s historically stubborn management. Yoshida has so far side-stepped calls to sell or spin off businesses. Instead, he has carried out two record buybacks this year, pleasing investors and preempting calls for more drastic change. And at $1.5 billion, Loeb’s new stake represents about a third of the 6.5% of voting shares he accumulated in 2013.“Third Point’s key proposals about the divestiture of Sony Financial and spin-off of the semiconductor business are unlikely to be easily accepted by management," wrote CLSA analyst Amit Garg. Still, he said the company could yield given that the buybacks "have failed, with the stock remaining at depressed multiples."Loeb is probably not helping his case by saying that sell-side analysts are part of the problem. In his presentation, he said a lack of familiarity with Sony’s many different businesses results in analysts applying discounts to divisions they’re unfamiliar with, contributing to a lower valuation for the entire company.“The lack of entertainment sector expertise among Sony’s sell‐side analysts may explain the wide skew in valuation methodologies, multiples, and target prices,” Third Point wrote in its presentation last week. "We sympathize with the challenge they face: maintaining an up‐to‐date, informed view on a diverse range of industries, most of which are outside their core expertise."(Updates with CEO’s comment from the fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from 院去信太郎 and Kurt Schussler.To contact the reporter on this story: Yuji Nakamura in Tokyo at ynakamura56@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • GuruFocus.com2 days ago

    Mario Gabelli Comments on Sony Corp

    Guru stock highlight

  • Take-Two Interactive Software Stock Gets Price-Target Hike On E3 Showing
    Investor's Business Daily2 days ago

    Take-Two Interactive Software Stock Gets Price-Target Hike On E3 Showing

    Take Two Interactive scored positive press and analyst coverage for its showing at the E3 video game show last week. One analyst on Monday raised his price target on Take Two Interactive stock.

  • Franchise fatigue sets in at summer box office
    American City Business Journals2 days ago

    Franchise fatigue sets in at summer box office

    “Men in Black: International” and “Shaft” were just the latest sequels to fall short of industry expectations this weekend over a summer of disappointments.

  • Microsoft (MSFT) vs. Google (GOOGL): Who Will Win the Cloud Gaming Battle?
    Zacks2 days ago

    Microsoft (MSFT) vs. Google (GOOGL): Who Will Win the Cloud Gaming Battle?

    Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research where Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into what we know about Google (GOOGL) and Microsoft's (MSFT) cloud gaming plans

  • Financial Times2 days ago

    Sony: chips with everything

    Movies do go well with chips, at least for Sony. its semiconductor business, six years after pressing the company to spin off part of its entertainment business. Mr Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point has once again invested in Sony via a $1.5bn stake.

  • Next-Gen Xbox Won’t Launch Microsoft Stock, But It Doesn’t Need To
    InvestorPlace2 days ago

    Next-Gen Xbox Won’t Launch Microsoft Stock, But It Doesn’t Need To

    Evercore ISI analyst Kirk Materne was arguably overselling it when he suggested stepping into a Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) position because of its opportunity to grow within the video gaming industry. There are plenty of other better reasons to own MSFT stock. Indeed, video games remain a relatively small part of the software giant's total businessSource: Shutterstock Nevertheless, his point is well taken. For all that Microsoft has already done to carve out its piece of the video game market, what's coming in 2020 could actually be game-changing.Rival Sony (NYSE:SNE) has also already hinted at its planned next entry in the race, with its next-generation PlayStation console sporting some impressive specs. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is entering the fray too, skipping the development of a console altogether and remotely handling all the heavy-duty game processing from the cloud. Next year may well be the year, however, one company puts its finger directly on the pulse of what the video-gaming market wants.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Project ScarlettIn terms the average teenage gamer would understand, the next generation of Microsoft's Xbox series looks like it's going to be a "beast." Powered by Zen 2 and Radeon-based graphics hardware from Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), the console coming out late next year will offer 8K graphics and frame rates up to 120 per second. It's a level of visual detail that borders on perfection. The still-unnamed console, simply called Project Scarlett for now, will also utilize solid state drives. * 7 Stocks to Buy for the Coming Recession All told, Microsoft described the in-development console as being four times as powerful as the Xbox One X, which is the latest commercially available choice in its franchise.The specs largely mirror those Sony touted for its next-gen PlayStation, which should become available late next year as well. Microsoft is arguably doing more to bring more gamers into its ecosystem though. Namely, the company is beefing up its game-streaming offering.Although subject to a name change, what's being called xCloud for the time being will allow players to stream games from their consoles to other devices including phones and tablets.At the same time, Microsoft as adding another tier to its existing Game Pass service. Called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which is primarily a combination of Xbox Live Gold and the familiar Game pass. The new product works for PC as well as console games.And yet, as forward-thinking as Microsoft's gaming endeavors may be, the company is also backwards-minded … as in compatibility.Although it didn't clarify exactly what constitutes a "generation," the company's presentation at this year's E3 event said "Thousands of games across four console generations will look and play best on Project Scarlett." In other words, older game discs that wouldn't normally be playable on new hardware will now be playable on new consoles, relieving gamers who don't wish to rebuild an entirely new gaming library. Effect on MSFT StockEven if Project Scarlett is a smash hit, it's not likely to decidedly buoy the value of MSFT stock. It's certainly not going to hurt though.In its infancy, Microsoft's Xbox was seen as more of an experiment than a profit center. Built to utilize its DirectX coding that couldn't be fully realized with personal computers, it's unlikely that when the first Xbox was sold in 2001, the organization ever thought it would become the success it's become.But, gaming is still only a small part of Microsoft's total business.While it's difficult to ferret out details, last fiscal year (ending in June), the company's "More Personal Computing" division generated $42.7 billion, or 38% of its top line of $110.4 billion. That division, however, also includes sales of its Windows operating system, Windows commercial and cloud product, search engine revenue, and revenue from sales of its Surface line of tablets. That's a lot of different business lines making up a relatively modest piece of the revenue pie. * 7 High-Quality Cheap Stocks to Buy With $10 To its credit, the More Personal Computing division's sales improved 8% last year, and last quarter's gaming revenue grew 7%. Xbox software and service revenue was up 15% on a constant currency basis, more or less lining up with the 9% improvement in sales for the entire division. But, gaming just doesn't offer enough firepower on its own to meaningfully move the dial for the company.The nickels and dimes still add up. Bottom Line for MSFT StockWhile not solid enough reason to step into a stake, the fact that video gaming isn't a game-changer for Microsoft doesn't mean MSFT stock isn't worth owning. It is. The company is absolutely crushing it with its cloud business, and Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives recently touted the idea that it was closing the gap on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) by virtue of winning "larger and more strategic" enterprise-level cloud business. Its business productivity and networking platforms are on a roll as well.But gaming? For better or worse, video games are a low-impact business for the software icon and Microsoft stock investors.As of this writing, James Brumley did held a long position in Alphabet. You can learn more about James at his site,, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 10 Stocks to Buy That Wall Street Expects to Soar for the Rest of 2019 * 7 Value Stocks That Are Flying Under the Radar * 6 Mouth-Watering Fast Food Stocks for Growth Investors Compare Brokers The post Next-Gen Xbox Won't Launch Microsoft Stock, But It Doesn't Need To appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • GuruFocus.com5 days ago

    Mario Gabelli's 1st Quarter Value 25 Fund Commentary

    Discussion of markets and holdings

  • Benzinga5 days ago

    A Closer Look At Dan Loeb's Letter Urging Sony To Reorganize

    Sony is a "one-of-a-kind" company, with exposure to gaming (43% of profits), semiconductors (20%), music (16%) and pictures/movies (8%), the presentation said. The Street isn't giving Sony sufficient credit for growing profits under CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, the presentation said.

  • Why we don’t care about Apple and Google announcements like we used to
    Yahoo Finance5 days ago

    Why we don’t care about Apple and Google announcements like we used to

    Times have changed, and the public is less excited about product announcements than they were a decade ago.

  • Barrons.com5 days ago

    Dan Loeb’s Third Point Has a New Plan to Break Up Sony

    Activist investor Dan Loeb still thinks (6758) should spin off part of its business. Loeb told investors his Third Point hedge fund has built a $1.5 billion stake in Sony in a letter on Thursday night, unveiling a proposal for the company to spin off its semiconductors division. American depositary receipts on Sony (ticker: SNE), which is listed in Tokyo, were up 3.2% in early trading Friday.

  • TheStreet.com5 days ago

    Third Point and Sony in Dialogue Over Activist's Demands

    is engaging in dialogue with Third Point and its founder, Daniel Loeb, amid the activist hedge fund's second push for the Japanese electronics and entertainment company to spin off its semiconductor business, the Financial Times reported. In a letter to its investors circulated Thursday, Third Point said that from its vantage point Sony's stock is undervalued and that the company's portfolio needs to be less complicated. The firm said it has invested $1.5 billion in building an equity position in Sony.

  • Bull of the Day: Universal Display Corporation (OLED)
    Zacks5 days ago

    Bull of the Day: Universal Display Corporation (OLED)

    Bull of the Day: Universal Display Corporation (OLED)

  • Activist Dan Loeb Calls on Sony to Spin Off Its Semiconductor Business
    Bloomberg5 days ago

    Activist Dan Loeb Calls on Sony to Spin Off Its Semiconductor Business

    (Bloomberg) -- Activist investor Dan Loeb disclosed a $1.5 billion stake in Sony Corp. and pushed the company to make dramatic changes, including spinning off its semiconductor business and listing it in Japan.Sony’s shares rose 3.1% in Tokyo after Loeb’s Third Point published a letter and 102-page presentation pushing for changes at the Japanese media and electronics giant, including sales of its insurance business and stakes in companies like Spotify Technology SA. If the company spins off the semiconductor business and executes on its long-term vision, the newly independent entity could be worth $35 billion within five years, according to the New York-based hedge fund firm.“We rarely find companies like Sony that have a depressed valuation, high-quality underlying businesses, numerous options for portfolio optimization, and a capable management team,” Third Point said on a website entitled “A Stronger Sony.” “We believe a spin‐off of Sony Technologies brings inherent advantages that will unlock long‐term value.”Sony spokesman Takashi Iida declined to comment on Loeb, but said management takes constructive proposals "seriously."Sony is the leader in image sensors used in smartphones and digital cameras. The chips business generated 144 billion yen ($1.3 billion) in operating profit on 879 billion yen of revenue in the latest fiscal year. That’s similar in size to Analog Devices Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., two companies with market values of more than $30 billion.But some analysts questioned the proposal, saying the chips unit is better off as part of a larger group. Despite a slowdown in global phone sales, the division has maintained profit growth as newer models adopt more cameras per device.“I’m uncertain whether a spin off would actually increase value,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute. “The semiconductor industry is notoriously volatile and requires constant, huge investments. That’s easier to manage if it’s done as a part of Sony’s bigger group.”Sony Chief Executive Officer Kenichiro Yoshida hasn’t shown interest in parting with the chips business. He underscored his commitment last month by increasing investment in image sensors to about 700 billion yen in the three years ending March 2021, and unveiled plans for new chip designs outfitted with artificial intelligence.“By leveraging the superior technology we have developed in this business, we expect to maintain our industry leading position going forward,” he told investors last month. “We expect this business to generate high return on investment in the long term.”Third Point also wants sales of its stakes in Sony Financial, M3 Inc, Olympus Corp. and Spotify, which it estimates currently account for about 20% of Sony’s market capitalization. Doing so would give the company cash to invest in its main entertainment business: gaming, music and movies, it said.Loeb was less concerned with Sony’s legacy electronics businesses, which make TVs, cameras and mobile phones. These assets are smaller than the entertainment operations and they’re “no longer the drag on profitability that they were six years ago,” Third Point said. Cash flow from electronics can be reinvested into entertainment, it added.This is the second time Loeb has agitated for changes at Sony. In 2013, Third Point bought a stake and proposed a partial spin off and initial public offering of the company’s entertainment business. He was unsuccessful.Loeb has been known for his aggressive tactics and so-called poison pen letters that criticize companies’ management teams. He has mellowed somewhat in recent years: a high-profile investment in Nestle SA since 2017 has been relatively cordial. Still, he can turn combative when he deems it necessary, as evidenced by a proxy fight last year with Campbell Soup Co.Shareholder activism is still pretty rare in Japan, so Loeb is taking the less aggressive approach for now. Third Point credited Sony’s management, under former Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai and then Yoshida, for implementing dramatic changes at the company since 2014.“Despite these substantial improvements, Sony continues to be as undervalued today as it was in 2013, trading at its lowest forward multiple of earnings in the last decade,” Third Point said.Now that Sony is on a better path operationally, Yoshida can tackle this "by shifting his focus to unlocking the value of the company’s tremendous portfolio of assets," Third Point said. “Today, Sony trades at roughly half our estimate of intrinsic value, with additional upside from optimizing capital allocation.”Although Loeb’s prior attempt with Sony was unsuccessful, it did result in changes including the replacement of executives at its film division. Yoshida was Sony’s chief financial officer at the time of the last campaign, and recently said he looked back fondly on his interaction with the activist investor.“I thought it was a good thing that we negotiated with Third Point at the time,” Yoshida said in a group interview last month. “It’s important to talk to investors. Whether you can convince them is part of running a business.”(Updates with company comment in third paragraph and shares.)\--With assistance from Ian King and Yuki Furukawa.To contact the reporters on this story: Scott Deveau in New York at;Yuji Nakamura in Tokyo at ynakamura56@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Fournier at, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Loeb's Sony Split Makes Sense. But Then What?
    Bloomberg5 days ago

    Loeb's Sony Split Makes Sense. But Then What?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Dan Loeb wants to split up Sony Corp.In a seven-page letter and 100-slide presentation, Third Point LLC’s founder and CEO outlined what Sony’s shares have been saying for years: The company is worth more than the sum of its parts.Any Sony investor ought to share the frustration of Third Point, which owns a $1.5 billion stake. After posting losses for six out of seven years, Sony just notched its fourth consecutive annual profit (up 87% in the year through March 31).  While this turnaround lifted shares, they’ve remained largely stagnant since the end of October 2017, when PlayStation demand spurred a fourfold increase in quarterly operating profit.The company’s return on common equity went from negative 5.5% in fiscal 2015 to 27.3% in the most recent year, while its return on invested capital has expanded almost fivefold in the past two years. Yet the shares are trading at a mere 12.6 times estimated forward 12-month earnings, below the 18.6 times for Nintendo Co. and 14.9 times for Canon Inc.(1)To that end, Loeb’s latest push for change at the Japanese electronics giant includes a request to spin off the semiconductor business and keep core Sony focused on gaming, music and pictures. The mechanics are deceptively simple, and thanks to new tax laws in Japan, potentially quite lucrative.Sony needn’t run an IPO in the traditional sense of selling some shares in one of its divisions. Instead, it can split into two listed companies: New Sony and Sony Technologies. The latter would house the chip business, and every existing Sony shareholder would get an equivalent stake in both. To do this, management would need to admit something that’s been clear for a decade: Sony messed up.Twenty years ago, the company was poised to become what Apple Inc. is today. Back then, Sony owned the portable music market. It invented the Walkman, and when CDs came along it brought out the Discman. The advent of digital music, a catalog of its own, and a range of components to put it all together meant that Sony should have invented the iPod and iTunes. But it didn’t. And, as Steve Jobs proved, you don’t need to own the various parts to dominate the whole. And yet Sony has held on to these disparate parts far longer than it should have.In my view, Sony should keep all of its various divisions together if, and only if, there are demonstrable synergies. Samsung Electronics Co. proves that such synergies aren’t only possible but extremely valuable. The South Korean company’s ownership of displays, memory chips and semiconductor manufacturing allows it to keep churning out the best smartphones every year (that is, when they don’t explode). Yet Loeb’s strategy doesn’t adequately address what Sony should do after that. Third Point mentions that post split, New Sony would have room to raise debt, given its inefficient balance sheet, should it need to make acquisitions. It already has $25 billion in total cash, and net cash of $3.6 billion while free cash flow last year was $8.6 billion.Third Point notes that Sony has the capacity for $34 billion in buybacks over the next three years while keeping net leverage(2) under 1 times. Unfortunately the two buybacks it already announced this year, for a total of 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion), have done little to boost the stock. Perhaps share performance was muted by the tough macroeconomic environment, especially in tech. If that’s the case, then it’s worth noting that a global slowdown and continued U.S.-China tensions aren’t likely to disappear anytime soon. The case for a reorganization is compelling and shouldn’t be ignored. But both Loeb and Sony management need to spend more time working out what to do with the New Sony.(1) Third Point notes that one reason for a split would be to allow the new entities to be better compared against appropriate peer groups.(2) Third Point defines net leverage as net debt/Ebitda.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.