Sony isn't likely to look back on 2011 with the fondest of memories, and neither will its investors after today's news that the recent earthquake in Japan and ongoing PSN woes have resulted in an estimated loss of $3.2 billion for the fiscal year ending March 2011.
According to its revised earnings forecast, Sony's loss is largely attributed to a $4.4 billion writeoff, and the earthquake in Japan this past March which cost the company (and many others) a sizable chunk of change due to hampered manufacturing operations. Interestingly, the report also stated PSN outages have cost the company an estimated $171 million in expenses, including network security enhancements, legal and expert fees, 'welcome back' programs, free consumer identity protection coverage plans, customer service investments and predicted revenue losses.
"These amounts are our reasonable assumption based on the information currently available to Sony. So far, we have not received any confirmed reports of customer identity theft issues, nor confirmed any misuse of credit cards from the cyber-attack. Those are key variables, and if that changes, the costs could change," read the report. "In addition, in connection with the data breach, class action lawsuits have been filed against Sony and certain of its subsidiaries and regulatory inquiries have begun; however, those are all at a preliminary stage, so we are not able to include the possible outcome of any of them in our results forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2012 at this moment."
Despite taking a few licks in recent months, Sony said it is still on track to end the 2011 fiscal year in a healthy position. It will reveal its full earnings report to investors this Thursday.
[Source: Forbes.com, Wall Street Journal]
May 23, 2011