PlayStation Maker Sony's Shares Start Friday At Three-Decade Low

PlayStation Maker Sony's Shares Start Friday At Three-Decade Low What a way for Sony to start the weekend.

Following disconcerting FY2011 results reported Thursday, Sony Corporation's shares opened Friday's trading down 6.7 percent to open at ¥1,100, Reuters reports - the lowest opening since 2008. The last time Sony shares opened so low, it was 1980 and the PlayStation maker's signature pioneering Walkman cassette player had only just entered the market.

The low open comes on the heels of CEO Kaz Hirai announcing during Thursday's year-end earnings conference call that the corporation posted a $5.7-billion loss for the fiscal year running from April 2011-March 2012.

"I don't see anything positive in there," one U.S. trader said. "There is really nothing in there that can justify buying stock.

"You see the loss narrowing in the TV business. That's fine, but I don't see any future in the TV business, so it doesn't matter what they do," the trader added.

Such uncertainty in the TV-development market harkens to an April forecast by Fitch Ratings' Steve Durose.

"[In the past] if you wanted a top quality TV, you had to buy a Sharp, Panasonic or Sony. Those days are gone. Reuters observed that manufacturers like Samsung and LG have made up ground on those giants thanks to stronger yen and the emergence of organic light emitting display sets.

Sony's PlayStation brand posted under-performing figures nearly across the board. Hirai reported via translator that Sony sold 1.8 million handheld PS Vita units during the passed fiscal year, according to Eurogamer. Hirai anticipates that the present fiscal year ending March 2013 will yield a combined 16 million PlayStation Portable and PS Vita sales.

Let's do some quick math. Hirai's estimate forecasts that Sony will move roughly 10 million PS Vita units this year. To make up the difference, Sony will have to sell 6 million PSPs, a product with sales that have declined annually over its five-year lifespan and that posted FY2011 sales that fell from 8 million sold in FY2010 to 6.8 million by the end of this past March.

Thanks to declining units sold, a disastrous April 2011 PlayStation Network hack that exposed clients' personal and financial information and an August 2011 price cut, the PlayStation 3 brand lost an estimated $2.8 billion. Along the way, units sold also fell from 14.3 million down to 13.9 million moved.

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