Toshiba cuts outlook after Q3 profit tumbles

TOKYO: Toshiba Corp, Japan’s biggest chipmaker, booked a 72% fall in quarterly operating profit and cut its annual profit forecast as a strong yen and a weak global economy hit profits at the industrial electronics conglomerate.

Flooding in Thailand also hit quarterly earnings after it forced the company to halt some of its manufacturing lines.

Toshiba, the world’s No. 2 maker of Flash memory chips behind Samsung Electronics and a supplier to Apple, cut its annual operating profit forecast to 200bil yen (RM8bil) from 300bil yen (RM12bil) for the year to March.

That was below the 275bil yen (RM11bil) consensus estimate of 23 analysts polled by ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S.

The maker of electronic goods and equipment from rice cookers to nuclear reactors has been hurt by weak demand, especially for consumer goods such as computers and televisions, but has benefited from robust sales of Tablet PCs and other devices using its Flash memory.

Toshiba posted an operating profit of 10.5bil yen (RM419.8mil) for October-December, compared with a an average estimate for a 58.8bil yen (RM2.35bil) profit in a poll of four analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

On a net basis, Toshiba fell to a 10.6bil yen (RM423.8mil) loss in the quarter, from a 12.37bil yen (RM494.5mil) net profit a year earlier.

Shares in Toshiba, which competes with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor Inc in semiconductors and with GE and Areva in nuclear reactors, have fallen by one-third over the past 12 months, compared with a 14% drop in Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei average.

Tuesday’s results announcement came after the market close. Shares of Toshiba settled 1.8% lower, versus a 0.1% gain in the benchmark Nikkei 225, pressured by a report in the Nikkei business daily that the company would cut its outlook. — Reuters

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