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February 4, 2017

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Sharp reports first profit in 2 years, raises forecast

SHARP Corp lifted its full-year profit guidance after posting its first quarterly net profit in more than two years as the Japanese liquid crystal display maker pressed ahead with cost-cutting measures under new owner Foxconn.

This was the first full quarter under the Taiwan-based company’s management for Sharp, and analysts have been keen to see if the results reflect Foxconn Chairman and CEO Terry Gou’s trademark style of a laser-like focus on costs. The Japanese company’s shares have already rallied since Foxconn took charge last year.

Sharp, a major supplier of LCD panels to Apple Inc, is consolidating production lines, streamlining distribution networks and tapping Foxconn’s famed parts procurement power to turn itself around.

“Speedy management is the biggest contributor to the turnaround,” Executive Vice President Katsuaki Nomura said at an earnings briefing, hailing the swift decision-making style of Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker.

Sharp also benefited from production cutbacks by South Korean rivals in LCD panels that led to a supply shortage and pushed up market prices.

Net profit was 4.2 billion yen (US$37.14 million) for the October-December period, compared with a 24.7 billion yen loss a year earlier, with its core display device unit also swinging back to a profit for the first time in two years.

Sharp raised its operating profit forecast to 37.3 billion yen for the year ending in March from an earlier forecast of 25.7 billion yen.



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