Sony Reports 18% Profit Jump on Gaming, Image Sensor Business

By Sam Reynolds  / 

Sony's (NYSE:SNE) bottom line was boosted by strong results from its Gaming as well as Image Sensor divisions, as the company's fiscal first-quarter profit topped analyst estimates.

Sony posted $2.13 billion in operating profit for the last quarter -- its first quarter on its fiscal calendar -- up from $1.79 billion for the same quarter last year. This was on revenue of approximately $17.5 billion (flat). The company has cut its full-year revenue outlook on  a forecast of slowing sales of consumer electronics later in the year, and predicts profit to drop for the first time in three years as goes into R&D mode for its next-generation Playstation console and new image sensors for smartphones.

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Operating income at the gaming division was down to $679 million, from $759 million, but still beat analyst expectations due to higher than expected console sales. This quarter was a milestone for Sony's Playstation 4 console as it has hit the 100 million units sold marker. This makes it the fastest console to hit the 100 million milestone, according to analysts. The PS4 hit this milestone after 5 years and 7 months whereas the PS2 took 5 years and 9 months. However, as the PS4 is reaching the end of its expected lifecycle -- with the PS5 on the horizon -- and the PS4 sales target was cut by 1 million units to 15 million, and expected revenue for the rest of the year was cut down by 4.3%. Sony reported the PlayStation Plus subscriber count is now at 36.2 million which is down by 2% when compared to the previous quarter.

The company's imaging and sensing solutions division, which makes sensors for smartphone cameras, continued to its strong performance, with sales up 28% at $2.1 billion and profits up 20% at $456 million.

Sony's movie division also posted strong gains in revenue this quarter, up 11%. The film division hit revenue of $1.70 billion in the quarter and posted operating income of $3 million. Box office hit Spider-Man: Far From Home, which has passed the $1 billion box office mark, was released after the quarter ended.

Sony's shares are up approximately 1.7% in the last five days and have gained 13.3% in the year-to-date.

Source: Sony

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