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Sony's Slow-Motion Trainwreck: $1.3 Billion Loss

Stocks in this article: SNE

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If Sony (SNE) were an American company, it might be well on its way to health by now.

But Sony is a Japanese company and thus can't get out of its own way.

As I wrote in February, CEO Kazuo Hirai has made moves that make sense since he took over in 2012. The problem is that he's been unable to execute on those moves painlessly. The result is the company's assets are draining away as though he'd never made the moves at all.

This week Sony announced a revised earnings estimate for the year ending in March. And the company's inability to move quickly is painfully obvious

Before its first earnings revision in February, Sony was expecting a profit of about $300 million. Now it's looking at a loss of $1.3 billion.

In the latest revision, net losses climbed 20 billion yen, about $200 million. Why? Charges related to its exit from the PC business wound up on this year's books, and it couldn't get out of the disc business fast enough to recover even the cost of its equipment.

This wiped out all the good Hirai was able to do during the year, including his divestment of assets like the Gracenote database.

Hirai has in fact done a lot of good.

PlayStation 4 sales were even bigger than expected, coming in at 7 million units in five months, and the quality of Sony product keeps improving

The company is expanding, as well. Sony is getting into the hot area of grid energy storage and into real estate, based on the idea of a mid-level manager.

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