The Japanese electronics, entertainment and financial conglomerate booked a net profit of ¥21.2 billion ($204 million) in the three months through June 30, despite market expectations of a loss ranging between ¥34 billion and ¥39 billion. Net profit dropped 74.3% year-on-year on a revenue decline of 10.8%.
The Tokyo-based company saw year-on-year revenue declines in seven out of the 10 segments. There were notable declines seen in the mobile communications, in which sales were down 33.7%, imaging products and solutions, down 25.8%, semiconductors, down 22.9% and financial services segments, down 16.7%.
The company highlighted negative currency effects, a major decline in smartphone sales, and a slump in its life insurance business. The semiconductors and imaging products and solutions business were hurt by the earthquake which hit the southern prefecture of Kumamoto in April, hindering procurement of components.
Over the past 12 months, the yen has appreciated against the dollar by 16% and 15% against the euro.
Still, a positive surprise came from the game and network services segment, which enjoyed sales growth of 14.5% thanks to "significant" increases in PlayStation 4 software sales. The music segment saw sales growth of 8.7%, partly thanks to best-selling titles including Beyonce's Lemonade. The pictures segment saw a 6.9% sales increase on higher revenue from motion pictures, including The Angry Birds Movie, and media networks.
Operating profit dropped 42%, partly as the company booked maintenance costs and disposal losses on some of its fixed assets affected by the Kumamoto earthquake.
For the full year fiscal 2017, Sony downgraded its revenue outlook from ¥7.8 trillion to ¥7.4 trillion, but maintained its net profit forecast at ¥80 billion. Notable sales downgrades were made in the mobile communications, components and pictures segments.
The company revised its currency exchange outlook and now assumes ¥103 to the dollar and ¥114 to the euro, compared with ¥110 to the dollar and ¥120 to the euro it assumed as of May.
On Thursday, Sony announced it would sell its loss-making battery business to Murata Manufacturing (MRAAY) , a major Apple (AAPL) - Get Report component supplier. The firms aim to finalize the terms of the sales by mid-October 2016 and transfer the business by the end of March in 2017.
(Apple is held in Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS. See all of his holdings here.)
Sony announced its results after the market closed in Japan. Shares closed Friday up 2.8% at ¥3,282.