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Sharp Sees $732M Fiscal Q3 Net Loss

Osaka, Japan — Sharp posted Friday a net loss of $732 million (65.8 billion yen) for its fiscal third quarter, and said it now expects to post its first full-year net loss in more than five decades.

The company warned that its net loss for the year will probably be $1.1 billion (100 billion yen) for the 12 months ending March 31. It also announced that it will eliminate 1,500 temporary jobs and close down some production lines at two LCD manufacturing plants in Japan.

The company said it will also cut annual salaries of company directors by between 30 percent and 50 percent from March to September as it seeks to cut fixed costs.

The third-quarter loss compared to a net profit of $329 million in (29.6 billion yen) from the October-December period a year ago.

Sharp attributed the short falls to the rising value of the yen and declining global sales and prices for LCD TVs amidst harsh economic conditions.

Sharp forecast sales of LCD TVs will fall 10 percent this fiscal year to $8.1 billion (730 billion yen) as the number of sets sold increases 21 percent to 10 million.

Compounding its problems was the fact that Sharp is now the largest shareholder of Pioneer Electronics, with a 14.3 percent stake. Pioneer shares declined 84 percent in 2008, according to reports in Japan.

Sales in the quarter fell 20 percent to $8.2 billion (735.1 billion yen), while an operating loss in the three month period was $176 million (15.8 billion yen), from a $577 million (51.9 billion yen) profit a year earlier.

Partly due to restructuring costs, Sharp said it now expects an operating loss of $333 million (30 billion yen) for the fiscal year, compared with its previous forecast of a $1.4 billion (130 billion yen) profit.

The company said sales will probably decline 15 percent from a year earlier to $32 billion (2.9 trillion yen), less than the previous projection of $38 billion (3.42 trillion yen).