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Analyst Casts Doubt On PS3 Shipments

Japanese brokerage firm Mitsubishi UJF Securities has cut its rating for Sony Corp. and cast doubt on the company’s shipment target and expected sales for the PlayStation 3 console, causing Sony's stock price to slump.
Japanese brokerage firm Mitsubishi UJF Securities has cut its rating for Sony Corp. and cast doubt on the company’s shipment target and expected sales for the PlayStation 3 console. The company lowered its rating for Sony by one point to “3” and halved its estimates on PlayStation 3 sales for the business year ended March 31st to just three million units, according to a Reuters report. As a result, shares in Sony fell 3.2 percent by early afternoon on the Japanese stock market. The firm suggested that difficulties in obtaining enough high-tech components for the console would limit Sony’s ability to deliver the six million units it promised by the end of March, 2007. Ironically, by forecasting less sales Sony was thus predicted to see an increase in profits, since the PlayStation 3 hardware is initially being sold at a loss. There had been some recent confusion regarding Sony’s exact PlayStation 3 allocations for the year, following an ambiguous comment from Sony Computer Entertainment America president Kaz Hirai on the subject. Sony later re-confirmed that the company planned to ship two million units for the console’s worldwide launch in November, with an additional two million by the end of 2007. However, as cited by Reuters, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities analyst Masahiko Ishino said in a note to clients: "In the medium term this would mean that it would take longer for Sony to recover its huge investment in PS3 and thus we are downgrading the stock."

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