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Investment Firms Dent Sony, Urge 'Fundamental Changes'

Major analyst firms have lowered their ratings for Sony shares, claiming the company's lagging behind rivals like Nintendo. The company needs "fundamental changes" to its operating structure, says Credit Suisse, who says the company could report six times
Major analyst firms Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have lowered their estimates for Sony's earnings, claiming the company's "lagging" behind rivals like Nintendo -- and Sony's share price feels the impact. Bloomberg reports that Sony's shares fell to their lowest point all week following Credit Suisse's investment rating cut, dropping 5.9 percent to close at 1,825 yen ($20.32). Credit Suisse tagged Sony shares "underperform," down from "neutral". In the firm's opinion, Sony can't stay competitive without "fundamental changes" to its operating structure. Although Sony's business covers a wide range of electronics aside from the PlayStation 3, such as Bravia televisions, analysts dinged the company for high operating costs that hamper its ability to compete in numerous arenas, an issue frequently noted in analysis surrounding the PS3's high-end price. Deutsche Bank cut its recommendation from "buy" to "hold", and reduced its estimate for the company's price by almost half, Bloomberg says. "We believe fundamental changes to its business structure are necessary," says Tokyo-based Credit Suisse analyst Koya Tabata. "Compared to its peers both at home and overseas, Sony has been slow to react to the current crisis." Tabata expects Sony to report a net loss of 150 billion yen ($1.66 billion), six times greater than previously expected.

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