Sharp to record $475 million losses on stock drops

Sharp expects extraordinary losses of around US$475 million as a result of writedowns in the value of stock it holds in other companies, it said Tuesday.

Sharp expects to record extraordinary losses of around ¥43.2 billion (US$475 million) this year as a result of writedowns in the value of stock it holds in other companies, it said Tuesday.

The company said in a statement that it will make the writedowns "since their fair market value has declined significantly and is unlikely to recover in the future."

The company didn't specify the specific shares it would write down but a report in the Tuesday morning edition of the Nikkei business daily said it was those of Pioneer. Sharp bought 30 million shares in Pioneer about a year ago for ¥1,385 per share but the stock closed 2008 trading on Tuesday at ¥163.

As a result of the writedown, which may be amended at the end of Sharp's financial year in March 2009, the company said it is re-examining its full-year forecast.

In October Sharp revised down its full-year forecast due to poor sales of cell phones and lower profits in the flat-panel TV business. It is currently expecting net profit to be ¥60 billion and sales are predicted to be ¥3.4 trillion.

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Martyn Williams

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