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Sony loses record $5.7 billion

By Kevin Voigt, CNN
May 10, 2012 -- Updated 0714 GMT (1514 HKT)
Sony's PlayStation Vita handheld gaming device.
Sony's PlayStation Vita handheld gaming device.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sony lost a record $5.7 billion in the fiscal year ending in March
  • Japanese electronics giant finishes its fourth straight year with a loss
  • The company predicts a $376.5 million net profit this current fiscal year

(CNN) -- Sony Corp. lost a record $5.7 billion in the fiscal year ending in March, the company announced today -- lower than beleaguered electronics giant's previous estimates of finishing the year $6.4 billion in the red.

Still, it was the fourth straight year the company finished the year with a loss. Sony is not the only Japanese electronics giant struggling: On Friday, Panasonic Corp. is expected to announce nearly $10 billion in annual losses, according to estimates released by the company earlier this year.

Both companies have struggled with ailing television manufacturing divisions, which have lost to lower cost rivals like Samsung and LG, and are hampered by a rising yen which has cut repatriated profits from overseas sales. Sony's television division has lost money for the past eight years.

The search for Sony's soul

Earlier this week, shares of Sony stock slipped to its lowest level in 25 years.

Both Sony and Panasonic have announced restructuring plans and have new leaders running the company. New CEO Kazuo Hirai took the helm on April 1 and promised last month to cut 10,000 jobs -- about 6% of its workforce -- in the next year. The company predicts a 30 billion yen ($376.5 million) net profit in the current fiscal year.

Kazuhiro Tsuga was appointed new CEO of Panasonic earlier this year. Both Tsuga and Hirai have announced plans to cut the volume of televisions the companies produce. The Japanese economic newspaper Nikkei reported Wednesday Panasonic may swing to a $626 million profit this fiscal year, causing the company's share price to rise nearly 5%. The company wouldn't comment on the report, saying in a statement it would release figures on Friday.

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