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Business briefs: Sony forecasts loss; trying to dump Vaio

Fri., Feb. 7, 2014

TOKYO – Sony is in talks to sell its troubled personal computer business and Thursday lowered its earnings forecast for the business year ending March to a $1.08 billion loss.

The company also said it’s cutting its global workforce by about 3 percent or 5,000 people by the end of March 2015 as it restructures its PC, television and other businesses. Some 3,500 of the job losses will be overseas and 1,500 in Japan.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment maker acknowledged it won’t be able to stop losing money in its Vaio PC or Bravia TV operations as it had repeatedly promised.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp. said it will split off its money-losing TV division and run it as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Sony is talking with investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, which specializes in turnarounds and buyouts in manufacturing, to reach an agreement by the end of March to sell its PC business. Sony kept its fiscal year sales projection unchanged at $76 billion. But it lowered its earnings forecast, saying it will post a loss instead of the $295 million profit expected in October.

GM’s 4Q earnings lower than expected

DETROIT – General Motors’ fourth-quarter net profit rose 2 percent from a year ago, but the company fell short of Wall Street expectations as it spent heavily to restructure outside the U.S.

GM rode record North American earnings to a profit of $913 million, or 57 cents per share. That compares with $892 million, or 54 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 3 percent to $40.5 billion.

Excluding one-time items, including a $700 million charge to exit the Chevrolet brand in Europe, GM made 67 cents per share. But analysts polled by FactSet expected 88 cents on revenue of $40.8 billion.

30-year loan rates fall to 4.23 percent

WASHINGTON – Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages fell this week as the latest data continued to indicate a pause in the housing market’s recovery.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan declined to 4.23 percent from 4.32 percent last week. The average for the 15-year loan dipped to 3.33 percent from 3.40 percent.


 

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