Sony: Things are looking better than we thought

The company has upped its financial forecast for the period ended March 31, saying that its performance was stronger than expected.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Although Sony has been in a bit of trouble over the last few years, things appear to be looking up.

The company on Thursday revised its initial forecast for the fiscal year ended March 31, saying that its sales will rise 3 percent compared to its initial forecast, landing at 6.8 trillion yen (about $69 billion). Better yet, Sony has bumped up its operating income and net income figures by 76.9 percent and 100 percent, respectively.

If Sony's final numbers for the fiscal year match its forecasts, the company will have dramatically improved its performance over the last year. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, Sony posted a net loss of 456.7 billion yen. It's now planning to post a slight 40 billion yen profit.

So, what's changed? The company says that its sales of several assets has helped boost income on the year. The company's financial services division was also up during its last fiscal year. And thanks to a depreciating yen, the company's operating income on foreign sales was improved.

Sony has been in a bit of trouble over the last several years, leading to the company changing its management, as Sir Howard Stringer was replaced by Kazuo Hirai as its chief executive. During his tenure, Hirai has focused Sony around several key divisions, including mobile and gaming, and has sold off unnecessary assets, like buildings. So far, it appears that strategy is working.

Sony plans to announce its full fiscal year earnings on May 9.