Sony's profit disappoints as weaker games biz overshadows record result

Sony reports best-ever quarterly profit on strong music biz

Sony’s 2018 fiscal year Q3 earnings: profits increased to about $3.5 billion

Japan's Sony Corp raked in its highest-ever quarterly profit on Friday, propelled by its music segment following the acquisition of EMI.

The gaming business posted a profit of 73.1 billion yen, versus 85.4 billion yen, as the popularity of exclusive titles such as "Marvel's Spider-Man" failed to offset shrinking sales of the five-year-old PlayStation 4 console.

On Friday, Sony said its third-quarter profit increased to 376.99 billion yen ($3.46 billion) from 350.84 billion yen a year earlier.

"Hardware sales dropped to 8.1 million units in the quarter, but that's meeting our expectations for a console entering its sixth year", Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki said at an earnings briefing.

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But the all-time high missed an average estimate of 383.67 billion yen from 10 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Sony completed the $2.3 billion acquisition late a year ago to become the world's largest music publisher.

Sony chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida said a year ago that the company was developing a new games console, and Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad said in January that "PS5 dev kits are out there and I've heard positive things about it".

Sony also cut its profit outlook for imaging sensors, citing weakness in the global smartphone market. "But we will adjust the timing of the capacity boost depending on demand".

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Investors are already moving beyond their cheer over Sony's successful reinvention and looking for hints about a successor to the firm's PlayStation 4 console.

The Sony logo is seen on a building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 16, 2019.

Still, Sony maintained its annual profit forecast of 870 billion yen, exceeding an all-time high marked just previous year.

Sony's results follow strong quarterly showing from gaming rival Nintendo Co, which reported a 36 percent jump in operating profit on upbeat software sales of its hybrid home-portable Switch device.

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