Sharp Announces $1.86 Billion Loss, Plans Thousands of Job Cuts

Sharp Announces $1.86 Billion Loss, Plans Thousands of Job Cuts
Japanese electronics giant Sharp on Thursday announced a bigger-than-expected $1.86 billion fiscal year loss, and thousands of job cuts, as it fights to stay afloat.

The Osaka-based company's 222 billion yen net loss much bigger than an earlier 30 billion yen forecast came as it said it is planning to cut 3,500 jobs in Japan, or about 15 percent of its domestic workforce.

The firm said it hoped to swing to an 80 billion yen operating profit in the current fiscal year, but it did not give a net profit forecast.

Earlier Thursday, Japan's leading Nikkei business daily said Sharp would report as many as 6,000 jobs losses in Japan and offices overseas, but the higher figure could not be immediately confirmed.

Sharp a major Apple supplier and leader in screens for smartphones and tablets also said it would issue 200 billion yen in new shares with no voting rights to lenders Mizuho Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ as part of its bid to repair a badly damaged balance sheet.

"Our company is facing an extremely difficult situation," president Kozo Takahashi told reporters.

"By implementing these structural reforms, we believe we can see a concrete path toward recovery."

The firm lost more than a quarter of its market value Monday following reports that it was planning a drastic capital reduction and the sale of preferred shares, spooking investors who worried about their holdings being diluted.

Sharp on Thursday lost 0.99 percent to close at 200.0 yen in Tokyo, before its results were released.

The Aquos-brand maker, like rivals Sony and Panasonic, has been working to move past years of gaping losses, partly due to bleeding in its television unit, which has been hammered by competition from lower-cost rivals particularly in South Korea and Taiwan.

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