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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fitch Downgrades Panasonic and Sony to Junk Status

Fitch Ratings have cut the debt ratings of Panasonic and Sony to ‘junk’ status citing “weak demand… as well as continuing price competition from overseas companies.” The ratings agency acknowledges that Panasonic is “in the right direction in its restructuring efforts” but remains “cautious that the benefits of the restructuring may be marred by the weak performance in Panasonic’s electronics products and components businesses and lead to a slow recovery in profitability.” With respect to Sony, Fitch points out “continuing weakness in the home entertainment & sound and mobile products & communications segments will offset the relatively stable music and pictures segments and improvement in the devices segment which makes semiconductors and components.” From a photography point of view it’s interesting that the ratings firm believes CMOS image sensors are among the most profitable products in Sony’s portfolio and finds it “likely that Sony will use its strength in imaging sensors to promote its next range of smartphones as best-in-category for photography.”

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