Sony said this morning that Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, and the security breach of its PlayStation Network, wreaked havoc with the company’s earnings. The electronics giant will report a $3.2 billion loss for the fiscal year that ended in March — a far cry from the $855 million profit it forecast in February. In addition, Sony says that it expects to take a $1.8 billion hit in the current fiscal year from the earthquake as well as a $171 million loss from its PlayStation problems. The cost of the cyber-attack could end up much higher. Sony says that its estimate does not account for potential losses from lawsuits or regulatory inquiries. Much of the total loss for the year that ended this past March comes from a $4.4 billion charge that accounting rules require Sony to record immediately, once the company recognizes that some of its assets have lost value. The charge “has no impact on cash flow, nor on Sony’s view of its long-term corporate strategy,” CFO Masaru Kato says. Still, he says that Sony’s “supply chain was significantly damaged by the earthquake and tsunami,” and that power outages in Japan “are also affecting our operation.” Sony says it delayed its financial report for the just-ended fiscal year by two weeks so it can evaluate the extent of the damages. Sony will release its full earnings statement for the year on Thursday.
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