February 1, 2010 2:00 am

Stakes set high for troubled Sony

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When Sony reports third-quarter results on Thursday the stakes will be higher than at any time since it warned of deep losses last year, writes Robin Harding .

Sony's share price has risen above Y3,000 in recent weeks for the first time since October 2008 as investors speculate that it had a strong Christmas. The company has recovered some credibility with investors by delivering better than expected results since last January so it will be a setback if the holiday quarter disappoints.

Sony executives have made positive comments about Christmas sales, suggesting that flat-panel televisions, Blu-Ray players and e-readers all sold well, while the company has announced that it sold 3.8m Playstation 3 consoles during the holiday season, up 76 per cent on last year.

Investors will expect an update on Sony's restructuring programme and will also be keen to hear how much it expects to gain from recent strength in the South Korean won, the currency of Samsung, its biggest rival.

Beyond the immediate figures, the question will be whether Sony gives any update on its plans for future growth.

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