Tech Vendor Earnings: Sony, Panasonic Continue to Struggle; Also Belden, Cisco, EVS, Miranda, SGI, Vizrt

Sony Corp. racked up a record annual loss of 457 billion yen ($5.7 billion) in its fourth straight year of red ink. Sony reported Thursday a loss of 255 billion yen ($3.2 billion) for the January-March period — its fifth straight quarterly net loss to round out a fiscal year that was the worst in its 66-year corporate history. Quarterly sales inched up 1.2 percent on-year to 1.6 trillion yen ($20 billion). Annual sales plunged nearly 10 percent to 6.5 trillion yen ($81 billion). Sony has been hit hard by earthquake/tsunami damage to factories in Northeastern Japan, increase competition from Samsung and other electronics rivals, and a soaring yen. With newly appointed president Kazuo Hirai now aboard, Sony forecast a return to profit for the fiscal year through March 2013 at 30 billion yen ($375 million), banking on the growing smartphone and tablet business, as well as a recovery from last year’s disasters. Sony had recorded a 260 billion yen loss the previous fiscal year. The latest results were better than the 520 billion yen ($6.5 billion) annual loss the Tokyo-based company had projected. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated a more optimistic 430 billion yen ($5.3 billion) loss. (Associated Press)…

…Panasonic announced that it generated 7.8 trillion yen ($97.6 billion) during the fiscal year ended March 31, down 10% compared to the prior year. What’s worse, it lost 772 billion yen ($9.7 billion) during the 12-month period, reversing the 74 billion yen profit it generated in the prior year. Although Panasonic said that the losses were due in part to natural causes, including the floods in Thailand and the earthquake in Japan, the company also acknowledged that its television sales plummeted. (CNET)…

…Cisco reported net income in the quarter ended April 30 of $2.2 billion, or 40 cents a share, compared with net income of $1.8 billion, or 33 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue was $11.6 billion, up from $10.9 billion last year. The results were slightly ahead of the average forecast in a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Cisco’s forecast for the current quarter was slightly below expectations. (New York Times)…

…Vizrt reported that its revenue for the first quarter of 2012 was $31.7m, an increase of 13% versus the same period a year ago, and down 5% versus the previous quarter. (Devoncroft)…

…EVS reported that its revenue for the first quarter of 2012 was €30m, an increase of 32.5% versus the same period last year, and an increase of 5% versus the previous quarter.  (Devoncroft)…

…Miranda Technologies announced that its revenue for the first quarter of 2012 was C$42.2m, an increase of 7% versus the same period last year, and down 16% versus the previous quarter. (Devoncroft)…

…Nvidia said it expects sales in the second quarter to come in between $990 million and $1.05 billion, well ahead of the the $976 million analysts had forecast. And the cheerful forecast came on top of earnings that also beat expectations. Sales in the first quarter fell to $925 million from $962 million a year earlier, which, despite the drop, was better than the $916 million consensus. Nvidia’s profits were $60 million, or 10 cents on a per-share basis, which was also a drop from 22 cents in the year-ago period. A rather hefty fall at that, but it was in line with expectations. (All Things D)…

…Belden reported net income of $24.27 million or $0.52 per diluted share for the quarter, higher than net income of $21.89 million or $0.45 per diluted share reported in the same quarter last year. Revenue increased $2.7 million in the first quarter to $464.3 million, from $461.6 million in the first quarter of 2011. (NASDAQ)…

…Silicon Graphics International Corp.’s (SGI) fiscal third-quarter loss narrowed as revenue improved. Revenue jumped 39% to $199.4 million. For the period ended March 30, SGI posted a loss of $1.2 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $1.7 million, or 5 cents a share. (Dow Jones Newswire)