GAMCO Investors ups position in Sony

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GAMCO raises stake in Sony

Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors added to its position in Sony Corp. ADR (SNE) during the quarter that ended in September 2014. The position accounted for 0.52% of the fund’s 3Q14 portfolio.

Sony mobile

Sony overview

Sony and its consolidated subsidiaries develop, design, manufacture, and sell various kinds of electronic equipment, software, and devices for consumer, professional, and industrial markets.

The firm also produces, acquires, and distributes motion pictures and television programming through its operation of television and digital networks. Plus, the company is one of the top recorded music and publishing companies in the world.

Adding to these activities, Sony operates various financial services businesses through its Japanese insurance and Internet-based banking subsidiaries.

Sony is currently undergoing a restructuring.

Sony posts $1.2-billion loss due to write-down in mobile division 

In the latest fiscal 2Q14, the firm posted $17.4 billion in revenue, but saw a net loss of $1.2 billion. The operating loss mainly resulted from a write-down of $1.6 billion in the mobile phone division. However, the loss was narrower than Wall Street consensus.

Gains from PlayStation 4 in the game and network services segment drove Sony’s revenue increase of 7.2%. The company also saw strong performance of image sensors in its devices and pictures segment. Foreign exchange rates had a favorable impact as well.

Sony’s smartphone division is facing intense competition from Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung. In October, Sony announced that Hiroki Totoki will replace Kunimasa Suzuki as chief of the mobile communications division.

For the full fiscal year 2014 ending in March, Sony forecast sales of $70 billion and a loss of $2.1 billion. Sony also slashed its smartphone unit sales target for 2015 to 41 million from the previous target of 43 million. Reports noted that the company is seeing a weak performance in China, where smaller rivals such as Xiaomi are gaining market share.

Market Realist noted that the hedge fund Third Point Partners exited its stake in Sony during 3Q14. Learn more in Third Point exits position in Sony.

Other GAMCO activities during the third quarter

GAMCO Investors added new positions in Weatherford International, TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., and Liberty Media Corporation Class C (LMCK) in 3Q14. The fund also acquired stakes in Sigma-Aldrich Corp. (SIAL), Concur Technologies Inc., and Bally Technologies Inc. (BYI), all three of which are currently involved in merger and acquisition transactions. GAMCO added to its positions in the Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. and Chemtura Corporation as well.

The next part of this series will highlight GAMCO’s position change in the Interpublic Group of Companies.

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