Hitachi Ltd. reverses profit projections

Hitachi Ltd. reviewed its full-year profit forecast because of a wider-than-expected loss at its flat-panel TV business and a tax write-down.

Hitachi Ltd is a Japanese global company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company is the parent of the Hitachi Group. Hitachi Japan's second-largest plasma television maker.

The net loss will probably widen to 70 billion yen ($697 million) in the 12 months ending March 31, from 32.8 billion yen a year earlier. Hitachi in February cut its net income projection by 75 percent to 10 billion yen on bigger losses at the TV unit.

The company and Pioneer Corp. are losing money on plasma TVs as companies including Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. offer lower prices and more shipments to retailers.

Pioneer Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation that specializes in digital entertainment products, based in Tokyo, Japan. Pioneer is well-known for technology advancements in the consumer electronics industry.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a Japanese electronics manufacturer based in Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. It produces products under a variety of names including Panasonic and Technics.

Hitachi today said it will book 56 billion yen in non-operating expenses for the unprofitable business this year, in addition to a 30 billion yen charge announced in February to reorganize the operations.

The operating loss or sales minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, in the business, which includes flat-panel TVs, washing machines and air conditioners, will probably widen to 112 billion yen, from 98 billion yen forecast in February and 58.4 billion yen a year earlier, Hitachi said. The company also cut the sales outlook for the unit by 1.3 percent to 1.51 trillion yen.

Prices of plasma televisions measuring 55 inches fell 30 percent last year, more than the 26 percent decline by 42-inch liquid-crystal display TVs, according to estimates by Taipei based Wits View Technology Corp., which tracks panel and TV price movements.

Hitachi also said it will write down 62 billion yen in deferred tax assets. Falling share prices will reduce its non- operating gains, such as from the sale of its stake in Hitachi Displays Ltd. to Canon Inc., by 10 billion yen this fiscal year.

Hitachi shares fell 3.7 percent to close at 679 yen before the announcement. The stock dropped 16 percent in the past year, compared with a 27 percent decline by the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

The company maintained its projections for full-year sales to rise 5.4 percent to 10.8 trillion yen, and operating profit, or sales minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, to gain64 percent to 300 billion yen.