After admitting it faces its first full-year loss this year, Sony (NYSE: SNE) is slashing its annual dividend by 15 percent from 50 yen per share ($0.50) to 42.5 yen per share ($0.43) for the 12 months to March 31. That contains an interim dividend of 30 yen ($0.30) per share and a year-end dividend of 12.5 yen ($0.12)the company had planned a 20-yen ($0.20) per share year-end payment, but the dire global economy, the downturn in electronics spending, and the high valuation of the yen have forced its hand. The move won't go down well with Sony's shareholders around the world, and it could get worsethese figures are forecasts and the actual final year-end figure will be decided by the board in May. Release (pdf).
In January, Sony said it expected a full-year loss of 150 million yen ($1.51 million) and lowered its sales forecast 14 percent from 9 trillion yen ($91.17 billion) to 7,700 trillion yen ($78 billion). The company plans to axe 8,000 full-time and 8,000 part-time jobs this year to help save 250 billion yen ($2.53 billion) by 2010.
By Patrick Smith