A strong showing from the PS4 in the April-June quarter helped Sony post a net profit of 25.7 billion yen, or $250 million. The first quarter profit soared past the 3.1 billion yen it earned a year ago and surprised analysts who were expecting a loss.
The gaming and movie divisions were the big winners for the quarter. Sony shipped a combined 3.5 million PS3s and PS4s for the quarter. That’s a major beat over the combined 1.1 million Xbox 360s and Xbox Ones Microsoft shipped.
The Amazing Spider Man 2 earned Sony more than $700 million worldwide. 22 Jump Street is still bringing in money as it sits in international theaters.
Sony’s Game and Network Services Division – which includes the Playstation – posted a profit of 4.3 billion yen ($41.8 million). That’s compared to a 16.4 billion yen loss last year. Sony Pictures brought in even more profits with 7.8 billion yen ($75.9 million) compared to 3.7 billion yen a year earlier.
We don’t know the specific breakdown of the PS4 and PS3 numbers, but we know most of them are PS4. Sony has enjoyed a healthy lead this generation as Microsoft shifts direction. Microsoft is still suffering from the pushback following its initial reveal, but new Xbox head, Phil Spencer, is pushing the company in a fresh direction. He’s a games first type of executive, something Xbox desperately needs right now.
Today’s earnings spells good news for the future, right? Not exactly. Sony stuck to its outlook for the fiscal year through 2015. They expect to lose 50 billion yen ($486 million). Sony has hemorrhaged money six of the past seven years.
What’s causing the losses? Sony’s TV and mobile divisions. Sony’s TV division has been in the red for the last 10 years and is showing no signs of keeping up with Samsung and other major TV manufacturers.
The mobile division continues to suffer as Xperia handset sales tumble. Again, Sony lags behind Samsung and Apple.
The lone bright spots for Sony are its movie division and Playstation brand. The Playstation brand has garnered an early lead, but Sony needs to stay vigilant if they want to keep it there.
Investors are cheering the surprise profit as Sony shares rise more than 7% in the first 10 minutes of trading.