Panasonic reports $10 *billion* losses

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by blue, May 12, 2012.

  1. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
    You know, my grasp of economics is fairly basic (though probably greater than average) . But .. how do you just "lose" that much money ? Where has it all gone, and why can companies be so far into the red, when your average citizen finds their bank account vitually closed down with a few hundred quid on the overdraft ?

    BBC News - Panasonic reports record annual loss
  2. pharaviel

    pharaviel Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2011
    Reggio Emilia, Italy
    Real Name:
    Daniele Frizzi
    Panasonic had a huge drop of sell in the HDTV division because they invested so much in the plasma technology now almost-obsolete. Some years ago if you wanted to buy a 37" or bigger tv you HAD to buy a plasma screen and Panasonic was one of the leaders. Now other brands make 60" leds at decent prices, so plasma is just a cheap alternative.
  3. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    I got my Panasonic cashback cheque this week - hope it doesn't bounce. :biggrin:
  4. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Real Name:
    Oh yeah, I remember when everyone was big on Pany plasma. Strangely, I've seen a few plasma TVs making a comeback again.
  5. billgreen

    billgreen Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 4, 2012
    Herradura de Rivas, Costa Rica
    Real Name:
    Bill Green
    Hmmmmm.....Pany losing billions, Olympus practicing "back room bookkeeping" :cool: ...have we (the M43 crowd) put our eggs in the wrong basket? :confused:
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I don't know anything about business or have any right to guess which companies will still be around making cameras in 10 years. I can only say that if I knew Pana and Olympus were going to cease production in 2 years, my system of choice for photography today would be Micro 4/3, and I would buy the very same kit I'm holding right now.
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  7. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Corporate Write-offs

    Would not be surprised if they are doing something similar to what Oly got caught doing. The worlds economy is so messed up it takes some real creativity to keep the doors open. Corporations have a thousand ways to show losses and they use them. Say you have a billion dollar plasma TV factory that is now closed down. Write-off. Say you are paying out for pensions for as many workers as you have employed. Write-off. Say you got hurt by the Tsunami. Write-off. A billion here and a billion there. Adds up.
  8. p.h

    p.h Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 5, 2012
    Hang on - Where in that report does it say Panasonic are in the red?
    From a quick Google it looks like they've lost about 9% of their assets. Not small beer and certainly something they need to address (Like they need me to tell them!) But a whole world of difference between that and having trouble paying the overdraft. Many homeowners have "lost" a similar percent of the value of their assets, that didn't go anywhere either and as long as they still have the other 90% they're not in trouble either.
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  9. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    It took them a whole year to lose $10B? That's chump change. I remember when IBM lost $8B in a quarter. They're doing just fine now. The funny thing was after that happened the sales dudes went from wearing suits to jeans.
  10. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Keep in mind the scale of a huge multinational like Panasonic..when you can make a couple billion a year (pulled out of my ass, but probably in the right ballpark), you can also lose 10B. Also, a decent chunk of it could be writeoffs/writedowns.

    And yes, the wonders of credit allow all sorts of companies to survive huge losses and keep on going til their profitable.

    Their shares took a decent hit...I wonder what the implications are for the imaging division and if they will feel any pressure from shareholders.
  11. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    I wouldn't be too worried. Japan is hurting pretty bad right now with their currency issues. E.G. Sony's down 5.6 billion, Nintendo had their 1st loss... ever, and they've been around since the late 1800's. The Yen has to devalue before they can be competitive, and that's not going to happen till world wide markets reach some sort of stability so the dollar and euro can increase intrest rates and be close to parity with other developed nations currency values. Korea and China don't have to worry as much as they are slightly outside of the currency problem, but once parity comes back the Japanese can once again begin to compete. Or there's always China just imploding which then oh well everythings f'd. Lest we forget massive rebuilding from the fukushima mess. On the bright side, some Japanese indicaters seem to be positive for the upcoming year. Toyota is coming back into profit, maybe the other large companies can follow suit. It'll be an interesting year or two for the Japanese, they really aren't that great at being dynamic at dealing with bubbles and implosions, but they are tough in their resolve.
  12. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    Yeah, Japan is hurting all around right now. The unusually strong yen is hurting companies like Mazda who are heavily Japan based but sell internationally. The TV sector has apparently crashed hard, which put Sony and Pana in a bad place. The Thai floods disrupted a lot of product manufacturing. The list goes on.
  13. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    Nothing special. I suspect this year many major Japanese companies will show losses because of the earthquake, tsunami and Thai flood. Also every company with TV business is now in trouble because flat panel TVs no longer command higher prices the manufacturers are used to.

    Keep in mind that unlike Sony, which has been in the red since 2008, Panasonic was profitable for 10 years straight except 2008. I don't think they are really in trouble.
  14. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Typically, a lot of those 'loses' is a booking keeping choice. As an example, maybe this was a banner year for Panasonic and decided to dump loses accumulated over years to minimize taxes ... et cetera. Or maybe they did lose their shorts this year ... only a third party accounting firm can/will tell the truth. Wondering who's selling and who's buying Pany stock ... that's a good indicator of what's really happening inside Pany.

    In any case, a billion of anything is a lot. A billion in USD, is much much more than just a lot.


    PS- Or maybe Pany is about to release a killer µ4/3 body that will crush the OM-D and the inside shareholders are dumping all the debt that they can so the insiders can pick-up more shares at a lower price ... which in turn will rocket of the charts with the new release of the GHX-4 Extra Special body and then sell-out their super-expensive shares based on a simply amazing, have-to-have, extremely profitable µ4/3 camera and a very strong, debt-less company.
  15. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    kinda wonder how much Olympus is worth as a whole these days... less than $10B that Panasonic lost?
  16. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Far less. Olympus is worth 3.76B.
  17. moccaman

    moccaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    And despite all this plasma is still the best picture quality overall right now and is NOT the power hungy product they would like us to believe :biggrin::daz:

    I dont think China is particularly stable with currency, the RMB is way overvalued, and is something high on the agenda of the next US president to rectify, it should be 40% lower than it is right now. China also has massive housing issues, millions of apartments empty because no one can afford to move into them, not to mention their biggest customer (the EU) is falling apart. They will have to look towards rapid building of their internal markets, bring average wealth up across the nation in order to create a strong internal economy that can absorb their production. Right now there are what, 300 million wealthy in China, and another 1.2 billion dirt poor who want to be wealthy. Somethings gotta give!
  18. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    After hearing the news of the 10B loss, my GF1 wants a nightlight before I turn it off.

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  19. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    I completely agree with the sentiment that there is a China bubble. The simple truth is China (and likely US, they hold a ton of leverage on the US) are going to have major issues because there is a percieved growing wealth in China, however if an analyst were to compare average attainable wealth of a Chinese citizen to any any other mature developed economy a gross disparity will exist. They are going to have to rely on an economy that limits wealth to a large slice of citizens, most likely the non-chinese chinese are going to get FUBARed lol. Likely outcomes are serfdom of the working poor and dominated minorities with increasing international pressures once the world economy goes back to "normal." Or an all out civil war dividing up the resources into different countries. Could be the ugliest bubble popping.... ever.
  20. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I believe you meant the RMB is undervalued.

    I wouldn't put too much into the housing issues China has. To be clear, the housing problems in China are that people can't afford to buy, not rent. But people not being able to afford to buy a house is a global problem. Rental housing in China is affordable, even for the poor such as unemployed college grads.

    As for building up their internal markets, that's exactly what they've been doing for years. They have a plan and the plan is on track. As you mentioned, there are hundreds of millions of affluent Chinese in China that can take up the slack from a depressed globe. If you've ever been to China, you'll see that everywhere. The Chinese are big spenders now. There's no sign of any economic troubles on the ground. If anything, it's a spending spree. It's been going on for years.

    While Europe and the United States are large export markets for China, those statistics are misleading. For example, the city of Hong Kong alone is a close number 3. Taken as a whole, Asia is China's largest export market by a large margin. China's largest market is their domestic market. So even if the both European and American markets completely went away overnight, that only accounts for about 20% of their markets. 80% of it would be intact. The chances of both Europe and the United States disappearing completely are slim. Yes, there would be secondary effects to a failing Europe to the rest of Asia which would impact China, but that gets hard to model in a thread on a photography forum.

    In the end, China has an advantage that neither Europe or the United States has. They have trillions of dollars in the bank. Much like Panasonic can absorb a $10B loss, China can take a lot before it starts to hurt. If anything, a floundering Chinese economy will hurt us before it hurts China. If they start being strap for cash, they'll keep that cash at home instead of sending it to us. So in reality, we have very little leverage to do anything about their currency.