Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

Japan's electronics behemoths speak of dire times ahead

TOKYO — After years of bets gone wrong and lost opportunities, three of Japan's consumer electronics giants are showing some signs of faltering.

In the most dire warning, Sharp forecast last week a $5.6 billion full-year loss and warned that it had "material doubts" about its ability to survive.

On the same day, Panasonic's shares lost a fifth of their value in Tokyo after the company forecast a $9.6 billion annual net loss from writedowns in its solar-power, battery and mobile handset businesses.

And Sony, perhaps the best positioned of the companies, posted a net loss of $194 million for the quarter on Thursday and warned of falling sales in almost every product it sells.

While Sharp is in the most serious trouble, the three companies' woes are similar at the core.

All three make good quality, even cutting-edge products — but so do their overseas competitors, usually at lower prices. None of the three have managed to generate the brand pizzazz of Apple or the marketing muscle of Samsung Electronics. In addition, a stubbornly strong yen continues to sap their competitiveness, while Japan's territorial dispute with China has hurt sales there.

The scale of the losses is the result of specific missteps, from huge investments in the wrong technologies to a reluctance to exit loss-making businesses. A manufacturing bubble here in the mid 2000s — fed partly by an unusually weak currency and Americans flush with cash from rising home prices — masked continued weaknesses in their business models and spurred the companies to take big bets that backfired.

When the worldwide financial crisis brought that boom to an end in 2008, the three were saddled with excess capacity, bloated workforces and investments that they could hardly hope to recoup. And their refusal to make a big enough departure from the ways of their glory years is now making a comeback difficult.

"Many investors are longing for reforms that will let all of the pus out," Yuji Fujimori, technology analyst at Barclays Capital in Tokyo, said in a recent note to clients.

Comments
Authorities searching for missing Homestead boy, 13

Authorities searching for missing Homestead boy, 13

A Florida Missing Child Alert has been issued for a 13-year-old Homestead boy.According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, John Noble-Sinclair was last seen Sunday in the area of 300 block of Southwest 4th Avenue.He is described as a white...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
LeBron wears one black shoe and one white shoe, speaks about Trump

LeBron wears one black shoe and one white shoe, speaks about Trump

WASHINGTON — LeBron James made a statement during an NBA game with his shoes — one black, one white, with the word "equality" in capital gold letters on the back of each.Then, after the game, James made a statement about President Donald Trump, sayin...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Tampa flights affected as Atlanta airport outage creates holiday chaos

Tampa flights affected as Atlanta airport outage creates holiday chaos

ATLANTA — While power has been restored to the world’s busiest airport, the travel woes will linger for days. Thousands of people were stranded Monday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where more than 1,000 flights were gro...
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Deputies seek suspects who fired shots into crowded Northdale nightclub

TAMPA — Hillsborough County deputies are searching for the suspects who fired shots inside a crowded nightclub in Northdale early Monday morning.According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, deputies patrolling the area heard shooting coming...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Morning fog leads to a warm and sunny pre-Christmas week in Tampa Bay

Forecast: Morning fog leads to a warm and sunny pre-Christmas week in Tampa Bay

Thick fog will usher in a warm and sunny pre-Christmas week.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecast The fog is especially thick along the Interstate 4 corridor in eastern Hillsborough County into Polk County, with visibilities to near zero in Lakeland ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
VA rejects system private hospitals use to save millions on shipping, Tampa company says

VA rejects system private hospitals use to save millions on shipping, Tampa company says

TAMPA — If you could pay $19.19 to ship a package instead of $227.32, wouldn’t you go for the cheaper rate?That’s the question raised by Rob Barrow and Will Sands, Marine combat veterans and businessmen from Tampa who say the Department of Veterans o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Atlanta power outage affects Tampa flights; Gruden entering Bucs’ Ring of Honor; Orca advocates push for Florida law to ban killer whale breeding; fact-checking President Trump’s words to Haitian community

The Daystarter: Atlanta power outage affects Tampa flights; Gruden entering Bucs’ Ring of Honor; Orca advocates push for Florida law to ban killer whale breeding; fact-checking President Trump’s words to Haitian community

• A warming trend will bring high temperatures around 80 and mostly sunny skies throughout the week, according to 10Weather WTSP. Overnight lows will be in the 60s with our next rain chance coming on Thursday.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecast• As ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
National security strategy plan paints China, Russia as U.S. competitors

National security strategy plan paints China, Russia as U.S. competitors

WASHINGTON — A new U.S. national security strategy plan presents China and Russia as competitors that want to realign global power in their interests, potentially threatening the United States, Trump administration officials said Sunday.President Don...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Looking back at 2017 through the eyes of editorial cartoonists

Looking back at 2017 through the eyes of editorial cartoonists

The annual Editorial Cartoon Round-Up is a thought-provoking recap of a momentous 2017. The gallery containing 32 cartoons from some of the best editorial cartoonists in the country is made available by the Washington Post News Service & Syndicat...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Advocates push orca breeding law as SeaWorld’s policy appears murky

Advocates push orca breeding law as SeaWorld’s policy appears murky

The announcement was rolled out to the world as a pledge. A promise.In March 2016 SeaWorld declared it would end killer whale breeding, making the orcas in its care in the United States and abroad its last generation to live in captivity.Later that y...
Updated: 11 hours ago