(Updates to market close, adds analysts, background)
By Dominic Lau
TOKYO, May 11 (Reuters) – Shares in Sony Corp (6758.T)slumped more than 7 percent to near 32-year lows, as investorsdoubted t h e Japanese consumer electronics giant has a strategyto fix its loss-making TV business and compete in the smartphonemarket against Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Samsung Electronics(005930.KS).
The last time Sony shares were this low, in the summer of1980, its first Walkman portable cassette player had just goneon sale in the United States.
The maker of Bravia TVs, Vaio laptops and PlayStation gamesconsoles on Thursday posted a record annual loss of $5.7billion, but forecast a first profit in five years as it looksto halve losses at its ailing TV business. The profit forecastwas below analysts’ expectations.
Japanese firms, which long dominated the global TV industry,have been overtaken by Samsung and LG Electronics (066570.KS),which are rolling out next-generation sets using organic lightemitting display (OLED), in a reshaping of Asia’s flat panelsector. A stronger yen, which erodes the value of exports, hasalso not helped.
“(In the past) if you wanted a top quality TV you had to buya Sharp, Panasonic or Sony. Those days are gone,” Steve Durose,Senior Director and Head of Asia-Pacific at Fitch Ratings, toldReuters last