Sony climbs as quake impacts mobile sensors


Tokyo / Bloomberg

Sony Corp. shares climbed the most in two months in Tokyo trading as concerns abated that a quake at the southern Japanese island of Kyushu will cause a major disruption in the supply of image sensors for mobile phones.
The shares rose 6.5 percent to 2,914 yen on Tuesday, the biggest jump since Feb. 15. The stock dropped 6.8 percent. Sony said only its Kumamoto factory, which focuses on sensors for digital and security cameras, remained offline. The Nagasaki plant, where most of the chips for smartphone customers are made, is operational.

The earthquake last week killed 44 people, derailed a bullet train and forced factory closings at companies such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Renesas Electronics Corp. Sony’s CMOS sensor chips, which turn light into digital signals, are a key component in digital cameras and smartphones such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone. The stoppage hit Sony’s chip business at a time when demand is slowing and a stronger yen makes it harder to sell products abroad.
“The impact of the Kumamoto earthquakes on the supply of image sensors for smartphones is likely to be limited,” Masaru Sugiyama, a Tokyo-based analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., wrote in a report today. Sugiyama maintained his buy rating on the company.

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