BloombergTOKYO (Bloomberg) — Sony Corp. is buying back as much as ¥100 billion ($910 million) of its own stock, the electronics maker’s first-ever large scale repurchase.
The shares rose as much as 6.7 percent in early trading in Tokyo on Friday after the company announced the buyback, which starts Tuesday and will last through March 22.
The repurchase makes up 2.4 percent of the stock, and comes days after Japanese telecoms and technology giant SoftBank Group Corp. announced a ¥600 billion buyback, it’s biggest-ever. Sony has been seeking to strengthen its financial footing under Chief Executive Officer Kenichiro Yoshida, who was promoted from chief financial officer last year. Last week, Sony reported weaker profits in the PlayStation business and cut its annual revenue forecast, triggering the steepest share drop in almost 3½ years.
“It seems they were perturbed by the steep stock decline,” said Masahiro Wakasugi, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. “They’re watching the stock price, cash flow is strong and they have the financial resources to carry this out. So it’s a strong message to investors.”
Before Friday’s buyback announcement, Sony’s stock had declined 14 percent over the week, to its lowest since October 2017. The shares rose 4.8 percent in 2018. The Tokyo-based company last bought ¥6.3 billion worth of its own stock in 2004, related to its decision to fully merge PlayStation subsidiary Sony Computer Entertainment into the parent company.