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Japan stock market has recovered on March 28 helped in part by a lower yen against the dollar.

Nikkei 225 index finished up 0.77% to 17,134.37.

Shares in troubled Japanese electronics giant Sharp rose as much as 8% in early trade on hopes of a bailout deal.Tokyo stock market 2016

The Nikkei business daily newspaper reported that a deal for Sharp may finally be signed this week.

Sharp has been in talks with Taiwan’s Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

However, the deal will be smaller than originally planned, reports said.

Sharp’s shares finished the Easter Monday session up almost 5%.

In China, the Shanghai Composite spent much of the day in positive territory.

Data released on the weekend showed industrial profits returned to growth during January and February, which gave a boost to manufacturing shares.

However, by late afternoon, the index had lost ground and was down 0.33% to 2,968.9.

South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index finished the session flat at 1,982.54.

Markets in Hong Kong and Australia reopen on March 29 after the Easter holidays.

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Sharp has accepted a $4.3 billion takeover bid by Taiwanese multinational Foxconn.

The announcement came as Sharp’s board completed a two-day meeting to discuss competing takeover offers.

Foxconn assembles most of the world’s iPhones. Sharp is one of Japan’s oldest technology companies.

It is the first foreign takeover of a major Japanese electronics firm in a historically insular technology sector.

Japanese officials had been reluctant to let Sharp fall under foreign ownership because of the distinctive technology behind its display panels.Sharp and Foxconn takeover

Founded in 1912, innovations by Sharp include a mechanical pencil in 1915 and pioneering developments in TV engineering.

Although recent years have seen a downturn in Sharp’s fortunes with heavy debts, the company continued to be a leader in liquid display technology, a key asset for Foxconn.

Shares in Sharp, which employs more than 50,000 globally, will be issued to Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, also known as Foxconn Technology Group.

Sharp’s shares were halted from trading ahead the announcement. They later reopened and closed down by nearly 15%.

Earlier this month, as it was considering several takeover offers, Sharp posted a bigger-than-expected net loss of $918 million for the April-to-December 2015 period.

In 2012, Sharp came close to entering bankruptcy. It has struggled with heavy debts and has been through two major bailouts in the last four years.

Foxconn first offered to invest in Sharp in 2012, but talks collapsed.

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Sharp is trying to persuade its employees to buy its products in a bid to help sales.

The troubled Japanese electronics giant said it was not mandatory for staff to buy its goods, but confirmed that it wanted employees to choose its products over that of its competitors.

Japanese media had reported that Sharp had set targets for executives, managers and other staff to buy its products.

Sharp has been bailed out twice in the past three years by its lenders.

Photo Wikipedia

Photo Wikipedia

The company has been under pressure from its banks to sell its loss-making LCD business, and announced last month that it was in talks with several companies to make such a deal.

Sharp also announced that its operating profit fell by 86% in Q3 from a year ago, while the LCD unit saw a loss of 12.7 billion yen ($102 million).

The dismal earnings come after Sharp reported losses in the year to March and announced more job cuts.

According to the company’s spokesman, employee participation in the event was completely voluntary, and Sharp had not decided what products would be on sale.

Sharp, well known for its TV and solar panels, pulled out of the television market in North America and has been facing stiff competition from cheaper Chinese and Taiwanese rivals.

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Sharp has launched Aquos LC-90LE757, the biggest LED TV ever, in Europe.

The Aquos LC-90LE757 features a 90 in (229 cm) screen, trumping an 84 in display from LG.

Sharp has offered the size in the US since June 2012 – the world’s biggest market for jumbo-TVs – but said it now believed there was demand in Europe for such a set.

One analyst said the European market was indeed growing, but remained “niche”.

Fifty inch-and-larger TVs represent 6% of units currently sold in the UK, according to research firm GfK. However, it adds that the sector accounts for 16% of the sector’s value due to the premium prices they command.

The trend is even more advanced in the US. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, 8% of all TVs sold in the country feature screens 60 in or larger.

“In the States people have bigger houses and bigger rooms, so large TVs represent a larger proportion of the marketplace,” said GfK’s Nigel Catlow.

“But as the TVs get thinner, more rooms are able to take a big TV set, and screen size is the biggest driver for making people want to buy a new product.”

Sharp posted a 545 billion yen ($5.7 billion) net loss in its last financial year. It has since said that it is pursuing high shares of relatively small markets as part of its turnaround strategy.

Sharp’s new display is based on LED (light-emitting diode) technology, weighs 64 kg (141 lbs), and is less than 12 cm (4.7 in) deep.

It supports 3D broadcasts, has three tuners – allowing several channels to be watched at once – and also offers a “wallpaper mode”, which can display a static picture at a low brightness level when it is not otherwise in use.

Sharp has launched Aquos LC-90LE757, the biggest LED TV ever, in Europe

Sharp has launched Aquos LC-90LE757, the biggest LED TV ever, in Europe

The firm says owners need to sit at least 3.5 m (11.5 ft) away to enjoy its picture.

“The biggest challenge we had was to try to hide the framework that is encasing the screen’s pixels,” explained Sharp’s UK product manager, Tommaso Monetto.

“We used a technology called Fred [frame rate enhanced driving] to minimize the structure holding the pixels together so that you hardly see the lines between them, and it becomes a seamless panel when you look at it from the front.”

In the past, Sharp and other firms’ 3D TVs created a different image for each viewer’s eye by sending two signal lines from the device’s motherboard to the display. The firm’s proprietary Fred technology uses a single signal line driven at a higher speed to provide the necessary information, minimizing the amount of wiring and electrical components needed.

“The plan is definitely to go bigger,” Tommaso Monetto added.

“The long-term view is that eventually you will have entire walls that are made out of LCDs, and you can allocate different spaces for different usage. Part will be used for TV signals, part for surfing the internet and part to show pictures.”

Panasonic does sell even bigger displays, offering 103 in and 152 in screens.

However, they are based on plasma technology making them thicker and heavier than Sharp’s LED model. They are also several times the price and Panasonic pitches them at the professional market rather than at consumers.

Sharp opted to make its screen support 1080p video and not the ultra high definition 4K format which uses four times as many pixels.

The advantage of the higher definition format is that owners can sit closer to their screen, allowing a smaller set to take up more of their field of view – and thus appear more immersive – than a larger one limited to 1080p resolution.

Sharp said it took the decision because there was a current lack of 4K content.

It has also allowed it to keep its price down. Sharp’s new set costs about £12,000 ($19,000) in UK compared to the £17,000 ($27,0000 charged for LG’s 84 in Ultra HD LED model.

Even so, at that price its appeal may still be limited.

“You won’t get serious sales volume until you get below around £2,000 to £3,000,” said GfK’s Nigel Catlow.

“However, it will open up a bigger market because there have been some 70 in and 84 in sets out there that were recently selling for £20,000.”

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