Panasonic Corp. (6752), Japan’s third- biggest employer, eliminated almost 39,000 jobs in the past year, and its chief financial officer said the TV maker doesn’t plan another round of cuts. Investors say it has to.
Even after reducing its workforce by about 11 percent — almost double the reductions at Sony Corp. (6758) and Sharp (6753) Corp. combined — Panasonic will post a 765 billion-yen ($9.6 billion) loss in the year ending March 31, the company said yesterday. Panasonic plunged the most in at least 38 years in Tokyo trading today, making it the biggest percentage loser in the MSCI Asia- Pacific Index (MXAP), and Moody’s Investors Service said it will review the company’s debt for a potential downgrade.
The story goes on to blame the company’s record losses — “30 times bigger than analysts estimated” — on failure to keep up with innovations by Samsung and Apple. Oddly enough, the only solutions detailed in the article involve cutting jobs; no mention is made about the rumored shift to small-LCD-screen production for mobile devices, which is as profitable a market as any right now.