Earnings Report Roundup: Sony, Chyron, Vizrt, DTS, News Corp., Disney, DirecTV, and Dish Network

Sony Corp. is back in the black for its fiscal fourth quarter, recording a 93.9 billion yen ($948 million) profit, with big help from a weaker yen that boosts overseas earnings. The Japanese electronics and entertainment company also dragged itself back to profit for the fiscal year ended March 31, following four straight years of red ink. It reported Thursday annual earnings of 43 billion yen ($434 million), a reversal from a loss of 457 billion yen ($5.7 billion) the previous year (worst in company history. Tokyo-based Sony expects the recovery to continue, and projected a 50 billion yen ($505 million) profit for the fiscal year through March 2014, up 16 percent. Sony’s annual earnings were better than its own forecast for a 40 billion yen ($404 million) profit, and that of analysts surveyed by FactSet at about 33 billion yen ($333 million).

Sony had sunk to a 255.2 billion yen loss for the January-March period in 2012, slammed by its money-losing TV business and competition from rivals Apple and Samsung Electronics. But Sony gained 182 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in its sales and operating revenue for this January-March. The company reiterated that it will turn its TV business profitable by the fiscal year ending March 2014, which has bled money for nine straight years. Sony said it is beefing up its TV lineup, including models with 4K liquid crystal displays, which deliver even better image quality than current LCD TVs. In an effort to achieve a turnaround, Sony has also been shedding jobs and selling assets and parts of businesses in recent years. (Associated Press)…

…Chyron announced that its first quarter 2013 revenue increased 2% to $8.01 million compared to $7.88 million in 1Q 2012. Product revenues increased 3% to $5.97 million compared to $5.80 million. Services revenues decreased 2% to $2.04 million compared to $2.08 million. Operating expenses in 1Q 2013 decreased 1% to $6.53 million compared to $6.62 million in 1Q 2012. Included in 1Q2013 operating expenses were $0.69 million in transaction costs related to the planned acquisition of Hego AB, expected to close later this month. (TVNewsCheck)…

…Vizrt reported that its revenue for the first quarter of 2013 was $27m, down 15% versus the same period a year ago, and down 11% versus the previous quarter. The company said that market and economic conditions in Europe continue to be difficult, attributable mainly to falling domestic demand for goods and services and lower exports, and that this general weakness strongly affected the company’s sales in the EMEA region during the quarter. Gross margins for the first quarter of 2013 were 65%, down from 67% last year and down from 70% last quarter (Devoncroft)…

…Audio processing specialist DTS announced that its revenue for the first quarter of 2013 was $32.7m, an increase of 22% versus the same period a year ago, and an increase of 10% versus the previous quarter. The results beat the expectations of equity analysts who were looking for revenue of $30.23m. (Devoncroft)…

…News Corporation reported a 4% increase in operating income, to $1.36 billion, in the three months that ended March 31. Net income at News Corp. climbed to $2.85 billion, or $1.22 a share, compared with $937 million, or 38 cents a share, in the same period last year, the company reported on Wednesday. Revenue increased by 14 %, to $9.54 billion, largely on the strength of an 11% increase from domestic television affiliates and a 2% increase in advertising revenue at its cable channels, which include FX and Fox News. With the coming Fox Sports 1 channel expected to compete with ESPN, Carey said sports were the “driving force” behind the company’s channels business, but he also said that sports should not “cloud the importance” of Fox News, FX and other channels. (New York Times)…

…Disney reported earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street expectations for the latest quarter, as the media giant posted fiscal second-quarter net income of $1.51 billion, a 32 percent increase from the $1.14 billion earned a year earlier. Earnings excluding items were 79 cents a share, up 36 percent from 58 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Revenue increased 10 percent to $10.55 billion from $9.63 billion a year ago. Wall Street was expecting Disney to post earnings of 77 cents per share on revenue of $10.49 billion, according to estimates from Thomson Reuters. Revenue at its media networks rose 6 percent to $4.96 billion from a year earlier, due to growth at ESPN. (CNBC)…

…DirecTV reported net income of $690 million, or $1.20 per share, in the January-March period. That’s down 6 percent from $731 million, or $1.07 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 8 percent to $7.58 billion from $7.05 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $7.53 billion. Strong subscriber growth at DirecTV Latin America, along with higher revenue from U.S. users, helped drive the quarter’s results higher. The average monthly revenue that DirecTV gets per subscriber increased 4 percent to $96.95 from $91.99. DirecTV added 21,000 U.S. subscribers during the quarter, bringing the total to 21.1 million. DirecTV Latin America added 583,000 subscribers to bring the total to 10.9 million. (Associated Press)…

…Dish finished with Q1 net income of $210.7M,  down 41.5% vs the period last year, on revenues of $3.56B,  down 7.4%. Analysts thought revenues would come closer to $3.61B. And earnings at 47 cents a share were six cents short of the consensus forecast. The company ended the quarter with 14.1M subscribers, up 36,000 vs an increase in last year’s Q1 of 104,000. The satellite company says that it was hit by several factors including the effects of a price increase, rising programming costs, and the continued downturn at Blockbuster. (Deadline)…