Troubled electronics giant Sony has just received a kick in the nadgers from the credit rating agency Fitch.
Fitch cut Panasonic’s rating by two notches to BB and Sony three notches to BB minus. It is the first time that the three major ratings agencies have put the creditworthiness of either company into junk bond territory.
Panasonic is likely to survive because it has a fairly lucrative, if dull, whitewear line. If people don’t want its electronics they still need to wash their socks by night during the Christmas period.
Matt Jamieson, Fitch’s head of Asia-Pacific said that Panasonic “has the advantage of a relatively stable consumer appliance business that is still generating positive margins”.
But Sony had practically all of its electronic business losing cash and the company was more overstretched than a victim of the Spanish Inquistion.
Generally Japan’s TV makers have been kicked to death by cheaper models from Samsung Electronics and other foreign rivals.
Panasonic is looking to expand its businesses in appliances, solar panels, lithium batteries and automotive components. While appliances make up six percent of the company’s sales, but they generate good margins.
Sony is focusing on consumer gadgets in a bid to regain ground from Samsung and Apple in mobile devices while bolstering digital cameras and gaming.