DMR News

Advancing Digital Conversations

Sony shares soar 12% following buyback, dividend plans, and an improved profit outlook.

ByYasmeeta Oon

May 16, 2024
Sony shares soar 12% following buyback, dividend plans, and an improved profit outlook.

Sony shares soar 12% following buyback, dividend plans, and an improved profit outlook.

Tokyo – Shares in Sony Group saw a significant surge of 12% in early Tokyo trading on Wednesday following the company’s announcement of several strategic initiatives aimed at boosting shareholder returns and forecasting higher annual profits. These initiatives include a substantial share buyback program and a gradual increase in dividends, propelled by a strong performance in its image sensors business.

Sony, a leading tech and entertainment conglomerate, has committed to spending up to 250 billion yen ($1.6 billion) on a share buyback. The company has also set a goal to incrementally increase dividends, targeting a 40% total payout ratio by the financial year ending March 2027. This marks a notable rise from the previous year’s payout ratio of 32%.

In addition to these shareholder-friendly moves, Sony plans to allocate a total of 1.8 trillion yen over the next three years. This investment will be split between growth initiatives and additional share repurchases. To attract more investors, Sony has also announced a five-for-one stock split.

Key Financial Commitments by Sony Group
Financial InitiativeAmount Allocated
Share Buyback250 billion yen
Dividend Increase Target40% payout ratio by FY 2027
Total Growth Investments & Share Repurchases1.8 trillion yen

In recent months, Sony’s shares had experienced a decline due to investor concerns regarding the outlook for its games business and the potential financial impact of a bid for Paramount Global. However, with the gains on Wednesday, Sony’s shares are approximately flat for the year to date.

Sony’s interest in acquiring the U.S. media company Paramount Global has been a topic of market speculation. CNBC reported overnight that Sony is re-evaluating its bid for Paramount. According to Reuters, Sony is exploring this acquisition in a consortium with the buyout firm Apollo Global Management.

Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal expressed skepticism about the potential acquisition of Paramount, referencing the less-than-successful acquisition of Fox by Disney. Goyal’s preference is that Sony refrains from pursuing Paramount.

“Disney acquired Fox but has failed to add any value since that acquisition. Our preference is a bid for Paramount does not materialize,” Goyal noted in a client communication.

Sony has also adjusted its expectations for PlayStation 5 sales, projecting 18 million units for the current financial year. This is a reduction from the revised target of 21 million units for the year ended March.

In response to the evolving market dynamics, Sony has restructured the management of its games division. Executives responsible for technology and content aspects will now report directly to group president Hiroki Totoki. This reorganization aims to enhance operational efficiency and profitability.

Sony’s games unit, which reported an operating profit margin of 6.8% last year, is expected to benefit from increased user engagement and better cost control.

“There is large potential upside. We hope that the new (management) team is able to drive margins higher,” Goyal stated.

  • Sony shares jumped 12% following strategic announcements.
  • The company plans a 250 billion yen share buyback and targets a 40% payout ratio by FY 2027.
  • 1.8 trillion yen will be allocated over the next three years for growth investments and share repurchases.
  • A five-for-one stock split is planned to expand the investor base.
  • Sony is reconsidering its bid for Paramount Global.
  • PlayStation 5 sales forecast reduced to 18 million units for the current financial year.
  • The games division’s management has been restructured for improved performance.

Sony’s recent announcements have clearly resonated with investors, as evidenced by the significant rise in its share price. By committing to increased shareholder returns and a substantial investment in growth, Sony is positioning itself to capitalize on its strengths in image sensors and other key business areas. The restructuring of its games division and cautious approach towards potential acquisitions like Paramount Global reflect a strategic focus on sustainable profitability and shareholder value.

Related News:

Featured Image courtesy of DALL-E by ChatGPT

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *