Embattled Japanese electronics maker Sharp will book a record $5.6 billion annual net loss, reports said Thursday, a day after rival Panasonic warned of a mammoth $9.6 billion loss for its fiscal year.
Osaka-based Sharp has suffered deep losses in its television business with the maker of Aquos-brand electronics on track to lose 450 billion yen in the fiscal year to March, Jiji Press news agency and public broadcaster NHK reported.
That dwarfs the 250 billion net loss that Sharp has forecast and would eclipse a previous record loss of 376 billion yen last fiscal year.
The dire reports on Thursday came hours before Sharp was to report its half-year results and outlook. Its struggling shares were down 2.32 percent to 168 yen in early Tokyo trade.
The firm's share price plunged to four-decade lows in August when it reported a quarterly loss of about $1.76 billion, prompting Standard & Poor's to cut its credit rating to junk status.
Like rivals Panasonic and Sony, Sharp has struggled in its television business amid falling prices and stiff competition from overseas rivals.
Japanese manufacturers have also been pounded by the strong yen, which makes their products pricier overseas and shrinks the value of firms' repatriated foreign income.
Sharp is undergoing a painful restructuring in its efforts to return to profitability, promising thousands of job cuts while cutting wages for employees -- from the factory floor to the executive boardroom -- and selling real-estate to shore up its bleeding balance sheet.
An expected capital injection from Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision, which makes Apple gadgets in China, has stalled.
Japanese media have reported Sharp is in talks with US tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft on forming business and capital tie-ups.