From: Reuters
Published April 25, 2008 02:37 AM

Toshiba Q4 falls 95 percent on weak chips

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp <6502.T> posted on Friday a better-than-expected 95 percent drop in quarterly profit as flash memory chip prices tumbled.

The world's No. 2 maker of NAND flash memory chips behind South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS> said it fell to a net profit of 1.25 billion yen ($12 million) in January-March against a 26.17 billion yen profit a year ago.

The average forecast of 14 analysts, derived from subtracting Toshiba's nine-month results from their annual forecasts, was for a loss of 770 million yen.

Toshiba, which also makes nuclear reactors, said it expects to earn a net profit of 130 billion yen in the current business year, roughly half the mean market expectation of 264 billion yen by 17 analysts polled by Reuters.

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Toshiba, which in February conceded defeat in a format battle over high-definition DVD players, is smarting from the cost of pulling out of its HD DVD format even as tumbling prices in NAND flash memory, used in digital cameras and mobile phones, hurts revenue.

Shares of Toshiba, which also makes nuclear reactors, closed down 2 percent prior to the announcement, against a 2.4 percent rise in the benchmark Nikkei average. The stock fell 20 percent in January-March, against a 18 percent fall in the Nikkei.

(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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