Sony Erisscon beats analysts’ expectations

Sony Ericsson beat analysts' expectations for the fourth quarter of 2007 despite a drop in net income and flat pre-tax profits.

Pre-tax profits for the last quarter 2007 came to €501 million, comparable to results of €502 million from the previous year.

However, the world’s fourth-largest mobile handset manufacturer now estimates it controls just over 9 percent of the world market, up 2 percentage points from a year ago.

“Our target remains to become one of the top three players in the industry, and the momentum we established in 2006 and 2007 makes this a realistic ambition,” said Sony Ericsson president Dick Komiyama.

While net income dropped to €373 million from last year’s €447 million, analysts’ had expected 2007 fourth quarter profits of only €318 million.

“It’s a good report. Their margins are very strong. They have succeeded in bringing profitability up to levels they haven’t achieved earlier,” Swedbank analyst Håkan Wranne told TT.

Sony Ericsson shipped 30.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2007, up 18 percent from the previous year.

Gross margins increased from 29.0 percent to 31.8 percent over the same time period.

However, the average sales price per unit (ASP) dropped over the same period from €146 to €123 per handset, reflecting the larger proportion of lower priced handsets in the company’s overall portfolio.

The company reported gross revenues of €3.77 billion for the quarter in comparison with 2006 fourth quarter revenues of €3.78 billion.