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 user 2006-11-01 at 12:28:00 pm Views: 77
  • #16576

    Inkjet Printer Price Competition Benefits Users, Hurts Canon
    TOKYO, NOV 06 – Canon Inc. posted a 15 percent rise in third-quarter profit on strong sales of digital cameras and a weaker yen but disappointed some investors by not raising its outlook, citing a price slump in inkjet printers.Its printer rivals, Lexmark and Seiko Epson Corp., both watched their share prices tumble this week after giving dull earnings outlooks, also warning about tough competition and slower-than-expected sales of ink and paper.Canon, the world’s top maker of copiers and digital cameras, reiterated its net income forecast to climb 14.6 percent to 440 billion yen ($3.71 billion) in 2006. That falls short of the mean analyst estimate for 445.6 billion yen.The company’s stock has rallied nearly 20 percent over the past two months in anticipation that digital camera sales and currency fluctuations would boost earnings.”There have been excessive hopes for upward revisions placed on Canon,” said Mitsushige Akino, a fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management. “It’s difficult for its share prices to advance from here on.”But still, Canon aims for a seventh year of record earnings on strong demand for its wide line-up of office gear and digital cameras, luring both professionals and consumers.The company raised its digital camera shipment target for the year to 20.65 million units from an earlier forecast of 20 million, which includes a rise of 50,000 units in single-lens reflex (SLR) models to 2.45 million units.Camera maker Nikon Corp. raised its earnings forecast on Thursday, citing a weaker yen. The company expects net income of 45 billion yen, up 22 percent from its previous estimate. It had 28.9 billion yen profit in fiscal 2005.Canon also raised its chip stepper shipment target for the year to 188 units from its prior forecast of 180 units, while lowering its target for LCD steppers to 63 units from 66 units.Canon is the world’s third-largest maker of chip steppers, complex machines used to print circuitry onto chips, trailing ASML in the Netherlands and Japan’s Nikon.In the third quarter, Canon’s net income rose to 115.6 billion yen from 100.6 billion yen a year ago, again helped by the currency impact, and strong sales of printers and digital cameras. Sales gained 12.5 percent to 988 billion yen.Quarterly sales of its office equipments rose 6.9 percent to 639.5 billion yen, making up 65 percent of the total revenue.Revenue of cameras and lenses jumped 15.7 percent to 235.1 billion yen, while sales of digital cameras rose 29 percent on a unit basis.Revenue in the optical products segment, which included some new subsidiaries, surged 46.9 percent to 113.4 billion yen.The company edged up its annual operating profit forecast by 0.1 percent to 691 billion yen. It also increased its sales estimate by 0.2 percent to 4.14 trillion yen.

    Inkjet printer prices are falling beyond the company’s initial expectations, Canon’s senior managing director Toshizo Tanaka said.Prices of multifunctional models are expected to drop 20 percent this year, more than the estimated 15 percent for single-function devices, he said.Canon revised its currency estimates for the full-year. It expects the yen to trade against the dollar at 115.61, and 145.35 versus the euro. That compares with its earlier forecast rates of 114.76 and 142.70 respectively.Shares in Canon closed 1.7 percent higher at 6,650 yen before the company announced its results, outperforming a 0.67 percent rise in the Nikkei index.

    Canon printer sales rise
    NOV 2006 — Tokyo (JPN): According to unaudited figures, sales of Canon’s office imaging products, including photocopiers, fell by 1.9 percent to ¥270 billion ($2.27 billion ) in Q2 2006 from ¥275.3 billion in Q2 2005. Q2 sales of computer peripherals, which include inkjet printers, increased by 15.3 percent to ¥346 billion, from ¥300 billion in the pervious year.The company’s consolidated net sales for the quarter were ¥988 billion, up 12.5 percent on last year’s ¥879 billion.Net income increased by 14.9 percent to ¥116 billion, compared to ¥101 billion a year earlier.Diluted EPS was ¥86.78, compared to ¥75.54 in Q2 2005.