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Sharp Shares Plunge on Loss Report

Consumer electronics giant reports that a 'deterioration' in sales at home and 'severe competition' in the liquid crystal display business will push it back into the red.

Japan's Sharp (IW 1000/160) saw its shares plunge in Tokyo on Monday following a report that said the consumer electronics giant would fall back into the red, reversing company forecasts for an annual profit.

The firm's shares dropped 8.73% to 230.0 yen by the close of trading.

Japan's leading Nikkei business daily said the Osaka-based firm would report a loss that could amount to hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars for the fiscal year through March owing to a slump in its struggling television business.

The company declined to comment on the report but said its full-year earnings would fall below earlier forecasts due to a "deterioration" in sales at home and "severe competition" in the liquid crystal display business. It did not give new figures.

Sharp, which along with rivals Sony (IW 1000/48) and Panasonic (IW 1000/41) has been undergoing a painful restructuring to move past years of losses, had earlier said it was on track to report a 30 billion yen ($256 million) annual net profit.

Japanese electronics firms have struggled in recent years as huge losses in their TV units weighed on their bottom line, although a sharply weaker yen has helped to boost the value of overseas earnings.

The companies have faced severe competition in the sector from lower-cost rivals, including those in neighboring South Korea and Taiwan.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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