When it rains, it pours. Sony, in the midst of repeated hacks and still staggering from the earthquake in Japan, has subtracted some deferred tax assets from the bottom line, leading to a massive ~$4 billion downward revision of its yearly income through March.
It’s important to note that this isn’t all, or even mostly, attributed to the highly publicized PSN hacks. The great majority of the loss comes from a Japanese tax-related re-valuation that has ended up landing some new tax liabilities on their laps. But it couldn’t have come at a worse time, as this normal cost (having to do with other losses and obscure tax code things) is hitting Sony at a low water mark for income.
The current estimated costs of the PSN breach are at around $170 million, but that’s very preliminary. The quake has cost them over $600 million already (though insurance should cover about a quarter of that), and they estimate that will grow to $1.8 billion by the end of 2012.
What does this mean? Well, they’ll be revealing more information on forecasted income on the 26th, so this is kind of incomplete information. But it means that Sony is at the very least not rolling in cash at the moment, for what that’s worth. Will it result in a delay of the PS4 or a slow roll-out for their Qriocity and tablet ecosystems? Too early to tell, though those are multi-year projects and will probably weather these losses, major though they are.
More information can be found at Sony’s earnings reports area. Some information is in the report itself, some is in the slides accompanying it.