Japanese electronics maker Toshiba cut its annual profit forecast Wednesday, citing the cost of pulling out of next-generation DVDs as well as falling prices of flash memory chips and a weak dollar. Exiting the HD DVD business is expected to saddle Toshiba with a ¥110 billion ($1.1 billion) pretax loss this year after unloading inventory and writing down the cost of equipment, the company said. Ending the format battle with Sony Corp.'s Blu-ray Disc has brought Toshiba a cumulative loss of ¥160 billion over three years. Toshiba now expects a pretax profit of ¥250 billion ($2.5 billion) for the year ending March 31, down from a previous outlook of ¥350 billion and below the analyst consensus of ¥315.5 billion. This would mean a 19% decline in pretax profit compared with a year ago.
Chinese online firm Alibaba Group is seeking a buyer for the 39% stake in the company held by Yahoo in an attempt to keep it out of the hands of Microsoft, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing a person with knowledge of the situation. The move indicates Alibaba thinks Microsoft will succeed with its takeover bid for Yahoo. Alibaba believes a 2005 agreement with Yahoo gives it the right of making the first offer to buy out Yahoo's stake, according to Reuters.
Shares of radio programmer Westwood One closed down 5.5% on Wednesday, even though chairman Norman Pattiz reported buying some stock. According to a regulatory filing made late Tuesday, he bought 84,070 shares of common stock for $1.82-$2 each. Westwood shares closed at $1.89.