Nintendo Forecasts Another Full-Year Loss Amid Lower Sales Expectations

3:04 AM PST 01/30/2013 by Gavin J. Blair

The Japanese video game maker swung to a profit for the first nine months of its fiscal year, but cut its hardware and software sales estimates.

TOKYO -- Video game maker Nintendo said on Wednesday it had swung to a profit for the nine months ending Dec. 31, which includes the lucrative winter holiday season, but predicted its second full-year loss in a row.

The Japanese company reported a profit of $159 million (14.5 billion yen) for the April-December period. But it forecast a loss of $220 million (200 billion yen) for the full year. The Kyoto-based game giant had previously forecast an annual profit of the same size.

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Cost-cutting and a weaker yen helped Nintendo turn around a 2011 loss of $529 million (48 billion yen), but the company still expects red ink at the end of its fiscal year in March.

Nintendo cut its sales projection for the new Wii U from 5.5 million consoles to 4 million for the full fiscal year and for its portable 3DS machine from 17.5 million units to 15 million. It also cut the outlook for software for the two consoles by a third.

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Last year saw Nintendo's first full-year loss since the company went public, and it had hoped the new consoles would revive its fortunes in the face of a shift to tablets and smartphones by casual gamers.

Nintendo shares fell 2.4 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange to $102.40 (9,350 yen), near a 10-year low for the company, even as the Nikkei stock index climbed 2.3 percent to top the 11,000 mark for the first time in nearly three years.

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