money digest


Toshiba cuts

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.

Alibaba shopping

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.

Westwood down

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.