Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sharp "Should We Be Sticking a Fork in Them"?

Geesh where do I start with this one?  Years ago there was a thread on the Print4Pay Hotel forums named "Rumor Has It" (over 10,000 views) that Ricoh was going to buy Ikon.  I can tell you that most of the threads stated that it will never happen, comments ranged from IKON is bigger in the US than Ricoh Americas to the if anyone buys Ikon it would be Canon. As foolish as it sounded then, Ricoh did buy Ikon.

Let me take you for a trip of recent thread entries on the Print4Pay Hotel forums about Sharp in the last 18 months or so:

Analyst issues 'sell' recommendation for Sharp 2010


Sharp Announces New B2B President December 2011

Sharp Forecasts Record $3.8 Billion Loss Feb 2012

Sharp Replaces President After Predicting Record Loss March 2012

Foxconn Buys 10% of Sharp Corp April 2012

Sharp Corp esitmated to lose $4.7 Billion Dollars!! April 2012

Sharp Drops to Lowest Since 1975 on Report of Loss: July 2012

Sharp's options narrowing to future as Hon Hai parts maker August 6th, 2012

Japan's Sharp Corp plans to sell its copiers and air conditioners businesses August 16th, 2012

In the last four days Print4Pay Hotel members from all over the world have posted replies and threads in reference to Reuters report that a Nikkei analyst reported that Sharp may sell it's copier division. 

There was a couple of particular responses that caught my attention. One was from a dealer on a trip that sent a text that stated "We bought Sharp", the other was posted last night that spoke about the fact that Hon Hai was retreating on the investment offer of 550 yen per share down to 200 yen per share.  This would leave Sharp about 67 billion yen short the cash they were relying on to help with their finances.  Yet another Analyst reported that with the shortfall Sharp may have to resort to selling assets to make up the shortfall.  Thus in a Wall Street Journal report, it was reported that Sharp's only profitable operations are smaller non-core businesses like home appliances and office copiers. The last thread I'd like to mention is "Separately, the Jiji News Agency reported that Osaka-based Sharp was seeking a 50 billion yen ($630 million) capital increase, and is approaching U.S. investment funds, Kyocera, Toshiba Corp, and others."
I get it, office copiers for Sharp is a non-core business, usually if you're looking to sell assets, those that would have the highest value would be the operations that are generating a profit.  Sharp has approached or is approaching (whichever one you believe) U.S. Investment funds, Kyocera, Toshiba and others. I'm trying to get my arms around this one and trying to figure out why in the world would I ask my competitors (we're not just talking copiers here, solar panels, phones, TV's, LCD's the list goes on and on) for a loan?  As one Print4Pay Hotel member stated "If that news leak occurred prior to closing the deal (if there is or was a deal working wink wink) then somebody will be falling on a sword . I don't believe Sharp is that careless. I think it is done and over with either way you decide."

The Sharp USA position that was sent to dealers was very clear:

1) Nikkei has released an article based on their own judgment, and the article is speculation. Sharp Corporation has not released nor acknowledged this article. (me: why has Sharp Corporation not acknowledged this article?)
3) Sharp is not currently negotiating the sale of the businesses, such as Copier and Air-Conditioner that Nikkei has reported in their article. (me: ok, maybe the negotiations are already over? Hey,  I understand the theme of this, you need to hold down the fort and keep the troops together and not make a bad situation worse.)

One Print4Pay Hotel member put it all into perspective with this "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, it's a duck"!

I'd like to give kudos to all of the Print4Pay Hotel members that share information on the Print4Pay Hotel forums. You're all awesome members!

-=Good Selling=-

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