Japan's Sharp Corp <6753.T> swung to a profit in its financial year thanks to cost cuts and robust sales of solar panels, and forecast more than a twofold jump in operating profit this year, beating market expectations.
Sharp said on Tuesday operating profit totaled 51.9 billion yen ($552 million) in the year ended March 31, up from a loss of 55.48 billion yen a year earlier.
The maker of Aquos LCD TVs, trails Samsung Electronics <005930.KS>, Sony Corp <6758.T> and LG Electronics <066570.KS>, in LCD TVs. It is benefiting from cost competitive display panels made at its cutting-edge Japanese LCD plant which came onstream in October.
Sharp is also the world's third-largest solar cell maker behind First Solar and Suntech Power Holdings Co and is seeing brisk demand in Japan due to government subsidies for residential solar panel installation.
Sharp expects an operating profit of 120 billion yen in the year to March 2011, beating the consensus of a 112.9 billion yen in a poll of 22 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Before the results, Sharp shares closed up 2 percent at 1,254 yen, outperforming a 1.6 percent rise in the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index <.IELEC.T>. The stock has gained 5.4 percent so far this year through Monday versus a 15.5 percent rise in the sector index.
(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Anshuman Daga)