Japan's Sony Corp <6758.T> is expected to post a 15 percent fall in profit for October-December on Thursday, hurt by a stronger yen and tough price competition in the market for flat TVs.

Rival Panasonic <6752.T> reported a dip in quarterly profit earlier this week, blaming falling prices, especially for TVs, while South Korea's LG Electronics <066570.KS> suffered a loss in the same period and Samsung Electronics <005930.KS> booked its lowest profit in six quarters.

The four companies have a combined global share of about 60 percent of the flat-screen TV market by revenue.

The consensus estimate for Sony's quarterly profit was 124.2 billion yen ($1.52 billion) in a poll of 9 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, compared with a 146.1 billion yen profit in the same quarter a year earlier.

The maker of Vaio PCs and PlayStation game consoles forecasts an operating profit of 200 billion yen for the full year to March 31, lower than a consensus estimate of 212.9 billion yen in a poll of 24 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares in Sony have fallen more than 20 percent since reaching an 18-month high of 3,265 yen in March last year, largely reflecting the yen's rise against the dollar and euro.

Sony's shares were up about 0.7 percent at 2,865 yen ahead of the announcement, while Panasonic and rival TV-maker Sharp <6753.T> were each down more than 3 percent.

($1=81.72 Yen)

(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Nathan Layne and Edmund Klamann)