The Strategist

Toshiba shares go through the floor thanks to nuclear writedown reports


01/19/2017 - 14:17



Shares of Japanese company Toshiba at trading on Thursday, 19 January, fell down by 26 percent after reports about losses amounting to more than $ 4.4 billion (500 billion yen). The losses relate to division that produces equipment for nuclear power plants.



Seika via flickr
Seika via flickr
According to the agency, this collapse of quotations was the most significant since 1974. The company has applied for financial assistance from the Development Bank of Japan and other creditors. The Kyodo news estimated that the corporation’s losses could reach 700 billion yen.

Toshiba said evaluation of losses is still in the course. According to Bloomberg, the company's capitalization has decreased by half from December last year.

At the end of 2016, Toshiba shares fell 20.4% after the company announced that it would write off several billion dollars. The write-offs are associated with acquisition of CB&I Stone & Webster’s assets.

A day earlier, on January 18, media announced that Toshiba has begun negotiations with the US Western Digital to sell its stake in the semiconductor manufacturer. 

The Japanese company had already considered possibility of selling shares of its semiconductor manufacturer Western Digital with retaining a controlling stake. The transaction amount was estimated at 1,77-2,66 billion dollars.

Toshiba expects that semiconductor manufacturing will be detached as a separate company in the first half of 2017. The company also stated that they are considering various options for selling their semiconductors production business, but no specific decision on this matter been taken yet.

Apparently, the company is going through hard times. This week Toshiba was fined in Europe for a decade-long price collusion during CRT (cathode ray tubes) manufacturing and sales.

Apart from Toshiba, the joint venture involved six companies: Philips, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung SDI and Technicolor. A total fine for them reached 1.47 billion dollars - the largest in the history of fight against monopolists.

Toshiba filed an appeal to Court of Justice of the European Union, stating that the company cannot control MTPD joint venture decision and, therefore, cannot be held responsible. However, the court rejected the appeal in January 2016 and confirmed that Toshiba has to pay a fine in the amount of 82.8 million dollars for price fixing in selling of CRT.

As Reuters reported, the European Commission initially fined Toshiba 86.7 million euros, but after the company applied to the European Court in Luxembourg (EU General Court), the amount was reduced to 82.8 million.

In the summer of 2015, Toshiba announced a global restructuring of the corporation after being accused in falsifying financial statements. In July, independent audit revealed that the corporation for several years falsified financial statements, thus attributing 152 billion yen ($ 1.2 billion) to non-existent profits. As a result, the firm's president Hisao Tanaka resigned, Toshiba filed a lawsuit against him and other former top managers.

Corporation Toshiba, founded in Tokyo in 1875, is one of Japan's largest electronics manufacturers, power and medical equipment. 

source: bloomberg.com, reuters.com