Moody’s Cuts Panasonic’s Credit Rating for the Third Time This Year – Now Near Junk

Photo of Panasonic signPanasonic Corp., once one of the most powerful electronics companies in the world, now finds that its credit rating has been lowered by Moody’s Investors Service to the lowest level still considered investment grade – only one step above junk.  Moody’s, one of the largest credit rating agencies, has revised Panasonic’s rating twice before this year – and this third revision dropped the company’s credit rating two grades to Baa3…the lowest level considered investment grade.

What prompted Moody’s to make this huge downgrade of Panasonic’s credit?… Continue reading

Sharp Asks 2,000 Employees to Leave – 3,000 Raise Their Hands

Image of Sharp logoSharp Corp., the struggling Japanese manufacturer that is widely reported to be scrambling to survive, recently offered buyout packages to employees hoping that 2,000 would agree to leave the company. To their surprise, almost 3,000 employees volunteered to leave – good for the company, but a sign of their lack of confidence in the company’s ability to return to profit anytime soon.

See more on this latest indicator of the company’s struggles…

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A Major Housing Starts Surprise – Highest Level in 4 Years

Photo of home under constructionThe U.S.Commerce Department released new data today detailing an unexpected uptick in housing “starts” or the number of homes that had begun construction during the month of October. According to the report, starts in October increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 894,000 units or 3.6 percent higher than the revised September level of 863,000.

See more on this results which were well above estimates, surprising economists… Continue reading

Nortek Consolidation Continues; Creates New ‘ProAV Group’


Nortek LogoNortek Inc. announced this morning that it has consolidated several of its brands into a new organization that they call the “ProAV Group.” Consisting of several Nortek brands that were conspicuously missing from their recently formed “Core Brands” group, the ProAV Group combines Gefen, TVOne, and Magenta Research into one consolidated group.

See more on this latest round of Nortek consolidation… Continue reading

France’s Legrand Buys NuVo Technologies

Graphic of Legrand websiteThe French conglomerate Legrand’s North American subsidiary announced today that it has purchased Hebron, Kentucky-based NuVo Technologies, LLC. NuVo, a whole house audio solutions provider will continue to run as a freestanding, independent company focusing on the home audio market according to the Legrade announcement. While the products will continue to feature the NuVo brand, the company will now operate under the auspices of Legrand’s Home Systems division.

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Sharp in Talks with Intel and Qualcomm to Receive Capital Investment


Graphic of Sharp's LogoAccording to multiple reports from Reuters, Nikkei and others, Sharp Corp., the troubled Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer, is in negotiations with Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. about a much-needed capital investment. Sources are telling the media that Sharp may receive as much as $378 million from the companies. The news was enough to send shares of Sharp stock soaring in Japan.

See more on this surprising twist in the Sharp saga… Continue reading

Onkyo Forges Global ‘Strategic Collaboration’ with Imagination Technologies Group

Out of Tokyo, Japan this past Monday came word of a new global strategic collaboration between Onkyo Corporation, U.K.-based Imagination Technologies Group, and Imagination’s consumer division known as Pure. A global technology creator, Imagination Technologies Group largely focuses on multimedia, cloud, mobile, and connected audio technologies – often licensed to major consumer brands as part of their product offerings.

See more on this technology agreement…and what it portends for future Onkyo products… Continue reading

Where Do Consumers Prefer to See Advertisements?

Think you know how the typical consumer – if there is such a thing – feels about advertising in our new digitally-enhanced world? You just might be surprised! For example, in today’s increasingly digital world…marketers are devoting more dollars to digital media such as websites, email marketing, paid search marketing, social media marketing, and more.

But how does traditional print and broadcast media fit into our new digital marketing world?… Continue reading

OK, 3D HDTV Flopped – Industry Turns to Next Trick in Bag: Ultra HDTV

Photo of Sony 4K UHDTV at CEATEC show in Japan

Sony 4K LCD TV at the CEATEC show in Japan earlier this year.
[PHOTO: Junko Kimura/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

It’s a tough time to be an executive at one of the major television manufacturer’s these days. After a record run – with help from the U.S. government mandating a switch to digital broadcasting virtually forcing American consumers to upgrade their sets – the industry appears to have lost its mojo. So, with great fanfare, manufacturers went back to the well, trying to convince consumers to “upgrade” their sets to new 3D capable sets. But 3D was a dismal flop.

Now manufacturers have dug deep into their bag of tricks to offer 4K HDTV, also known as Ultra HDTV… Continue reading

Moody’s Cuts Sony’s Credit Rating Again; Now Just One Notch Above ‘Junk’

Photo of Sony's make.believe logo

PHOTO: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao

The investment community remains unconvinced that new Sony Corp. CEO Kaz Harai is making meaningful headway in turning around the financial performance at the struggling tech manufacturer. And now Reuters is reporting out of Tokyo that credit rating agency Moody’s Investor Services has piled on with another downgrade of the company’s credit, placing it perilously close to “junk” status.

Why did Moody’s downgrade Sony again just one month after a previous downgrade? Continue reading