Panasonic's losses quadruple Sony's: down $4.68 billion

This week, major Japanese consumer electronics companies posted their fiscal 2009 revenues, and provided an outlook into the coming year. To say earnings have been disheartening would be a multi-million dollar understatement.

Because of a harsh currency exchange and declining sales, Sony registered a loss of around one billion dollars, NEC's net loss was upwards of $3 billion, Hitachi lost a staggering $8.03 billion, and Sanyo -- which is in the process of merging with Panasonic -- reported a net loss of $970 million.

Today, Panasonic attributed its annual net loss (PDF available here) to the global financial crisis, which it pointedly noted began in the United States. The company's sales declined between 10%-19%, the cost of crude oil and raw material was up, and restructuring expenses hit the company with a great unified force.

Panasonic's outlook for the coming year was delivered with gravitas: "The company currently expects to encounter severe conditions because two trends are developing simultaneously. One is the world recession and shrinking demand, and the other is the changes in market structure such as the expanding emerging markets and a demand shift to lower-priced products. Under these environments, the company will rebuild its management structure thoroughly, as well as make preparations for the next phase of development and growth simultaneously, aiming to be in a strong position when the market recovers."

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