Sharp CEO Tai says to step down once stock returns to TSE first section
TOKYO (Reuters) - Sharp Corp (6753.T: Quote) CEO and President Tai Jeng-wu told reporters on Monday he would step down once the Japanese electronics maker turns profitable again at the net level and its shares return to the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Tai, vice chairman of Foxconn, became president of Sharp in August after the Taiwan company, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (2317.TW: Quote), took control of the Japanese firm.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange moved Sharp shares to the bourse's second section in August after the electronics maker booked negative net assets - where liabilities exceeded assets - for the year ended in March, when the company was hit by falling sales of smartphone panels and restructuring costs.
Sharp has since returned to positive net assets after capital infusion by Foxconn.
A Sharp spokesman said the company has a target of returning to the TSE's first section around 2018 and declined to elaborate further.
The company has been trying to turn profitable with the help of Foxconn but it still expects to remain in the red at the net level, forecasting a net loss of 41.8 billion yen ($368 million) for the current financial year ending in March, extending its losing streak to three years.
Analysts expect Sharp to return to net profit in the next financial year starting in April, with an average estimate of nine analysts polled by Thomson Reuters calling for a net profit of 7.5 billion yen.
($1 = 113.5600 yen)
(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka and Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)
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