Red Ink In A Flash For Toshiba
The logo of Toshiba Corp. are seen at the company's facility in Kawasaki, Japan February 13, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato)

For the April to June quarter, Toshiba reported a net loss of ¥140.23 billion ($1.3 billion) because of the poor sales of its affiliated semiconductor business.

The Japanese multinational conglomerate is into electronic components and materials, industrial, home appliances, office equipment, logistics and other related products and services.

Toshiba cited the ongoing trade issues for the poor sale of its affiliated semiconductor business and the transfer of its liquefied natural gas operation in the US to the French oil company Total S.A. as causing the red ink.

However, Toshiba's woes are a lot more.

It was in April this year that Toshiba failed to get shareholders and a US panel's (that monitors foreign investment) approval. This made the company look for another buyer of its liquefied natural gas operation and earned Toshiba losses of as much as 1 trillion yen ($9 billion).

Another casualty in Toshiba's business involves the sales of its chips found in smartphones getting caught between the ongoing trade issues. Toshiba is the second-largest in the world that makes flash memory chips after Samsung Electronics Co.

In the period January-March of 2018, Toshiba Memory had already a net loss of ¥19.3 billion.

Though it sold Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp. to an international consortium that includes the US private equity firm Bain Capital and the South Korean chip maker SK Hynix Inc., it still holds 40.2 percent of its shares.

Their one-month plant suspension in central Japan because of a power outage in mid-June did them a lot worse and had an negative impact of ¥34.4 billion on the company.

Chief Financial Officer Masayoshi Hirata said that with the world "economy remaining unclear" they "may need to cut fixed costs or review current investment plans" to cushion the negative impact.

Toshiba had already been cutting jobs, consolidating factories and overhauling their procurement strategies to compensate for the loss.

The company's net loss is in contrast to last year's ¥1.02 trillion net profit because of the same flash memory chips.

Though the first three months of 2019's fiscal year saw Toshiba's profits going up by ¥730 million from the year before, it is due to cost cuts and a solid sale in their social infrastructure business of air conditioners and elevators.

However, current sales fell to 3.5 percent, amounting to ¥813.16 billion not only because of the lackluster sale of its semiconductors but also because Sharp Corp. got hold of its personal computer operations.

Though Toshiba did not give a net profit forecast due to the difficulty in predicting the earning of Toshiba Memory, for 2019 through next March, the company kept its earnings outlook.

Toshiba is expecting an almost quadruple operating profit of ¥140 billion on sales of ¥3.4 trillion, down 7.9 percent.