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Cash-Poor Sharp Mortgages Display Factories

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the surely-they-can-reach-a-resolution dept.

Businesses 111

Sharp is one of the small handful of companies that actually make the LCDs that go into products badged with many other companies' names. Now, itwbennett writes "The company was asked by one of its main banks to put its physical assets, including its Apple screen plant, up as collateral for about $2 billion in emergency loans, according to an IDG News Service report. Sharp expects to lose over $3 billion this fiscal year."

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Wha? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249591)

Sharp makes amazing screens why are they in trouble? What did I miss?

Re:Wha? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249647)

It's possible to make awesome products and have poor business plans. See Sun Microsystems.

Re:Wha? (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 2 years ago | (#41249779)

Or Commodore.

Re:Wha? (4, Insightful)

6031769 (829845) | about 2 years ago | (#41249841)

Or DEC. Or Silicon Graphics.

Actually, it's starting to look like quality of products is always inversely proportional to quality of directors/management. If that isn't somebody's first law of economics, I'm claiming it.

Re:Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250241)

Nah, I already said that about Mandriva... and citing Sun as example, too. And others talked before about DEC. IMHO, M$ confirms the inverse proportionality.

Re:Wha? (1)

RatBastard (949) | about 2 years ago | (#41250813)

Remember Everex computers? Nice PCs. Horrible management.

Re:Wha? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249861)

It's possible to make awesome products and have poor business plans. See Sun Microsystems.

Arrgh. What you say is true, but inaccurate.

SUN made great products, but their business plan was poor because there wasn't enough of a market for their awesome products to support a viable firm. (I hope that makes sense. My brain has been poluted by a MBA - the most worthless fucking thing I ever did with my time and money.)

Build a better mousetrap and people will beat a path to your door. Not so.

I have a cat that does the samething for less and I can pet it and it's cute and everything.

SUN got it's ass kicked because PCs became just as powerful (or at least just as close) as their machines for much much less.

Re:Wha? (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41254451)

Sun also died because they had an enormous sales force, vastly overpriced hardware, and option pricing that made Apple's ram and drive prices seem budget grade.

If Sun had moved to a more reasonable plan, without armies of sales reps and such between you and the products that you want to buy, if they hadn't stuck with their laughable CDE, and such, they'd probably still be going today.

Re:Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41255163)

I agree with you on this mostly, but I think Sun's demise was inevitable. There simply wasn't a need for what they had long term. As you said, PC's started to catch up, but just as importantly, Linux and FreeBSD basically came at them from the other side. The PC platform without free unix's left a huge place for Sun to compete: They were the cheapest and best commercial unix out there other than say AIX. But you can't beat free. As soon as Linux and FreeBSD got stable fast and popular it was all over. There was simply no advantage at all for Sun to even try to leverage.

I can't believe they lasted as long as they did. They should have died as fast as SGI did when ATI, S3, Matrox and NVIDIA came to town.
I think the only thing keeping them alive that they had to leverage throughout the early 2000's was motherboards with high amounts of addressable ram and 64bit addressing.

Even when Opterons were coming on the market, almost all x86 motherboards only supported 4GB of addressable memory. Sun would offer 64GB or more.
But then the way people were using computer changed again... 64GB split among 100, 50, even 20 users started to be kind of... restrictive. Would it just be cheaper to buy everyone their own box even though it was less addressable memory? And it was.

I always loved sun. I still have a Tatung SPARC5 110MHz in my closet. It was my webserver for many years running openBSD. That little guy never died.

Re:Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250797)

It's possible to make awesome products and have poor business plans. See Sun Microsystems.

It's also possible to make products that are basically identical to almost every other vendor (except they cost 3x more), but you have not joined your friends in the land of overpriced failures only because your products are fashionable. See Apple.

Re:Wha? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#41251747)

Apple is nowhere near that much of a price premium, at worst they're 30%, and often they are less.

Re:Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41252881)

Where would slashdot be without the car analogy?

See: Buick as owned by David Buick. Best engine of the time (so good almost all modern engines are STILL derivatives of his design), but nothing could save a company from being destroyed by that man as long as he existed within its walls.

Re:Wha? (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41249665)

Sharp makes amazing screens why are they in trouble? What did I miss?

Just because you make a fantistic bunch of hardware doesn't mean you can't have a load of bozos running around the board room with seltzer bottles in one hand and balloons in the other. Remember how bad Commodore was at marketing the Amiga? Ready ... FIRE! Aim ...

Sharp screens are mediocre IMO. (3, Informative)

guidryp (702488) | about 2 years ago | (#41249769)

When I was checking out TVs, I quickly marked Sharp off my list. IMO their panels have the worse viewing angle washout of any of the panel types and no real compensating high point (Yellow pixels are more gimmick than benefit).

I see lots of talk from Sharp, but I have never seen a Sharp screen I want to buy, so no great loss IMO.

Re:Sharp screens are mediocre IMO. (0)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | about 2 years ago | (#41249869)

This is pretty stupid, because they probably make the actual screen in the TV you actually bought.

Re:Sharp screens are mediocre IMO. (1)

guidryp (702488) | about 2 years ago | (#41249899)

No. Sharp actually makes the screens in relatively few TVs. My TV has a AU Optronics panel.

Re:Sharp screens are mediocre IMO. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250089)

Which was probably just a re-badged sharp panel..

Re:Sharp screens are mediocre IMO. (2)

guidryp (702488) | about 2 years ago | (#41250231)

Which was probably just a re-badged sharp panel..

Well at least you hide behind an anonymous login when making clueless posts, about topics where you are entirely ignorant.

Saying an AU Optronics panel is just a re-badged sharp panel, makes about as much sense as saying an Intel CPU is probably just re-badged AMD CPU.

Re:Sharp screens are mediocre IMO. (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 2 years ago | (#41250889)

[...] an Intel CPU is probably just re-badged AMD CPU.

It is? Damn, I got ripped off, then! Why didn't anyone tell me this before I plunked down an extra $100 to get my i7 instead of an AMD CPU when they were the same thing all along?

(Taking things out of context will continue for the duration of U.S. Silly Season.)

Re:Sharp screens are mediocre IMO. (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 years ago | (#41251291)

(Taking things out of context will continue for the duration of U.S. Silly Season.)

I'm glad that silly season only happens every other year, and to a lesser degree on the years not divisible by 4.

Re:Sharp screens are mediocre IMO. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249881)

The viewing angle has nothing to do with the LCD panel. It's about the backlight scheme and related optics. Chances are, whatever TV you settled with that's not made by Sharp actually has a Sharp LCD panel.

Re:Sharp screens are mediocre IMO. (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 2 years ago | (#41250445)

I have a Sharp in my front room and I have to disagree with you on the viewing angles. I have no issues with side viewing.

Re:Wha? (1)

magarity (164372) | about 2 years ago | (#41249797)

Sharp makes amazing screens why are they in trouble? What did I miss?

From Sharp minds come Dull financial planning?

Price Wars (3, Insightful)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#41249947)

The LCD screen market has been brutal for the past couple of years. Plants have high fixed capital costs. i.e. building plants are expensive. The market has surplus capacity. i.e. everybody thought people would be buying their screens. In this situation, if the plant is running you might as well run it at full throttle – it is almost as cheap to build 100 rather than 80. This leaves a company with 2 choices.

First, you can shut down the factory and leave all of the capital ideal. Even worse, with the technology cycle so fast, when you restart the plant it is going to be obsolete.

Second, you can engage in a long drawn out price war. Unfortunately Sharp is facing Samsung who has the same problem – overcapacity – but have deep better diversified pockets to survive the price war. The second option is better – you bleed slower.

If you want an analogy, take a look at the airlines. The price wars have been so brutal that, IIRC, the total return on equity invested in airlines (as a whole) is about 0% for the past 50 years.

Re:Price Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41252575)

"First, you can shut down the factory and leave all of the capital ideal"

Do you mean "idle"? LOL.

Re:Wha? (4, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#41250313)

They got hit by a double whammy. Foreign exchange rates on one hand, and more nimble Korean competition on the other.

Strong Yen eroded their profits, while at the same time Samsung and LG made huge aggressive bets by pouring billions into new LCD and LED making equipment and benefited from economy of scale. Basically the Koreans are doing to the Japanese companies what the Japanese themselves were doing to American companies back in the 70's.

Samsung makes a healthy profit from TVs, while Sony and Sharp loses money on every TV they make.

Re:Wha? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41254953)

Last Sony TV we bought here had a Samsung screen.

Re:Wha? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41251475)

What did I miss?

The fact that the LCD market is saturated right now. LCD's were hot for several years as everyone threw out their old tube TV's for shiny new HDTV's. But now those same people stubbornly insist on keeping those shiny HDTV's for years instead of upgrading every time some shiny new feature (like 3D) comes out.

the market. (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 2 years ago | (#41252485)

the market is saturated. major players like Philips have basically handed over their factories to get out from under the pressure years ago. we're left with Sharp, Samsung, Mitsubishi (Panasonic,) and several Red Army Factions.

just like there used to be a dozen CRT plants in the US alone, dwindled to channel master and Sony, and they're all closed. Clinton is closed in China. there may not be a working CRT plant left any more, anywhere.

and as the complexity and demand for higher grade screens rises, it's a double squeeze... everything you have is obsolete and pennies per diagonal inch, but everything you need to make yesterday is already on the verge of oversupply because the competition's plants are already announced and half-done.

Re:the market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41254463)

At the least two, one in india and one in italy

Re:Wha? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#41253923)

Because they had their fingers in too many pies instead of keeping to what they did great, which was screens? Time and time again we've seen good companies that made great products get run into the ground by shitty management, hell I'd say that's what happening to MSFT now with their "lost decade" and counting, and they had a fricking monopoly for the love of Pete and the sweaty monkey couldn't capitalize. In the case of Sharp they had everything from mobile phones to microwaves,photocopiers to PDAs. They just spread themselves too damned thin.

Hopefully when they go under the assets will be bought by someone that actually wants to make great products, not like Hitachi and Samsung drive divisions being bought by Seagate and WD...yuck, just yuck.

Re:Wha? (1)

jvillain (546827) | about 2 years ago | (#41255397)

Every body built out their production for the HDTV migration. Now that it is over demand is down. 3D was supposed to be the great saviour but not so much. Turns out people want to match movies on 4" screens and you can get a lot of those out of a 120" sheet. There was also that little tsunami thing as well.

This is a win for Hollywood at least.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249595)

My Aquos TV (with its added yellow pixel) ruins movies by having sufficiently vibrant color to make the demarcation between green-screen and foreground characters completely obvious. Make-up too looks far less natural and more like Broadway stage makeup. The pressure for the movie industry to bring up their game will decrease significantly with these folk out of the picture.

is that _accurate_ colour, or just "vibrant"? (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#41249755)

I would actually rather not have an unnaturally vibrant screen. I want a screen that shows me exactly what the director intended the picture to look like.

Re:is that _accurate_ colour, or just "vibrant"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249823)

I assume you also have properly designed speakers with double 18 inch woofers in a correctly built and well damped 400 pound wood enclosure, sitting in an acoustically neutral room. Right? Right??

Re:is that _accurate_ colour, or just "vibrant"? (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 years ago | (#41250351)

I wonder how many directors actually do any more than give some vague description of the look (bright, dark, grey, etc) they want and then the army of people including production designers, cinematographers, colorists, and so on do a little something which isn't even evident until maybe after a working print of whatever scene is being shot is struck if its shot on film.

I'll bet a lot of director color schemes these days get applied via post-processing anymore.

Re:This is a win for Hollywood at least.... (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#41249889)

Did you take the time to calibrate your TV?

Makes an INCREDIBLE difference in the picture quality.

Re:This is a win for Hollywood at least.... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41249935)

Make-up too looks far less natural and more like Broadway stage makeup.

Go visit a studio, and you will find they damn near have to put Bondo on their faces to cover up the flaws. During the black and white days, they used green makeup so the actors wouldn't look so pale and would stand out better from the background. It looks far from 'natural'. I would say you just saw a more accurate picture of what they really look like.

Re:This is a win for Hollywood at least.... (4, Informative)

guidryp (702488) | about 2 years ago | (#41249951)

That's not a feature, it is a glitch is Sharps Color processing.

http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/sharp-lc46le821e-lc40le821e-20100628755.htm [hdtvtest.co.uk]

Unfortunately, we were soon to uncover a much more severe colour error which made our previous fears of oversaturated Yellows look truly trivial.

The first sign that the Sharp LC46LE821E had colour problems that went beyond it’s expanded colour gamut became apparent with test patterns, and later with real-world content. The edges of saturated colours — especially reds — would appear thresholded, having a strange “tizzing” effect. In fact, this anomaly almost looked like a modern-day cousin of the dot crawl we all hated in old-fashioned Composite video systems.

Near the beginning of Chapter 6 on the UK Blu-ray Disc release of “The Hurt Locker”, there is a shot of a off-cyan sky which is covered in a pleasing amount of film grain (this material originates on 16mm film). On the Sharp LC46LE821E, even without using its Colour Management controls (that is, using the company’s recommended “Movie” mode settings), the sky showed visible darker blocks dancing around in it. And in the next shot, what once appeared as one smooth sky was divided into two distinct bands. This is very surprising indeed, because Sharp has publically stated that one of the benefits of their Quattron technology is to provide smoother gradations.

Remembering that there were strange artefacts in areas of highly saturated colour, we pulled out the Blu-ray Disc of “Serenity” and skipped to Chapter 6, which features a vividly coloured, impressively lit neon city scene. Here, the Sharp LC46LE821E made a complete mess of the coloured transitions, and created obvious borders around tones which, on any other TV, would appear smooth and natural. The Sharp LC46LE821E created harsh borders around the actors, and in fact, the effect is akin to a poorly-done “green screen” effect with a fuzzy edge. The effect is best illustrated with pictures:

Re:This is a win for Hollywood at least.... (1)

Phasma Felis (582975) | about 2 years ago | (#41252891)

"Movies looked great on my old TV, but terrible on my new TV. This can only be Hollywood's fault!"

That's an...interesting perspective. Kudos to Aquos' marketing team, though.

Re:This is a win for Hollywood at least.... (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 2 years ago | (#41253575)

I said it ever since they announced their quad pixel technology that it would simply create more problems than it fixed and/or was a marketing gimmick. The colors are either being properly represented by the panel, or they are not. Adding a fourth color pixel to the panel will not make things better unless the panel without that pixel can not display the correct color gamut in the first place. The additional image processing required to take signals that are written in a RGB format and convert them to RGBY format before displaying will add needless time-consuming steps which will add delay to the process (which may not be an issue in some use cases, but for things like video games, that added delay is a real problem).

Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (5, Insightful)

LehiNephi (695428) | about 2 years ago | (#41249677)

If the title of this post isn't reason enough to reform the English language, I don't know what is. At first I though it had something to do with homeowners refinancing.

Cash-Poor (adj) Sharp (adj/noun) Mortgages (verb/noun) Display (verb/adj/noun) Factories (noun)

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41249765)

I know all those words, but that sentence makes no sense.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249787)

Nope, I got it. Sharp, the company, is cash-poor, and as a result mortgaged its display factories, including their shiny new IGZO display factory.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (2)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#41249835)

Yes! The title crossed my eyes. The wording is uncomfortable and unfortunate.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 2 years ago | (#41250935)

It got you to click, didn't it? Mission accomplished.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249839)

Yeah I was wondering if "sharp mortgages' were something like the loans that got people into trouble a few years ago (and caused the housing market to crash)

Of course that could never happen again (unless we elect Mitt Romney )

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#41249915)

It makes perfect sense if you've ever played a game of Monopoly.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250095)

This title is a good argument against capitalizing every word. Proper nouns would be evident.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250121)

It's just that the ./ editors delight in crafting unreadable headlines. If you stick around you'll notice it popping up every now and then.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (1)

temcat (873475) | about 2 years ago | (#41250125)

Yep. I initially parsed it like Cash-Poor (adj) Sharp (adj) Mortgages (plural noun) Display (verb) Factories (plural noun) and was thoroughly confused. English is not my mother tongue though.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (3, Interesting)

fuzznutz (789413) | about 2 years ago | (#41250473)

Well it is mine, and that's exactly how I initially parsed it. It doesn't help that titles are all capitalized obscuring the clue that the proper noun "Sharp" is not an adjective in this instance.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (4, Funny)

Fishbulb (32296) | about 2 years ago | (#41250253)

Yep. Verbing weirds language.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (3, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41250427)

The problem isnt the English language (which certainly does have problems), its the journalism tendency to leave out "irrelevant" glue words when crafting a headline.

Problem is, those words are required in english for a reason. The grammattically proper headline would be "A cash-poor Sharp mortgages their display factories", which is much less ambiguous.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41255621)

"A cash-poor Sharp mortgages their display factories"

Would be less grammatically correct than the current title. Sharp is the name of the company, you don't have "A Sharp", cash-poor or not.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41250435)

You would have a point if the title was proper English sentence.

It's an argument for better Grammer* classes.

"Cash-Poor Sharp Mortgages Display Factories"
It's just a bad sentence all around.

"Sharp mortgages display factories for bank loan." Adding Cash poor is redundant.

Of course when ever a company uses a common word for a name, it can make for weird sentences; however that isn't an English problem.

So it should be:
"Sharp Electronics Corporation mortgages display factories for bank loan."

I'm not even very good with grammar** and I can see that.

*haha

**English is both my first and second langues. I had reconstructive surgery and need to learn how to speak again after I was 5.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 years ago | (#41251313)

FWIW, you could add "its" between "Mortgages" and "Display" and the headline would also be more clear.

The problem is that "cash poor sharp mortgages" reads as a potential non-phrase that has the ability to "display factories".

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (1)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | about 2 years ago | (#41253389)

FWIW, you could add "its" between "Mortgages" and "Display" and the headline would also be more clear.

It would just become "it's", just like the confusion between their, they're, there. Par for the course.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250699)

Subject: Cash-Poor (adj) Sharp (proper noun)
Verb: Mortgages (verb)
Direct Object: Display (noun adjunct) Factories (noun)

Slashdot headlines have some sort of imposed length limit. That's why Slashdot headlines are always so hard to understand - the editors try to remove as many words as they can.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (2)

steelfood (895457) | about 2 years ago | (#41250723)

Sharp is an adjective (Sharp Corporation is a noun).

Sharp being the adjective means mortgages is a noun. That automatically makes display the verb (a sentence has to have a verb).

In effect, these cash-poor, sharp mortgages are displaying factories.

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (1)

miltonw (892065) | about 2 years ago | (#41250801)

I so like this interpretation!

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250877)

Linguists actually have a (rather poetic) technical term for this situation: "crash blossom". (The name is taken from the following nearly-inscrutable headline: "Violinist linked to JAL crash blossoms" )

Here's an NY Times article about it : http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/magazine/31FOB-onlanguage-t.html?scp=1&sq=headline&st=cse
and a website dedicated to collecting them : http://www.crashblossoms.com/

Re:Anyone else have trouble parsing the title (1)

Renevith (1556657) | about 2 years ago | (#41251263)

Came for crash blossom [upenn.edu] post. Leaving satisfied. Mod parent up.

Manure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249733)

Manure

Yeah, I went there.

wtf? (4, Funny)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 2 years ago | (#41249739)

Indigenous Rainbow Spatulas Dungeon Ponies.

Re:wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249913)

*blink* Kinky!

Re:wtf? (1)

serbanp (139486) | about 2 years ago | (#41249933)

Yeah, the title took a while to sink in, but your example is rather poor, as none of the words can be a verb.

Re:wtf? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250071)

I will spatula you for your insolence!

Re:wtf? (1)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#41250277)

What do you mean you can't Dungeon a Pony?

Damn...now that I think about that, I want a Dungeon Pony. It sounds like they'd look the same as regular ponies, except that they'd have pitch-black hair, wear collars that menace with spikes of the bones of trolls they trampled to death (and jackets made of the skin of their own dead cousins), and just walk around with a serious face like the hardboiled badasses they are.

My Ruthless Pony: Friendship is a Bad Mother Fucker.

Re:wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250531)

Pony as the verb: "An indigenous dungeon full of rainbow spatulas finds the cash to settle a loan."

Dungeon as the verb: "A bunch of indigenous rainbow spatulas corralled some ponies into a dungeon."

Spatula as the verb: "Some ponies were spanked with a spatula by an indigenous rainbow in a dungeon."

Re:wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250633)

Pony up!

Re:wtf? (1)

bosef1 (208943) | about 2 years ago | (#41253127)

I have proposed we use the infinitive verb "to spatulate" to describe the thing that is done with a spatula. For example, "After adding eggs to the flour, you will need to spatulate". Or, "I've been spatulating all day, and wow my arm is tired."

Re:wtf? (1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | about 2 years ago | (#41254733)

Turn. The word you're looking for is Turn. Turn Over if you want to be more specific.

Re:wtf? (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 2 years ago | (#41250539)

Indigenous Rainbow Spatulas Dungeon Ponies.

Wow, that does sound serious; I better RTFA.

Re:wtf? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 2 years ago | (#41250835)

I find it amusing that your line immediately caused a coherent image to form in my mind* while I took half a minute to parse the story's headline (and initially did it the wrong way).

* I think that the combination of Rainbow Dash, spatulas and BDSM is weird but hey, so is the thought of mortgages displaying factories...

Re:wtf? (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#41251399)

Effective McDonald's Shakes Industry Leaders

sacrifice long term for the sake of the short term (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#41249819)

So in the future they'll have interest payments to meet in addition to their other factor costs for creating displays.

In the short term, they can continue to meet whatever short-term debt obligations they have. (Bonus question: What are likely to be their short term debt obligations?)

In the long term...who knows? Their future ability to pay appears less secure.

Re:sacrifice long term for the sake of the short t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250611)

In the long term...who knows?

Buyouts by Chinese companies. Japan is no longer an indispensable part of the electronics supply chain and can not command prices sufficient to fund the very high corporate tax rates its government imposes or the high compensation its workers expect.

You should expect to see more Japanese companies floundering. Some marquee names like Sharp will try to remain independent through debt and public offerings. Others will seek out partners and buyers. In any case the plant and capital will evacuate to lower cost parts of Asia, Eastern Europe and even Africa as the decline accelerates.

Re:sacrifice long term for the sake of the short t (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#41254027)

More importantly - the company will continue to be able to pay the CEO and Board their expected bonuses while it gradually bleeds to death and hopes that the LCD market will pick up again.

Oh noes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41249857)

Now they won't be able to build houses/hotels or collect rent!

Question... (4, Funny)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#41249905)

What are "Sharp Mortgages", and what caused them to be cash-poor. Is this part of the toxic asset relief program. Apparently, they're displaying their factories. So mayb these were commercial loans for industry used to build factories...

Hmm....

Anglish!

Re:Question... (1)

Misagon (1135) | about 2 years ago | (#41250373)

They are sharp enough to be able to know how to use money, but they are apparently not sharp enough to spend it wisely.

I'm sooooooo confused (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#41250201)

Cash-Poor Sharp Mortgages Display Factories

I've heard of a lot of mortgage companies, but not "Sharp Mortgages."

And what do they need factories for, and why are they displaying them?

Oh, I get it, they need cash and hope the buzz will attract investors.

Oh, and it's "Displays" not "Display." Unless I'm reading it wrong and there are a bunch of starving but very bright mortgages out there which are showing off their factories, in which case I apologize.

Hmm, this could be the next correct horse battery staple. I hope this isn't Mr. Okuda's [wikipedia.org] password.

Re:I'm sooooooo confused (1)

psmears (629712) | about 2 years ago | (#41250499)

Oh, and it's "Displays" not "Display."

Really? I'm not sure that's an improvement...

Re:I'm sooooooo confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41251973)

Noun-verb agreement.

"Sharp Mortgages," the name of a company, singular noun.

"Displays" needs the s at the end.

It would've helped if the word "they" was replaced by "it" in reference to "Sharp Mortgages" in the post you replied to.

Re:I'm sooooooo confused (1)

psmears (629712) | about 2 years ago | (#41253755)

Noun-verb agreement.

"Sharp Mortgages," the name of a company, singular noun.

"Displays" needs the s at the end.

Singular nouns that refer to groups of people often take plural verb agreement in English (admittedly this is more common in British than US English, but it does happen in both). Compare "My family is big" with "My family are big"...

It would've helped if the word "they" was replaced by "it" in reference to "Sharp Mortgages" in the post you replied to.

Yep, exactly - the "they" clearly indicates the company is being thought of as a group in this example.

Of course, the whole thing just goes to show how poorly written the original title was in the first place :-)

Re:I'm sooooooo confused (0)

neminem (561346) | about 2 years ago | (#41250677)

No, there are multiple Sharp Mortgages, and they're all competing to display the best factories.

Actually, I had an even worse time of it, as I started off by reading -Sharp- as the primary verb, as in "to cheat", so I was like... cash-poor people sharp their mortgages... what?

I almost expect Apple to buy Sharp. (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about 2 years ago | (#41250305)

With the rumors of an Apple TV odds are Sharp is already a fabrication partner on that project. Apple could buy the plant and transition other product assembly away from Foxconn. I'm sure Japan would love to see the jobs come over from China.

They should have gone to Apple instead... (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#41250415)

If Sharp goes under the may have to go to Samsung for displays. I'm sure they would do it but there will be an extra $1B charge tacked in somewhere...

Re:They should have gone to Apple instead... (0)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41252391)

If Sharp goes under the may have to go to Samsung for displays. I'm sure they would do it but there will be an extra $1B charge tacked in somewhere...

Samsung only makes AMOLED displays (they got rid of their LCD division). There are plenty of others who make LCDs - LG and Hitachi are the bigger ones, but there are various smaller ones as well.

Though, I'm surprised Apple didn't take it as an opportunity to invest in Sharp, perhaps doing it as a joint venture. Apple's been investing heavily in display technology, they could use it as a chance to own the display supply chain to do strategic R&D (i.e., higher res displays).

It's something Apple prides itself on (having some of the nicer displays in its products), so I'm surprised they wouldn't spend some of that huge warchest to acquire cutting edge display technology and manufacturing.

Not too much sympathy here (2)

zlexiss (14056) | about 2 years ago | (#41250421)

This just a few months after settling for $200 million in an LCD price fixing suit. Guess they were counting on keeping those artificially high prices going to break even.

What Apple screen plant? (1)

guidryp (702488) | about 2 years ago | (#41250439)

Isn't it just a rumor that Sharp will be making iPhone screens. AFAIK, there are no sharp screens in any shipping Apple product.

Desktops use LG IPS screens. iPhone 4s uses LG IPS screens. iPad 1/2 use LG IPS screens. iPad 3 uses Samsung PLS(their version of IPS) screens.

Sharp??

Government borrowing crowding out business loans (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41250561)

This is what happens when all that governments end up doing is printing their money and spending, going into debt by selling debt instruments while printing currency. The 'free' money is handed over to the banks, the interest rates are lowest ever and thus the only 'secure' way to 'make' money is to buy government debt.

Now understand that what Sharp is going through is what all smaller businesses are going through, except Sharp has the scale, the assets that it can basically pawn. But a small business has no ability to secure any loans, it doesn't have the collateral.

This means that the REAL interest rates on the market are fucking INSANE, if even industry leaders like Sharp, with clients like Apple cannot get a fucking loan from a fucking bank. Talk about lack of purpose for the banking system, when all it does is facilitating the gov't ability to borrow more money through basically what amounts to is counterfeiting operation and money laundering (that's the part where the Federal reserve, as an example, doesn't buy the Treasury debts directly, but goes through a proxy bank, allowing that bank to make 'record profits' in interim).

This is a fucking disaster, this is what loans are SUPPOSED to be for - business. Not consumption, which is all that gov't takes out loans to do, no it's production that is suffering.

That's the crux of the economic disaster that the world is facing.

No, it's free market punishing bad businesses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41251949)

This is what happens when free market is working.

Sharp bet on large LCDs. Turns out market didn't want them as much as Sharp thought. Market went the other direction - smaller screens on iPads and smart devices

Sharp made a bad decision. Sharp didn't make what the market wants.

Seeing the bad decision they made, banks are reluctant to loan them more money without Sharp offering something as a security - their factories.

Don't let libertarians fool you thinking capitalism is all sunshine and rainbows and banks rush to your feet the moment you say you're a "business". If you believe that, then perhaps you would like to loan ME some money? I'm er... starting a business selling bridges.

Meaningless (1)

DaveGod (703167) | about 2 years ago | (#41250583)

How is this news? A company obtaining finance and giving their bank good security is normal practice in business. If anything is weird here it is that Sharp does not already have these assets securing loans. The tone gives me the impression this is meant to be bad news for Sharp, but there is no clue why in the summary.

Reading TFA, it seems the story here is that Sharp is in deep financial trouble, but the good news is that they have been able to refinance, thus answering Moody's recent concerns. The particular importance of Sharp is that they are seen as symbolic of current weakness in the Japanese electronics industry, they are one of the few manufacturers of LCD screens, and the lack of finance had cast doubt on their ability to make screens for Apple's upcoming new iPhone and iPad products.

Re:Meaningless (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#41250745)

The tone gives me the impression this is meant to be bad news for Sharp, but there is no clue why in the summary.

Phew. So (per the summary) having to mortgage your factories to raise $2 billion in emergency funds when you're looking at a $3 billion+ loss isn't bad news.

Same problem as USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41250729)

Sharp's plant is in Japan and they can't compete with Chinese LCDs.

I wonder how that bodes for AAPL (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 2 years ago | (#41251541)

I wonder, though, if AAPL shares might be affected by it. I need to check if Apple seems to have second-sources for their display tech. The Sharp plant suddenly looks like a lost case in the long run.

Sharp's main issues (4, Informative)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | about 2 years ago | (#41253039)

For those that don't know, Sharp recently built their tenth-generation glass substrate and LCD factory in Sakai, Japan [google.com] . This is, bar-none, the most advanced, efficient, and green LCD manufacturing facility in the world. To further lower costs, their main suppliers moved their factories just next door to the Sakai plant.

When Sharp first made this plant, it seemed like Japan would come to dominate the LCD industry, again. Sharp had deals with all the major LCD players to manufacture parts for them to use in their own brands. Notably, SONY was a huge investor in the Sakai facility. The Sakai plant was going to produce the best LCD TV components, and SONY has a long history of using top-of-the-line components in their products.

Sharp has fallen on hard times because of two primary issues:
1. The economy, stupid
2. The inexplicable and dramatic rise of the yen

When Sharp first made the facility, it made it big, and it expected big demand. BOOM! global economic meltdown. That seriously hurt Sharp, but at least they still had their deals with other companies to buy their industry-best components. Well, a consequence of the meltdown, quantitative easing, uncertainty, etc, is that the Japanese yen has skyrocketed in value.

I studied abroad in Japan from 2007-2008. At that time, I got about 121 yen per USD. Now the rate is half that. That means Made in Japan is 50% more expensive in the US (and most everywhere else) than it was, before. This is what is killing Sharp. This is what is killing all Japanese manufacturers. Modern Japan developed as an export economy, and with the yen as strong as it is, it is struggling to export. Many of their industries are diversified; for example, Honda has the ability to manufacture the same Honda Civic in Japan or the US, then ship it to whichever country it wants to sell it in depending on the exchange rates. Sharp has put all its eggs in the Made in Japan basket (not a bad decision at the time; I would certainly prefer a Made in Japan TV for a small premium, and I know others would, too), and now that basket is way too expensive to compete.

Unless the yen weakens, Sharp will fail. If they fail, somebody is going to take over the Sakai factory, because it is just too new, too advanced, and too efficient to let disappear.

Re:Sharp's main issues (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41255037)

Samsung is spinning off their LCD division [wsj.com] to concentrate on OLED. It is a really bad time to invest in low margin LCD factories.
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