Sharp off the hook, for now

Sharp gets second bailout in 3 years: What's wrong?

A second bailout in three years will give Japanese electronics conglomerate Sharp some breathing space, but analysts warn the company may not be out of the woods just yet.

"It's going to be very difficult for them to survive in five years," Tradewinds managing director Peter Boardman told CNBC. And the failure to reinvent itself "will wipe out equity investors," he said.

Beleaguered Sharp has stumbled from one crisis after another for the past four years, as cut throat competition wiped out profits at its core business of the day, from televisions to liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for mobile devices.

On Thursday, its creditor banks again pulled the company back from the brink of insolvency, but the accompanying restructuring plan offered few signs that Sharp has learnt any lessons from its on-going crisis.

Investors were not impressed and dumped the stock. Its share price fell 8.50 percent in morning trade on Friday, and the stock has lost nearly 70 percent of its value after posting three annual losses in four years.

"Sharp is beyond a fix," Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal said in a note on Thursday. "If Sharp does not turn around, losses will mount and equity value will be almost zero," he said.

So long, common stock

The latest bailout will buy the company some time, but will be painful for shareholders.

The 200 billion yen ($1.68 billion) rescue package will take the form of a preferred share issuance to its main banks, Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho, and heavily dilute existing shareholders – by up to 139.4 percent, according to Jefferies' Goyal.

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Sharp has offered a glimmer of hope, however. The company said cost cuts will help put the company back in an operating profit of 80 billion yen in fiscal 2016, from a loss of 48.1 billion in fiscal 2015.

On Thursday, the company said it would cut 5,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its employees, after posting an annual net loss of 222 billion yen ($1.86 billion) for the fiscal year 2015.

"The urgent measures being implemented….have brought a recovery in profit in the near term in sight," said Nomura analyst Yu Okazaki in his note published on Thursday.

Till the next crisis

What the future holds for Sharp beyond the near-term remains unclear, however.

Sharp's core business, the production of LCD panels for its own brand as well as clients such as Apple and Samsung, eked out an operating profit of just 600 million yen on sales of 442 billion yen in fiscal 2015, despite racking up an operating loss of 31.7 billion in the fourth-quarter alone.

Overall demand for LCD panels may remain solid, but the strategy to focus on that business will keep Sharp exposed to a volatile and cut throat market, analysts said.

"Apple demands the lowest prices and it's tough to make any money in that type of business," said Tradewinds' Boardman.