Sony announces its first-ever share buyback, stock rises 5 percent

  • Sony announced its first ever share buyback of 100 billion yen ($910 million) on Friday.
  • This sent the company's shares up more than 5 percent.
  • Sony said the buyback, to be conducted through March 22, would be equivalent to 2.36 percent of its outstanding stock.
Signage for Sony Corp. is seen outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.
Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Signage for Sony Corp. is seen outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.

Sony announced on Friday a share buyback of 100 billion yen ($910 million) — its first ever aimed at boosting shareholder returns — sending the Japanese electronics and entertainment company's shares up more than 5 percent.

Sony said the buyback, to be conducted through March 22, would be equivalent to 2.36 percent of its outstanding stock.

"Our financial health has improved enough to conduct the repurchases," a Sony spokesman said, as the company reinvented itself as an entertainment company with stable revenue from music content and gaming, after battling years of losses with price-competitive consumer electronics.

The spokesman said Sony also took into account current share price levels.

Sony shares had plunged 14 percent this week after the company reported lower-than-expected profit as its previously thriving gaming business sagged, though a one-off gain related to its acquisition of EMI nevertheless pushed the quarterly result to a record high.

Sony's announcement comes a day after SoftBank Group's shares jumped 17 percent after the Japanese tech investment giant unveiled a record share buyback.