Sony inched closer to returning to its investment grade status yesterday after ratings agency Fitch amended its credit outlook from “stable” to “positive”, indicating that a ratings upgrade may be on the horizon.
The agency also affirmed its “BB” rating, three grades below investment grade.
Efforts to restructure were key to Sony’s improving profitability, in conjunction with the high demand for its image sensor technology, which is used in many smartphones.
Fitch initially pulled Sony’s investment grade status in November 2012, with Moody’s following suit in January 2014. S&P has continued to rate Sony as one notch above the investment grade status threshold, and Moody’s rating is currently “Ba1”, one step below it, meaning a return to investment grade status in the near future seems likely. Two top agencies are required to give a firm an investment grade rating before it is thought viable to investors.
The new assessment follows Sony’s announcement that net profit in the second quarter of 2015 tripled to ¥82.4bn (£425m). The company also said it expects to be profitable for the first time in three years by the end of the financial year in March 2016.