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07-26-2020, 08:15 PM   #31
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I think this article is a little misleading. Actually their was HUGE increase in sales about 10 years ago, because a lot of people were switching over from film to digital. The big decrease is probably in digital point-and-shoot camera's due the iPhone phenomena. The better these iPhone cameras get, the less sales of point and shoots !

07-26-2020, 08:30 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Anything can happen with Sony or any other company ...

But yes, activist board members could breakup any company in the industry right now. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Ricoh..... I guess Sigma and Leica are both safe since they are private companies.
Sony are different.

They're always more vulnerable, like Honda they're not anchored into the keiretsu system, and unable to be given help by parent conglomerates, so activist shareholders can hurt by demanding more profits or they'll find somewhere else to park their cash.

As Monochrome has pointed out, camera companies don't do better than 8% even in good times, let alone now.

Nikon's losses are getting so big that even their keirestu (Mitsubishi) may feel it's just throwing good money after bad.
07-27-2020, 02:50 AM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Sony are different.They're always more vulnerable, like Honda they're not anchored into the keiretsu system, and unable to be given help by parent conglomerates, so activist shareholders can hurt by demanding more profits or they'll find somewhere else to park their cash.
I would have thought that Sony were so big that they don't need help from a parent company (is that what a "keirestu" is?). Sony are their own parent company surely.

Nevertheless, Sony are a consumer company (as is Panasonic) who bought their way into "real" cameras in 2006 because DSLRs were on the crest of a wave at the time. But that's gone now, and even though they remain the best selling cameras, they could drop cameras like a red-hot brick at any moment and switch their investment to a more profitable area. Joe public is so familiar with their name that they could stick it on anything and sell it to him, as demonstrated in 2006.

OTOH, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Fuji, Leica and even Canon do not have the easy option of switching elsewhere in the consumer market. They could only reposition themselves as brands within the optical and industrial areas, which are far more conservative, so they will stay in cameras until they die. The only questions are whether they die, and if so, when. No doubt some will (Olympus almost certainly). The plot twist could be that only Leica, Fuji and Pentax will be the camera survivors.

Last edited by Lord Lucan; 07-27-2020 at 02:52 AM. Reason: Tpyo
07-27-2020, 03:22 AM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lord Lucan Quote
I would have thought that Sony were so big that they don't need help from a parent company (is that what a "keirestu" is?). Sony are their own parent company surely.

Nevertheless, Sony are a consumer company (as is Panasonic) who bought their way into "real" cameras in 2006 because DSLRs were on the crest of a wave at the time. But that's gone now, and even though they remain the best selling cameras, they could drop cameras like a red-hot brick at any moment and switch their investment to a more profitable area. Joe public is so familiar with their name that they could stick it on anything and sell it to him, as demonstrated in 2006.

OTOH, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Fuji, Leica and even Canon do not have the easy option of switching elsewhere in the consumer market. They could only reposition themselves as brands within the optical and industrial areas, which are far more conservative, so they will stay in cameras until they die. The only questions are whether they die, and if so, when. No doubt some will (Olympus almost certainly). The plot twist could be that only Leica, Fuji and Pentax will be the camera survivors.
Sony is fine. The only issue they have is if someone decides to break Sony up into different companies. How well would the digital camera branch of the brand do if they were spun off into their own free standing company?

Olympus as a whole was doing fine, but the imaging side of the company consistently lost money. Eventually, a hedge fund got them to sell that portion of the company off, feeling, I suppose, that it was a drag on the rest of the company and not providing any real benefit. The same thing could happen to Sony.

07-27-2020, 07:17 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lord Lucan Quote
I would have thought that Sony were so big that they don't need help from a parent company (is that what a "keirestu" is?). Sony are their own parent company surely.

Nevertheless, Sony are a consumer company (as is Panasonic) who bought their way into "real" cameras in 2006 because DSLRs were on the crest of a wave at the time. But that's gone now, and even though they remain the best selling cameras, they could drop cameras like a red-hot brick at any moment and switch their investment to a more profitable area. Joe public is so familiar with their name that they could stick it on anything and sell it to him, as demonstrated in 2006.

OTOH, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Fuji, Leica and even Canon do not have the easy option of switching elsewhere in the consumer market. They could only reposition themselves as brands within the optical and industrial areas, which are far more conservative, so they will stay in cameras until they die. The only questions are whether they die, and if so, when. No doubt some will (Olympus almost certainly). The plot twist could be that only Leica, Fuji and Pentax will be the camera survivors.
Sony and Panasonic are both different in that they want to be leaders on both the creation side (cameras) and the display side. They need people to upgrade to 4K and to do that they need 4K content to be the most common. Sony wants to control all aspects of the process. They want to control creation, distribution, consumption.... the sensors that are used, the memory and archival systems that store it. Cameras are just a small, small part of their overall vision and if they do decide to sell cameras it will mean the bigger plans have changed. They are doing pretty poorly in the mobile phone market, but they don't have nay signs of leaving the market. The new ultra-wide screen phone is built for media consumption.Xperia 1 II | Android smartphone by Sony | Sony US .

Everything Sony does is focused on media creation, production, distribution, storage, or consumption. It will take a serious shift in Sony's overall vision for them to leave the camera market. Sure.... it can happen and if it does, who cares. I hope that the market is strong enough for Canon, Nikon, & Sony to all survive and push each other forward. The more competition they have the better off we photographers are. Hopefully Panasonic can improve their AF and L-mount can grow. I have no problems pressing the shutter button on a Canon, Nikon, Fuji, or Panasonic camera. We are to the point where they all meet my needs with only marginal differences between the group.
07-27-2020, 05:25 PM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lord Lucan Quote
I would have thought that Sony were so big that they don't need help from a parent company (is that what a "keirestu" is?). Sony are their own parent company surely.
So, a keiretsu isn't a parent company. It's a group of companies often associated because they have the same bank funding their businesses. That bank can call the shots. It may see value in a couple of its companies co-operating so it increases returns from both of them. If your company is in a keiretsu, traditionally it would be wise to check that the direction you're going isn't going to clash with what somebody else is doing.

If that sounds protectionist, not objective, and inefficient, that's what's happened in the last thirty years. Japan's economy is in a malaise.

But Sony are not in the system, they're more like a Western corporation - and are beholden to shareholders who don't have the same philosophy. They may be impatient and want bigger returns. That's Sony's problem at the moment through with Daniel Loeb and his Third Point company. It's a hedge fund, it doesn't care about cameras.
07-27-2020, 07:45 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
So, a keiretsu isn't a parent company. It's a group of companies often associated because they have the same bank funding their businesses. That bank can call the shots. It may see value in a couple of its companies co-operating so it increases returns from both of them. If your company is in a keiretsu, traditionally it would be wise to check that the direction you're going isn't going to clash with what somebody else is doing.

If that sounds protectionist, not objective, and inefficient, that's what's happened in the last thirty years. Japan's economy is in a malaise.

But Sony are not in the system, they're more like a Western corporation - and are beholden to shareholders who don't have the same philosophy. They may be impatient and want bigger returns. That's Sony's problem at the moment through with Daniel Loeb and his Third Point company. It's a hedge fund, it doesn't care about cameras.
Sony and Third Point Meet Again | The Motley Fool

While it makes for a little drama, nothing will come of it. Leob's company is down to a 3% stake in Sony. PCMG is a private group out of Hong Kong that owns 31%. If PCMG wants to sell the camera group, then its probably a done deal. Someone like Loeb though is just noise.


But again. Why do we care? Let's say that Leob gets his way and Sony sells the camera division.... Why do we care?
07-27-2020, 08:49 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
I think this article is a little misleading. Actually their was HUGE increase in sales about 10 years ago, because a lot of people were switching over from film to digital. The big decrease is probably in digital point-and-shoot camera's due the iPhone phenomena. The better these iPhone cameras get, the less sales of point and shoots !
Did you see Post #4?

07-27-2020, 09:16 PM   #39
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Global 2000 - The World's Largest Public Companies 2020
QuoteOriginally posted by Lord Lucan Quote
I would have thought that Sony were so big that they don't need help from a parent company (is that what a "keirestu" is?). Sony are their own parent company surely.

Nevertheless, Sony are a consumer company (as is Panasonic) who bought their way into "real" cameras in 2006 because DSLRs were on the crest of a wave at the time. But that's gone now, and even though they remain the best selling cameras, they could drop cameras like a red-hot brick at any moment and switch their investment to a more profitable area. Joe public is so familiar with their name that they could stick it on anything and sell it to him, as demonstrated in 2006.

OTOH, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Fuji, Leica and even Canon do not have the easy option of switching elsewhere in the consumer market. They could only reposition themselves as brands within the optical and industrial areas, which are far more conservative, so they will stay in cameras until they die. The only questions are whether they die, and if so, when. No doubt some will (Olympus almost certainly). The plot twist could be that only Leica, Fuji and Pentax will be the camera survivors.
Sony is the 58th largest public company in the world.
Panasonic is the 256th largest public company in the world.
Canon is the 359th largest public company in the world
Fujifilm Holdings is the 449th largest company in the world
(Hoya is thw 971st largest public company in the world)
Olympus is the 1,117th largest public company in the world.
Ricoh is the 1,191st largest public company in the world.
Nikon is the 1,283rd largest public company in the world


Source: Forbes
07-27-2020, 09:31 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote

While it makes for a little drama, nothing will come of it. Leob's company is down to a 3% stake in Sony.
Read my previous posts, Winder, since that article was written, he's in fact massively got his way twice, once last year and again last month! That journalist failed to realize Loeb's actual power.



QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
PCMG is a private group out of Hong Kong that owns 31%. If PCMG wants to sell the camera group, then its probably a done deal. Someone like Loeb though is just noise.
Far from it. PCMG are just money men, Loeb as a money man represents their interests better than the board does. I of course assume they backed both his initiatives, or they wouldn't have happened.


QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
But again. Why do we care? Let's say that Leob gets his way and Sony sells the camera division.... Why do we care?
Who is talking about caring, Winder? This thread is about the state of the industry and its decision makers. The Sony board certainly don't care that you have an A9. Or me an A7. Like Vaio laptops, they will ruthlessly exit the market as needed.
07-27-2020, 09:47 PM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Read my previous posts, Winder, since that article was written, he's in fact massively got his way twice, once last year and again last month! That journalist failed to realize Loeb's actual power.

Far from it. PCMG are just money men, Loeb as a money man represents their interests better than the board does. I of course assume they backed both his initiatives, or they wouldn't have happened.

Who is talking about caring, Winder? This thread is about the state of the industry and its decision makers. The Sony board certainly don't care that you have an A9. Or me an A7. Like Vaio laptops, they will ruthlessly exit the market as needed.
At end March PCMC owned 35,000,000 shares, down 4,750,000 shares making them the largest shareholder.. Third Point (Daniel Loeb) owned 675,000 shares, making him roughly the thirtieth largest shareholder. Mario Gebelli, the legendary value investor, is roughly the 6th largest holder through various entities he controls.
07-27-2020, 10:06 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
At end March PCMC owned 35,000,000 shares, down 4,750,000 shares making them the largest shareholder.. Third Point (Daniel Loeb) owned 675,000 shares, making him roughly the thirtieth largest shareholder. Mario Gebelli, the legendary value investor, is roughly the 6th largest holder through various entities he controls.
Thanks, Monochrome, it shows that unlike Sigma for instance (a family owned company that indulged the patriarch with those Foveon cameras), Sony is beholden to the financial goals of its outside investors, who seem to be foreign anyway.
07-28-2020, 02:22 AM - 1 Like   #43
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The question isn't really what Daniel Loeb can do by himself, but whether he could convince other shareholders to support a restructuring. That's usually the way these things work.
07-28-2020, 07:04 AM - 1 Like   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The question isn't really what Daniel Loeb can do by himself, but whether he could convince other shareholders to support a restructuring. That's usually the way these things work.
Since the majority of shares are owned by institutional fiduciaries it is hard for them not to support an action that will benefit their underlying owners by driving the share price up, particularly if the share price does not reflect the full value of the company.
07-28-2020, 05:10 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Since the majority of shares are owned by institutional fiduciaries it is hard for them not to support an action that will benefit their underlying owners by driving the share price up, particularly if the share price does not reflect the full value of the company.
Yep, Loeb is a mouthpiece for the majority - nobody should treat him as a powerless lone wolf. That seems to have been the suggestion of some posters in this thread.

All divisions will be on notice.

You couldn't fund their motion picture division the way it was five years ago, for example, when it was their Crown jewels.
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