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Morning Market Roundup: Sony Chops Heads, Google Earnings Today


Here’s what’s important in the financial world this morning:

Sony Corp.: The tech giant announced plans to slash its groupwide headcount by 10,000 in the fiscal year from March 2011′s 168,200 employees. This comes under new chief executive Kazuo Hirai’s plan to shake things up at the company.

This will include a focus on the Sony’s investment and technology development via three areas: digital imaging, mobile products and video games. The company is looking at an operating profit margin target of over 5 percent by fiscal 2014 and a YEN 8.5 trillion revenue.

“I will definitely change Sony and revive it. There is no time but now to change,” Hirai said at a press conference.

Google: Google will report first quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday and analysts expect good numbers. Earnings per share have been forecast to rise 19.4 percent in the quarter to $9.65 while revenues increased 24.7 percent to $8.15 billion.

Investors are expected to review cost-per-click rates, which surprisingly dropped in the fourth quarter and mobile search ad rates. Questions may also arise on whether Google will eventually declare a dividend, similar to Apple Inc. as the company sits on a $44.6 billion bed of cash.

Nokia: Nokia may sell its four-year old Navteq map unit, which it purchased for approximately $7.3 billion, Bloomberg reports. The company may also try to sell its assets within Nokia Siemens Networks. The rumors come after a profit warning that had Nokia’s shares tumbling 15.7 percent on Wednesday.

BrightSource, a company that builds thermal solar power generators, has postponed its initial public offering, according to MarketWatch. It was planning to offer 6.9 million shares priced between $21 to $23 per share and would have raised $152 million based on the midpoint. Google and NRG Energy have invested in BrightSource’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which started construction in 2010.

[Editor’s note: the above is a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]

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