Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Battered Shareholders Await Nintendo Forecast

Nintendo shareholders are skittishly awaiting tomorrow’s scheduled earnings forecast. On August 29th the company raised its forecast fiscal 2009 sales by 11.1% and its net income by 26.2%. A large part of the forecast growth in net income occurred because Nintendo management revised expected exchange rates to 105 yen per U.S. dollar from 100 and to 160 yen per euro from 155. As of today the actual rates are 97 yen per dollar and 125 yen per euro.

The surging value of the yen and the rapidly deteriorating economic conditions spell trouble for Nintendo. Shareholders now need to hope that Nintendo has not lost money by investing its cash hoard in financial instruments that have collapsed in value.

The recent precipitious decline in the price of Nintendo stock to 22,000 yen on October 28th strongly suggests that shareholders need to brace themselves. The stock reached a high of 73,200 yen on November 1, 2007; therefore, it has fallen 70%.

Nintendo has no debt and had $12.5 billion in cash as of March 31, 2008, so it is well positioned to survive this worldwide economic collapse. In fact, there is probably not a company in the world with as strong a balance sheet as Nintendo.