Toshiba Is 'Burning Cash At An Alarming Rate'

bsharma quotes a report from Reuters: Faced with the prospect of a multibillion-dollar write-down that could wipe out its shareholders’ equity, Japan’s Toshiba is running out of fixes: It is burning cash, cannot issue shares, and has few easy assets left to sell. The Tokyo-based conglomerate, which is still recovering from a $1.3 billion accounting scandal in 2015, dismayed investors and lenders again this week by announcing that cost overruns at a U.S. nuclear business bought only last year meant it could now face a crippling charge against profit. Toshiba says it will be weeks before it can give a final number, but a write-down of the scale expected — as much as 500 billion yen ($4.3 billion), according to one source close to Toshiba — would leave the group scrambling to plug the financial hole and keep up hefty investments in the competitive memory chip industry, which generates the bulk of its operating profit. “Toshiba’s immediate problem is that it is burning cash at an alarming rate, and this will be more than challenging,” said Ken Courtis, chairman of Starfort Investment Holdings. “I see little option but to sell a slew of non-core assets.”One source in the semiconductor industry said Toshiba could revive plans to list a slice of the memory chip business, which though highly profitable burns through cash for reinvestment. “Toshiba will probably need to sell 30-40 percent of the NAND business in an IPO to secure enough cash,” the source said, adding China’s aggressive drive into NAND flash memory chips could make the timing reasonable. The group has already said it could reconsider the “positioning” of its nuclear business, deemed core last year, and has signaled it could trim an 87 percent stake.

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