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Resurgent Sharp returns to TSE’s first section after 16-month absence

JIJI

Sharp Corp., recovering under the wing of new parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., returned to the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday about 16 months after its demotion to the second section.

The stock fetched the day’s first quotation of ¥3,905, up ¥20 from Wednesday’s close on the second section. However, it lost momentum before closing down ¥80 at ¥3,805, extending its losing streak to a third day.

The electronics maker was demoted to the second section on Aug. 1 last year after its struggles saw it post a negative net worth on a consolidated basis at the end of March 2016. Later that year, it was bought by Taiwanese electronics giant Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, and wiped out its negative net worth with a capital injection from Hon Hai.

After drastic reforms and cost-cutting under Hon Hai President and Chief Executive Officer Tai Jeng-wu, Sharp returned to the black on a consolidated basis for the first time in three years in fiscal 2016 ended in March this year.

“We finally achieved this goal today,” Tai told a news conference at the TSE, noting that Sharp’s ability made the comeback possible. While comparing the company’s ability to “a vein of gold,” Tai said he will keep working hard.

The return to the first section is a turning point, Tai said, indicating he would continue serving as Sharp’s president for the time being.

At the same time, Tai said Sharp will consider introducing a co-CEO system to foster its next president.

Sharp filed for its return to the first section on June 30. With the comeback, it now aims to regain investor trust and redouble efforts to accelerate its growth.