Sorry, Kim Jong-un! Sony has made huge comeback

Sony surges. Take that, North Korea!
Sony surges. Take that, North Korea!

Sony is doing just fine despite that big cyberattack last year. It looks like North Korean hackers are no match for the PlayStation 4, Apple's iPhone and Abenomics.

Shares of Sony (SNE) are up more than 40% from the lowest point they hit in December in the wake of the hack.

That's when everyone was talking about leaked emails and threats against movie theaters because of Sony's plan to release "The Interview" -- the controversial comedy about a plan to assassinate North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un.

But Sony told investors in February that the cost associated with the hacking was a mere $15 million in its latest quarter. The company officially released those quarterly results on Tuesday. Sony's stock soared nearly 4% Tuesday and another 5% on Wednesday.

Related: Hack didn't cripple Sony's earnings

Overall sales were up 6.5% from a year ago. The only significant weak link was the company's Pictures unit, which includes Sony's movie and television studios. Revenues fell nearly 8%.

Fun with numbers: PS4 and iPhone 6 lead to big bucks. Still, it's a mistake to focus too much on the movie business. Two bigger units at Sony are doing much better.

Sony's gaming division posted a 17% jump in sales in its most recent quarter. That's largely due to the success of the company's PlayStation 4 gaming console.

Then there's the company's devices business, which reported a nearly 40% surge in revenue. The reason? That division includes Sony's image sensors --chips sold to makers of mobile devices.

Related: Nintendo is finally bringing Mario to your smartphone

One major customer in this market is Apple (AAPL), which uses Sony's image sensors in the camera for the iPhone 6. Being part of the Apple supply chain is pretty lucrative these days.

And there may even be some brighter times ahead for Sony's Hollywood unit. "The Interview" wound up being a phenomenal financial success after all.

Hooray for Hollywood? The company originally agreed to pull the Seth Rogen/James Franco movie because the big theater owners said they were worried about safety and would not show it. But Sony eventually released it digitally and in a small group of theaters.

Sony said in late January that the movie generated more than $40 million from on-demand downloads and streams. It also made about $6 million at the box office in its limited theatrical run.

The company's recent deal to let Marvel owner Disney use Spider-Man in upcoming Marvel movies could also give a big shot in the arm to Sony as it looks to relaunch the franchise again. (For convoluted reasons, Sony has the rights to Peter Parker and his web-slinging alter ego even though Disney acquired Marvel.)

Related: Why Marvel Studios doesn't own Spider-Man

Sony also seems poised to cash in on the digital streaming rights to Seinfeld.

According to recent reports, Sony's TV studio is in talks to sell the "Seinfeld" rights in a deal that could reach $500,000 an episode -- a total of more than $100 million. Amazon (AMZN), Yahoo (YHOO) and Hulu -- the streaming site owned by Disney (DIS), Fox (FOXF) and Comcast (CMCSA) -- are said to be bidding. But not Netflix (NFLX).

It's all about the yen. Sony can also thank Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe for the rebound in its stock. His policies, dubbed Abenomics, have led to a big surge in Japanese stocks. The Nikkei is up 12% this year.

The yen has weakened, which has helped Japanese exporters like Sony become more profitable abroad.

sony nikkei

Japan's central bank is also doing all it can to prop up the economy with a bond buying program similar to the quantitative easing that the Federal Reserve used up until last year ... and that the European Central Bank is employing now.

So as long as the yen continues to lose ground against the dollar, Sony's post-hack comeback should remain intact. Maybe it's even time to start thinking about a sequel for "The Interview?"

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