SoftBank Group (SFTBF) - OTCPK - Current
  • Tue, Jul. 19, 3:15 AM
    • SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) fell 10% as investors reacted to the company's announcement to acquire ARM Holdings for $32B.
    • Shares of messaging app Line (Pending:LN) also dropped 10% following a successful dual listing last week in New York and Tokyo.
    • Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) continued to climb on "Pokemon GO" fever, trading up 14%. Its market cap, now over $42B, has just topped Sony.
    | Tue, Jul. 19, 3:15 AM | 17 Comments
  • Mon, May 23, 11:10 AM
    • Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY +0.5%) is in early-stage talks to take over SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBY +1.9%) majority position in Finnish mobile-game maker Supercell, The Wall Street Journal reports.
    • Supercell makes popular combat simulator Clash of Clans, and SoftBank took majority control with a $1.53B investment in 2013, before growing its stake last year to 73%.
    • Also last year, Alibaba (of which SoftBank is the biggest shareholder) teamed up with China's Giant Interactive Group to talk about taking control of Supercell, though price has hung up those discussions. And Supercell is said to prefer having autonomy under SoftBank's umbrella.
    • Sources say that Supercell was valued about $5.25B last year. Its most recent game, Clash Royale, was the top-grossing mobile game for March with more than $80M.
    • Now read Tencent: Like Buying Facebook At A Bargain »
    | Mon, May 23, 11:10 AM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, May 4, 11:45 AM
    • SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY -1.4%) still looks like a bidder in the FCC's broadcast incentive spectrum auction.
    • But the company "won't be a big buyer," a source tells CTFN.
    • The participation of SoftBank in the auction has been an open question, with spectrum-rich Sprint (S -4.6%) electing to sit out what could be an expensive endeavor. So if it's taking part, it's likely looking for opportunistic purchases and "niche fill-ins."
    • SoftBank has been using creative financing to help Sprint with liquidity issues, and so a chance to bid on bargain spectrum could present itself with an obscurely named entity or smaller partner.
    • Now read Implications Of SoftBank Split »
    | Wed, May 4, 11:45 AM | 45 Comments
  • Wed, Mar. 23, 4:17 PM
    • SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY -1.8%) has become the latest to invest in Hollywood talent, putting $250M into agency WME/IMG.
    • That's good for a 5% stake in the talent and sports agency, which became a more formidable competitor to Creative Artists Agency with the merger of its parts WME and IMG in 2013.
    • CAA had received its own $250M investment from TPG Capital in the fall. For its part, SoftBank has also been poking around Hollywood, investing $250M into producer Legendary Entertainment late in 2014.
    • The new investment dilutes WME/IMG's owners equally and should provide some relief to the debt-heavy agency.
    | Wed, Mar. 23, 4:17 PM
  • Mon, Mar. 7, 11:50 AM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is up 5.9% today in the wake of a reorganization plan from its parent, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY +3.6%).
    • The move to separate into two firms, domestic and international, puts SoftBank's ownership of Sprint into the side with its holdings of Alibaba among overseas operations. That's the side that Nikesh Arora (heir apparent to SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son) will run.
    • The domestic side, run by Ken Miyauchi, will cover the domestic mobile business, including the company's investment in Yahoo Japan. Son will remain in control of both companies.
    • While domestic mobile profits have helped fund efforts to turn around Sprint, the reorg is largely internal, since SoftBank will be the single listed company and earnings won't be separated out among the two.
    • With a reorg in place, eyes now turn to whether SoftBank will take a writedown on its $21.6B acquisition of the Sprint stake.
    • Last week, details emerged about a network-leasing financing scheme at SoftBank that will inject some $3B-$5B of capital into Sprint with wireless equipment and spectrum as collateral.
    • Previously: Laden with debt, Sprint turning to spectrum (and SoftBank) to secure cash (Mar. 02 2016)
    | Mon, Mar. 7, 11:50 AM | 43 Comments
  • Wed, Mar. 2, 7:35 PM
    • Sprint's (S +7.9%) latest plan to revive a flagging business? A network-leasing unit at owner SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY), which would supply the carrier with loans collateralized by wireless equipment -- and some of its spectrum rights.
    • That's the "crown jewel," and SoftBank had already previously set up a unit to buy (and lease back) Sprint's phone inventory for $1.2B.
    • The spectrum rights (estimated at north of $115B in value) aren't going anywhere, but Sprint will pursue $3B-$5B from related loans this year. That's against $34B in debt, more than twice Sprint's market value.
    • Sprint has elected to sit out the upcoming FCC broadcast incentive auction for airwaves. But then it's in a cash crunch, and already sitting on the biggest piece of 2.5 GHz spectrum in the country. So far, ambitions to apply that to creating the fastest wireless network are unrealized.
    • Drawing some billions from its spectrum is getting closer to a last resort as Sprint buys time for a network turnaround. “I don’t think Sprint will go belly-up. Masa would probably be there to bail them out,” says Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner. “But it shows what kind of bind Sprint is in, when you have to collateralize the plates and silverware.”
    • Shares in Sprint closed at a 2016 high today, and are up 35% over the past month.
    • Related: Sprint's Spectrum Is Worth A Premium, Not A Discount (Mar. 02 2016)
    • Related: Sprint: Still A Terminal Short (Mar. 02 2016)
    • Related: Run, Don't Walk Away From Sprint (Jan. 26 2016)
    | Wed, Mar. 2, 7:35 PM | 48 Comments
  • Nov. 24, 2015, 7:52 PM
    • SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY -1.6%) last month declared a plan to spread "several billions" each year in investments around the world, all set to be managed by president (and likely successor to Chairman Masayoshi Son) Nikesh Arora -- who certainly seems to prefer options in India over pouring more money into struggling Sprint (S +0.9%).
    • In an interview with Bloomberg on his strategy, Arora says that while they're focusing on later-stage startups with proven products, there's "money to be made in any stage, as long as you identify the right company."
    • While there are some 150 companies valued over $1B, Arora says there are about 1,000 companies over $500M: "That’s our universe. We believe with 1,000 companies we can interpret this universe and understand it with limited resources."
    • He says the best thing they can offer startups is "operational insights," rather than investment strategy or fund-raising help.
    • As for SoftBank trading at a discount to public assets: "There are three things that people worry about. One is what’s going to happen to Sprint. Two is what’s going on in China. And three is I hope Masa won’t do another Sprint." But as for Sprint, "Masa is unrelenting. He is working with [Sprint managers] almost every night for a few hours, 10 p.m. calls, or in the morning."
    • Previously: SoftBank planning "several billions" in annual global investment (Oct. 22 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint to target 'bloated' structure with $2.5B in cost cuts (Oct. 09 2015)
    | Nov. 24, 2015, 7:52 PM | 15 Comments
  • Nov. 20, 2015, 8:00 AM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S-5% premarket following the announcement of $1.2B sale-leaseback plan.
    • Under the plan, a group of investors including Sprint (S) majority owner Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY) will create a $1.2B into an entity to purchase the devices Sprint leases to customers.
    • Sprint will then lease back the devices from the new venture, giving it fresh funding "at an attractive cost of capital which is well below Sprint's alternatives in the high-yield debt market."
    • "Providing mobile devices to customers is the biggest use of cash in the carrier model, and with this new structure we have more closely aligned Sprint's cash flows with those associated with leasing devices to our customers,"  CFO Tarek Robbiati says.
    • The move will boost free cash flow, but reduce 2015 Ebitda by ~$400M.
    • Related: Sprint: Cost Cutting Is A Sign Of Desperation (Oct. 9)
    | Nov. 20, 2015, 8:00 AM | 38 Comments
  • Aug. 31, 2015, 5:04 PM
    | Aug. 31, 2015, 5:04 PM | 8 Comments
  • Aug. 19, 2015, 2:05 PM
    | Aug. 19, 2015, 2:05 PM | 5 Comments
  • Aug. 18, 2015, 9:54 AM
    | Aug. 18, 2015, 9:54 AM | 9 Comments
  • May 7, 2015, 9:30 AM
    • Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) has jumped to $89.05 after posting an FQ4 beat amid low expectations. Along with the results, the company has announced COO Daniel Zhang is its new CEO, effective May 10; current CEO Jonathan Lu will stay on board as vice chairman, joining Joseph Tsai in holding that title. Jack Ma remains executive chairman.
    • Revenue growth accelerated to 45% Y/Y from FQ3's 40%. Chinese marketplaces GMV rose 40% to RMB600B ($96.6B), a slowdown from FQ3's 49%. Mobile accounted for 51% of GMV, up from 42% in FQ3 and 36% in FQ2. Annual active buyers +5% Q/Q and +37% Y/Y to 350M.
    • A stabilizing monetization rate (revenue as a % of GMV) helped make the FQ4 beat possible: After falling 35 bps Y/Y in seasonally strong FQ3 to 2.7%, monetization rate fell just 1 bps Y/Y in FQ4 to 2.17%. Making this possible: Mobile monetization rate rose to 1.73% from 0.98% a year ago. Altogether, mobile revenue rose 352% Y/Y and was 40% of China retail marketplace revenue vs. 30% in FQ3 and 12% a year ago.
    • Segment performance: China retail commerce revenue +39% Y/Y to $2.11B. China wholesale +42% to $136M. International wholesale +19% to $190M. International retail +53% to $70M. Cloud computing/Web infrastructure +82% to $63M. Everything else (boosted by acquisitions) +169% to $243M. Taobao GMV +29% to $61B; Tmall GMV +62% to $35B.
    • Financials: Free cash flow +143% Y/Y to $914M; it trailed net income of $1.25B. R&D spend ($491M) was 17% of revenue vs. 10% a year ago; sales/marketing ($408M) was 15% of revenue vs. 11%; G&A ($400M) was 14% of revenue vs. 4%.  Soaring stock compensation expenses (driven by the IPO) contributed to the spending growth. Alibaba had $19.7B in cash at the end of March.
    • Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has risen to $44.95 thanks to Alibaba. SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has seen the value of 797.7M-share Alibaba stake grow by over $7B.
    • Alibaba's FQ4 results, PR
    | May 7, 2015, 9:30 AM
  • Mar. 12, 2015, 8:56 PM
    | Mar. 12, 2015, 8:56 PM
  • Feb. 25, 2015, 12:53 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) just keeps moving today (up 6.7%) alongside rumors that its network expansion may be more aggressive than announced.
    • Aside from Sprint's recent 48-market Spark/LTE rollout, niche Sprint-network tracker S4GRU claims there are plans for 9,000 new LTE sites -- a key organic move, after Sprint had previously expanded via different tech from Nextel and Clearwire.
    • The plan is supposedly highly targeted per market and will involve "significant capital spend" -- which would raise the question: If Masa Son (OTCPK:SFTBY) is keeping a close eye on the purse, where's the money coming from?
    • "Project Ocean" and "Project Cedar" expansions in central U.S. and Montana are already funded, but the other 8,000 sites will need some detailing for any funds beyond initiation.
    | Feb. 25, 2015, 12:53 PM | 53 Comments
  • Jan. 29, 2015, 9:37 AM
    • Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) FQ3 GMV rose 49% Y/Y to RMB787B ($127B). However, its monetization rate (revenue as a % of GMV) fell 35 bps Y/Y to 2.7%, leading revenue growth to only reach 40%. By contrast, monetization rate fell just 1 bps (to 2.30%) in FQ2.
    • A major culprit: Mobile grew to 42% of GMV from 36% in FQ2 and 20% a year ago. And the mobile monetization rate (1.96% vs. 1.87% in FQ2 and 1.12% a year ago) remains well below the total rate. Mobile was 30% of revenue vs. 42% of GMV.
    • A bright spot: EBITDA rose 34% Y/Y to $2.43B, better than expectations for 24% growth and driving the EPS beat. Heavy spending led EBITDA margin to slip to 58% from 60% a year ago. With stock compensation spend (IPO-driven) rising to 16% of revenue from 4%, and new business initiatives growing, operating expenses rose to 33% of revenue from 30%, and gross margin fell to 71% from 78%.
    • China commerce revenue +32% to $3.6B (a slowdown from FQ2's 47%); international commerce (AliExpress-driven) +39% to $284M; cloud computing/infrastructure +85% to $58M; everything else (boosted by acquisitions) +266% to $309M.
    • Taobao GMV (driven by smaller merchants) +43% to $80B; Tmall GMV (driven by larger merchants) +60% to $47B. Annual active buyers rose to 334M from 307M in FQ2 and 231M a year ago.
    • Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is following Alibaba lower, and is now down 9% since posting Q4 results and announcing its spinoff plans.
    • Alibaba's FQ3 results, PR
    • Related tickers: OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY
    | Jan. 29, 2015, 9:37 AM | 59 Comments
  • Sep. 29, 2014, 5:47 PM
    • The WSJ says it "wasn't immediately clear" what led buyout talks between SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) and Dreamworks (NASDAQ:DWA) to cool. The paper now reports the companies "could ultimately strike a deal other than an outright takeover ... for instance some kind of content partnership."
    • DWA -7.4% AH to $26.10. Shares rose 26% in regular trading on reports of acquisition talks featuring a $32/share offer.
    | Sep. 29, 2014, 5:47 PM | 2 Comments
Company Description
Sector: Technology
Industry: Application Software
Country: Japan