Wed, Feb. 25, 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.
Wed, Feb. 18, 6:46 PM
- With a hotly price-competitive wireless industry, and in need of cash to slow its burn, what is Sprint (NYSE:S) to do?
- With competition that loaded up on wireless spectrum in an auction Sprint sat out, should it sell off some of its 2.5 GHz licenses? Or should it ditch wireline long distance?
- "I think they will do both," says Oppenheimer's Tim Horan. "The cash needs are high."
- Sprint has $3.46B in cash, against total long-term debt of $31.2B, and noted free cash flow narrowed to -$1.83B, compared to prior year's -$2.84B.
- Cowen's Colby Synesael says Sprint will run out of cash by the end of March 2017, regardless of cost cutting. And Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) will be slow to pour in more money.
- Regardless of selling its spectrum, Sprint will have trouble with more financing, Craig Moffett says: "As EBITDA comes down, leverage goes up and the company's ability to fund its cash burn and debt maturities with still more debt dries up."
- Previously: Sprint to roll out high-speed nets in 48 markets (Feb. 18 2015)
Tue, Feb. 10, 3:39 AM
- SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) reported a sharp drop in its profit for the October-December quarter this morning, weighed down by the continuing struggles at Sprint (NYSE:S), the U.S. mobile operator it acquired in 2013.
- "Overall, SoftBank is doing well, but with Sprint...being in a tough situation, I think it will have a long battle to fight," said SoftBank's Chief Executive Masayoshi Son.
- The telecommunications giant posted FQ3 net income of ¥32.3B ($272.3M), down from ¥93.8B a year earlier.
Thu, Jan. 29, 9:37 AM
- Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) FQ3 GMV rose 49% Y/Y to RMB787B ($125.9B). 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
Thu, Jan. 15, 1:41 PM
- A month after investing $250M in Southeast Asian ride-sharing platform GrabTaxi, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has led a $600M funding round for Travice, owner of major Chinese ride-sharing provider Kuaidi Dache. Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Tiger Global also took part in the round.
- The investment comes after Baidu took a stake in Uber, which is fresh off raising funding at a $41B+ post-money valuation. For now, Uber has a much smaller Chinese presence than Kuaidi, which operates in 300+ cities. Top Kuaidi rival Didi Dache raised $700M in December from Tencent and others.
Dec. 4, 2014, 12:31 AM
- SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has invested $250M in GrabTaxi, a mobile taxi-booking platform that has become Uber's biggest rival in Southeast Asia.
- GrabTaxi, based out of Malaysia, operates in six countries. The startup claims 500K monthly active users, 2.5M app downloads, and a network of 60K drivers. For now, it isn't looking to expand beyond Southeast Asia.
- The investment comes as Uber reportedly looks to raise at least $1B at a whopping $40B valuation. It also follows SoftBank's hiring of former Google chief business officer Nikesh Arora to be its Internet/media chief.
- Since Arora's hiring, SoftBank has acquired Korean TV show/movie site DramaFever, invested $627M in Indian e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal, and led a $210M funding round for Indian Uber rival Ola.
Nov. 30, 2014, 1:19 PM
- "We now model [Sprint] having to raise an additional $3B of capital over the next 3+ years to both continue investing in its network and fighting to attract subs," predicts Evercore's Jonathan Schildkraut, reiterating a Sell on Sprint (NYSE:S). "We believe this financing will come as debt given [Sprint's] low stock price and the likelihood that SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) would not want to dilute its holdings."
- Schildkraut assumes Sprint will have calendar Q4 free cash flow of -$1.3B, leading to full-year cash burn of $2.95B. He adds Sprint's participation in the FCC's huge 2016 incentive auction (widely considered necessary due to Sprint's relatively weak low-band spectrum portfolio) "could result in the need to raise even more capital.'
- As it is, Sprint had $27B in net debt at the end of September (compares with current equity of $20.3B). Aside from price cuts and 4G investments, postpaid subscriber losses (272K were lost in calendar Q3) have been contributing to cash burn.
Nov. 4, 2014, 10:19 AM
- Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is up 2.7% after beating FQ2 revenue estimates on the back of 54% Y/Y growth - it was driven by a 49% increase in GMV, and more than a 3x increase in mobile monetization rate. EPS was only in-line, as aggressive spending yielded an 890 bps drop in non-GAAP EBITDA margin.
- Yahoo (YHOO +1.3%) is moderately higher following the numbers. Its remaining 384M-share stake in Alibaba has a current pre-tax value of $40.2B. SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBF) 797.7M-share stake has a pre-tax value of $83.4B.
Oct. 30, 2014, 1:49 PM
- The WSJ reports SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has tasked new Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure with "gathering information" on the Mexican telecom assets America Movil (AMX +0.4%) plans to sell to appease regulators.
- AMX was reported last month to have contacted SoftBank (among other carriers) to gauge its interest in buying the assets. BofA has estimated a sale could fetch $15B, but a WSJ source says bidders are eying a ~$10B price.
- AT&T has suggested it's looking to make an offer. Three weeks ago, Carlos Slim told Bloomberg the asset sale could extend beyond Mexico's eastern coast.
Oct. 28, 2014, 2:36 AM
- Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) has agreed to buy a $627M stake in Indian online retailer Snapdeal, making it the largest investor in the e-commerce firm.
- "We believe India is at a turning point in its development and have confidence that India will grow strongly over the next decade," says Softbank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son.
- The deal aims to strengthen the Japanese telecom group's presence in India and leverage synergies with its network of Internet companies around the world.
Oct. 14, 2014, 6:25 PM
- Fresh off taking a $250M stake in studio Legendary Entertainment, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has bought DramaFever, a site that offers free (ad-supported) and subscription-based access to foreign movies and TV shows, much of it from South Korea. The price is undisclosed for now.
- Re/code previously reported InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) was thinking about buying DramaFever, and said it heard of price tags ranging from $80M-$140M.
- The Legendary and DramaFever deals follow SoftBank's hiring of Google sales chief Nikesh Arora to be the conglomerate's vice chairman and Internet/media chief.
Sep. 30, 2014, 6:57 AM
- A new report has surfaced from The Hollywood Reporter stating that Japan's SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) is in talks to acquire a minority stake in privately held movie studio Legendary Pictures. The publication says the talks have been going on for weeks.
- The news comes following reports that SoftBank's discussions to buy Dreamworks Animation have cooled.
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. 22, 2014, 7:32 AM
- The Alibaba catalyst in the rearview mirror, Bank of America and Bernstein both pull Buy ratings on Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO).
- Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBF) tumbled 6.1% in Tokyo action overnight. "Part of the market used Softbank as an investment vehicle for Alibaba," says Jefferies' Atul Goyal. "And now that segment of the market doesn’t need to invest in it." Softbank owns 34% of Alibaba and its CEO said last week it has no intention of being a seller. Goyal reminds those selling Softbank today that Alibaba is just one of its investments, and Masayoshi Son has a number of other potential gems in the portfolio.
- Yahoo -2% premarket
Sep. 22, 2014, 5:19 AM
- As Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) largest stockholder, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) says it expects a gain of about ¥500B ($4.6B) from the Chinese company's listing in NY, after shares surged 38% on their first day of trade.
- CEO Masayoshi Son says he would want to own more of Alibaba, although he reiterated that SoftBank was happy with its current 32% stake.
- OTCPK:SFTBF +1% AH
Sep. 19, 2014, 12:01 PM
- Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) opened at $92.70 and has quickly jumped to at $99, up 45.6% from a $68 IPO price. Its market cap stands at a whopping $246.6B (66x FY14 EPS), as investors bet the company's strong top-line growth (46% Y/Y in Q2) won't let up.
- Yahoo (YHOO +1.2%) remains higher. With underwriters expected to exercise a 15% overallotment option, the company will be selling 140M shares through the IPO, good for pre-tax proceeds of $9.5B.
- SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBF) 797.7M-share stake has a current pre-tax value of $79B.
- Prior Alibaba coverage
- Prospectus, IPO preview
SFTBF vs. ETF Alternatives
Other News & PR