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- OTCPK - Current
  • Mon, Jun. 1, 7:38 AM
    • SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) has entered into an agreement with existing investors to purchase a further interest in Supercell, a subsidiary of the company in Finland.
    • SoftBank will acquire an additional 22.7% holding in the mobile gaming firm, bringing its total ownership to 73.2% (on a fully-diluted basis).
    • Previously: SoftBank acquires 51% stake in Supercell for $1.5B (Oct. 15 2013)
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  • Fri, May 29, 6:20 AM
    • Yahoo Japan (OTCPK:YAHOY) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) have agreed to work together to help Japanese companies sell cosmetics, baby products and other household items on Alibaba's Tmall and Tmall Global sites.
    • The move also paves the way for a very cozy partnership. Just like Yahoo Japan, Alibaba counts Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) as its two major shareholders.
    • Yahoo Japan shares rose nearly 12% in Tokyo on the news.
    • Previously: Yahoo Japan jumps on China alliance with Alibaba (May. 28 2015)
  • Thu, May 28, 11:21 PM
    • Yahoo Japan (OTCPK:YAHOY) is up 8.6% in Tokyo, the biggest single-day jump in two months, as it says it's looking to team with Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) to enter China's e-commerce market.
    • The company -- Japan's third-largest e-tailer -- will help guide Japanese companies to sell products, especially household goods, on Alibaba's Tmall and Tmall Global sites.
    • Japanese goods' increasing popularity in China is providing expansion opportunities, Yahoo Japan (a JV between Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO)) noted in a statement.
    • Softbank is up 1.7% in Tokyo.
  • Wed, May 27, 11:26 PM
  • Mon, May 11, 3:57 AM
    • SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBY) chief executive Masayoshi Son has anointed the head of the firm's Internet investment arm, Nikesh Arora, as a future successor, but confirmed that he won't be retiring yet.
    • The announcement followed the company's latest earning results that beat forecasts, despite the continuing struggles to turn around U.S. unit Sprint (NYSE:S).
    • For the fiscal year that ended in March, SoftBank said its net income rose 29% to ¥763.7B, while revenue jumped 30%. Operating profit of ¥982.7B beat the ¥900 billion target the company set in November.
    • SoftBank, however, failed to provide guidance for the current year, citing a "large number of uncertain factors."
  • Thu, May 7, 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
  • Wed, May 6, 7:44 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) fell 3% today following a quarter where it reported turnaround still in progress, and just as its No. 1 challenge became clear over the past several month -- upgrade its network to keep up with giants AT&T and Verizon, and hold off T-Mobile -- its cash burn is back in focus, as asset investments aren't cheap.
    • Citigroup's Michael Rollins says that Sprint will burn free cash flow of around $6.1B in 2015. And analyst Craig Moffett notes the company last quarter burned through $914M of its $3.5B cash-and-marketable-securities total; "At this rate, Sprint will run out of money around the 2016 (radio spectrum) incentive auction."
    • For those looking for a white knight, majority owner SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) has more than $90B of its own debt to worry about. And Barclays pointed out that while cash burn is improving, visibility for Sprint's turnaround "remains elusive."
    • In Sprint's earnings call, CFO Joseph Euteneuer was placid: "We're very comfortable with the liquidity here in the short-term, and as I said it will ultimately ... we'll look at two things. One, the continued growth of the business, and two, the final outcome of what we're going to do on a capital standpoint."
  • Sat, Apr. 25, 2:47 PM
    • "We already own enough of it, thank you very much," says SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) Internet/media chief Nikesh Arora about Yahoo Japan (OTCPK:YAHOY). Yahoo's (NASDAQ:YHOO) recently-disclosed efforts to explore options for its 35.5% YJ stake had fueled speculation SoftBank (owns 43% of YJ) would try to buy the stake.
    • At the same time, Arora, formerly Google's sales chief, states SoftBank (has a portfolio of 1,300+ investments) is up for making new investments in growth companies ... at the right price. With valuations for private U.S. tech companies having soared, India, which has relatively low Web, smartphone, and e-commerce penetration rates and a new government widely seen as more business-friendly than its predecessor, has been an area of interest.
    • SoftBank led a $627M funding round in Indian e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal last year, and has been rumored to be weighing a major investment in low-end Indian Android OEM Micromax. It has also led a $600M round for Chinese ride-sharing platform Kuaidi Dache (recently merged with top rival Didi Dache), and invested $250M in top Southeast Asian ride-sharing platform GrabTaxi.
    • The Japanese conglomerate's 797.7M-share Alibaba stake (current pre-tax value of $67.5B) leaves it with plenty of fresh powder for further dealmaking.
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  • Thu, Apr. 9, 7:58 PM
    • T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) and Sprint (NYSE:S), along with Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), might fail in their bid to get a bigger set-aside in a crucial early-2016 auction of low-band wireless spectrum -- but what they get might be better than nothing, which is a risk if the auction's delayed, Guggenheim's Paul Gallant notes.
    • The companies have argued for rule changes that would set aside 40 MHz of an expected 70-80 MHz for smaller firms (i.e.: not AT&T or Verizon), rather than the 30 MHz currently set aside. But that's an uphill battle, and "just holding the auction in early 2016 would be a very good development for them, because slipping into 2017 creates risk that the set-aside disappears completely," notes Gallant.
    • AT&T and Verizon argue that Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) and Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) have the resources to help Sprint and T-Mobile respectively with their bids, but the foreign firms don't appear to be willing.
    • The FCC's AWS-3 auction set a record with nearly $45B in bids, but the low-band auction may be even more critical to the competitive landscape, as the signals travel over longer distances and through buildings' walls in cities.
    • Previous FCC auction news
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  • Thu, Apr. 2, 3:52 PM
    • Sprint (S +2.4%) has issued a statement to clarify that it is in discussions with Jay-Z's streaming music service Tidal -- but only to determine how to smooth the service's availability for Sprint customers.
    • The New York Post reported that Sprint and parent Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) had bought a minority stake in the subscription service that valued Tidal at $250M. Sprint is denying its investment and "confirms that, similarly, its parent company Softbank Corp. has not purchased a stake in Tidal."
    • At Jay-Z's big Tidal rollout event this week, the company's CIO Vania Schlogel said Tidal had been working closely with Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure.
    • Tidal claims to have signed up 100K subscribers since Monday's event.
  • Thu, Mar. 26, 2:20 PM
    • Reuters reports an investor group led by SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) is in talks with Indian phone OEM Micromax to buy a 20% stake in the company for $800M-$1B.
    • Canalys recently estimated Micromax passed Samsung to become India's top-selling smartphone vendor (Samsung begged to differ). The company's Android and feature phones have gained a strong following thanks both to their low prices and focus on the needs of emerging markets users.
    • Micromax was reported in January to be planning an IPO with Goldman and Morgan Stanley's help. As the owner of Sprint and Japan's #2 carrier, SoftBank could help Micromax expand into the world's two largest developed phone markets.
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  • Tue, Mar. 17, 3:52 AM
    • Employees and investors will be able to sell 337M Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) shares starting Wednesday, after the stock's first "lock-up" arrangement expires.
    • The termination of the 180-day period will likely weigh on Alibaba’s share price, which may come under pressure in the near-term, analysts say.
    • There are different lock-up periods for different shareholders, and stock held by its largest shareholders - Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Alibaba executives - will be frozen until the company's IPO anniversary in September.
    • BABA -0.2% AH
  • Thu, Mar. 12, 8:56 PM
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  • Mon, Mar. 9, 11:34 AM
    • Pairing the world's largest satellite manufacturer with one of the world's largest cellular providers, Boeing (BA +1.5%) has taken an equity stake in SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY -0.6%) Satellite Planning Corporation, which will develop concepts for a satellite-based disaster response communications system for Japan.
    • The group will evaluate the concepts and propose them to Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
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  • 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.
  • Mon, Feb. 23, 5:56 PM
    • Walter Piecyk at BTIG Research has downgraded Sprint (S -3.3%) shares to Sell, from Neutral, with some blunt language: “We do not see a path by which Sprint can return to revenue growth, let alone EBITDA growth or positive free cash flow.”
    • And he adds that "we are tired of waiting" for Softbank's (OTCPK:SFTBY) backing to spur a turnaround: He "simply can't ignore the high cash burn rate and recent comments by Sprint’s Chairman Masa Son and latest CEO Marcelo Claure that outlined a clouded network vision and market strategy that we do not believe offers a clear revenue growth opportunity."
    • Next year's EBITDA might be only $5.25B vs. estimates of $7.167B.
    • There's a Catch-22: Piecyk sees the stock's value in its spectrum assets, but if Sprint sells those off, what's left isn't a competitive company.
    • The carrier recently launched a notes offering to get working capital in the face of its cash burn.
    • Updated 6:05 p.m.: Sprint shares are -1.9% after hours.
    • Previously: Oppenheimer: Sprint will be forced to make sales (Feb. 18 2015)
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