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)
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
- Speaking at Code Conference, Sprint (NYSE:S) CEO Marcelo Claure had a bold prediction: The carrier will have the best or second-best network in the U.S. in quality terms within the next two years.
- It's an extension of Sprint's recent investments, he said, into a network that has generally lagged in comparisons with its "Big Four" U.S. competitors, particularly on speed.
- Asset investments like network improvement come with heavy cash spending, though, and Sprint will burn billions of dollars in free cash flow this year. Citigroup's Michael Rollins thinks Sprint will run out of money by the 2016 broadcast incentive spectrum auction
- Claure's comments come, however, after recent Tokyo meetings with his bosses at Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), suggesting that they'll be behind a quality push.
- Previously: Sprint: Amid network investment, cash burn back in focus (May. 06 2015)
- Previously: Verizon, AT&T top mobile networks, but Sprint and T-Mobile compete in city (Feb. 10 2015)
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.
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
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.
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
- With the market open in Tokyo, the Nikkei index has passed 19,000 for the first time since the dot-com bust, to reach a new 15-year high, following on the U.S. market's strong day. The index is up 0.7% so far, to 19,130.
- Early top gainers included robotics firm Fanuc (OTCPK:FANUY), up 10.2% in local trade early, while Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) is up 0.5% and Fast Retailing (OTCPK:FRCOY) up 1.7%.
- Big exporters are benefiting from a weaker yen: Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSYY) up 0.3%; Toyota (NYSE:TM) up 0.3% in Tokyo trade.
- ETFs: DXJ, EWJ, FXY, YCS, DFJ, JYN, NKY, DBJP, EZJ, EWV, JPNL, YCL, DXJS, SCJ, JSC, ITF, JPP, HEWJ, FJP, QJPN, JPMV, DXJT, DXJH, DXJR, DXJC, DXJF
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.
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)
SFTBY vs. ETF Alternatives
Other News & PR