Nov 9, 2020 - Economy

SoftBank signals turnaround, reports third-quarter profit

Photo illustration of Masa Son with Japanese Yen coin and bills behind him.

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde. Photo via Yoshikazu Tsuno/Getty Images

Japan's SoftBank Group on Monday reported $6.1 billion in third-quarter profit, with chairman Masayoshi Son telling analysts that "regardless of interest rates or regardless of who the president is, we want to continue to invest in the American market, and also in China."

Why it matters: This was a strong rebound for SoftBank, which had been bleeding red ink.

More from the analyst call:

  • Despite reports that SoftBank was the Nasdaq "whale," Son dismissed the characterization and pointed out that the call options represented only 1% of the company's holdings.
  • It had bought about $4 billion in options, and still holds about $16.8 billion in tech stocks like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Zoom.
  • SoftBank Vision Fund reported active investments in 83 companies, which cost $75 billion, were worth $76.4 billion at the end of September.
  • The second, smaller fund (which does not have outside limited partners) has cost $2.6 billion and a current fair value of $7.6 billion, in part thanks to KE Holding's IPO in August.

The bottom line: Son continued to make the case to investors on Monday that SoftBank has transitioned to being an investment company, even shooting down the prospect of making acquisitions

  • "99% I would say I don't have any intention to acquire 100% of a company right now," he said.
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