Japanese telco SoftBank posts 15% rise in third-quarter profit

FILE PHOTO - SoftBank Corp. placard is prepared during a ceremony to mark the company's debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan, December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Japanese telco SoftBank Corp on Friday reported a 15% rise in third-quarter operating profit, beating estimates, underpinned by its mobile business.

SoftBank also raised its full-year operating profit forecast to 900 billion yen ($8.19 billion) from 890 billion yen previously.

Operating profit in the October-December quarter was 243 billion yen versus 211 billion yen a year earlier. That compared with an average forecast of 240 billion yen from three analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

Japan’s third-largest telco, SoftBank Corp has pledged to pay out 85% of its net income as dividends, providing a steady stream of cash to tech conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp, which holds a 67% stake.

Along with a 26% stake in China’s Alibaba, the wireless carrier continues to help prop up the market value of its parent, which in the quarter ended September reported its first quarterly loss in 14 years as its tech bets faltered.

Founder Masayoshi Son built his fortune by breaking into Japan’s telecoms market but his reputation could be determined by the performance of the $100 billion Vision Fund, which will report at the group’s results on Wednesday.

SoftBank Corp rivals NTT Docomo and KDDI Corp reported last week that operating profit fell 15% and rose 11%, respectively.

SoftBank‘s stable earnings contrast with the fortunes of one of Son’s big early overseas bets, U.S wireless unit Sprint Corp, which last week reported falling subscriber numbers.

Analysts said prospects for the money-losing telco are grim if it does not reach a merger with larger rival T-Mobile US Inc.

Japan’s three incumbent telcos are holding their breath for the announcement of pricing plans from Rakuten Inc, which will launch wireless services in April and is expected to offer aggressively low prices.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.