Today, SoftBank Group Corp. reported a net income of 1.93 trillion yen ($17.7 billion) for the three months ended March 31, and it all came from Masayoshi Son’s successful investment in the newly public Coupang Inc.
However, even after recording the largest-ever quarterly profit for a Japanese company, Son still isn’t getting the respect he thinks he deserves.
This year, SoftBank’s earnings are nearly 1 trillion yen higher than Toshiba’s last year’s highest-earning. Even after recording the highest turnover yet, Son’s stock price reportedly suffered the steepest two-day dive in eight months.
According to sources, Son’s shares have dropped 14% from their peak in March. And reportedly investors are now worried as to whether SoftBank will keep buying back its stock and profiting from a global surge in technology shares.
Masayoshi Son earlier stated that the investors aren’t giving him credit yet for the value he’s creating at SoftBank. The net asset value for the company is now worth 15,000 yen a share.
Last year, SoftBank’s Vision Fund investment arm had its biggest loss in SoftBank’s history, and now became the main driver of earnings, with a 2.3 trillion yen profit in the March quarter, for the business group.
“Our profit and revenue are both measured in trillions of yen, but just a year ago we had a record loss. For SoftBank, profits and losses in trillions of yen are the new normal.”
Most of the money which SoftBank created this quarter was a result of the company’s buybacks and investors have been anticipating more buybacks. However, Son didn’t commit to further repurchases.
“The discount SoftBank is trading at, around 30%, has widened again in recent months, but it’s a far cry from the gap that Son has railed against historically. I get his points, but the last two years have shown there can be extreme volatility in returns and little agreement on prospects.”