SoftBank stock bounces to 2020 peak as buyers look beyond WeWork

Topics SoftBank | Masayoshi Son

The recovery is something of a vindication for CEO Masayoshi Son, who unveiled plans to sell 4.5 trillion yen of assets to reduce debt and bankroll record share buybacks
SoftBank Group Corp. shares just reached a new high this year, propelled by a series of buybacks that have seen the stock recoup the losses suffered during the coronavirus market rout.

The stock rose 2.6 per cent on Friday to 5,778 yen ($54), the highest since July 2019. That’s more than double the level of a March low.

The recovery is something of a vindication for CEO Masayoshi Son, who unveiled plans to sell 4.5 trillion yen of assets to reduce debt and bankroll record share buybacks. Son has frequently complained that SoftBank’s shares, even at their peak, trade at less than the value of its portfolio of investments.

SoftBank has also had a series of wins over the same period, finally solving the puzzle of Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile Inc. with their merger completed in April, and seeing a welcome return to successful investment bets as online home-insurance provider Lemonade Inc. surged as much as 86 per cent in its US IPO. Thursday.

“The steps being taken to improve its balance sheet, such as repurchase of its debt, are being recognized,” said Tomoaki Kawasaki, a senior analyst at Iwaicosmo Securities Co. 



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