GH - Guardant Health, Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real-time price. Currency in USD
73.58
-1.38 (-1.84%)
At close: 4:00PM EST

73.58 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 4:13PM EST

Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close74.96
Open75.32
Bid72.10 x 900
Ask73.75 x 800
Day's range73.19 - 75.76
52-week range32.33 - 112.22
Volume526,493
Avg. volume1,234,125
Market cap6.91B
Beta (3Y monthly)N/A
PE ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-0.86
Earnings date7 Nov 2019
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend dateN/A
1y target est115.80
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  • Masa Son Desperately Needs That Second $100 Billion
    Bloomberg

    Masa Son Desperately Needs That Second $100 Billion

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman Masayoshi Son is in the kind of pickle that even Jamie Dimon can’t get him out of.Earnings for the September quarter show just how badly his Vision Fund is performing, and accelerate the need to raise a second incarnation just to keep the money flowing through SoftBank’s books.While its stake in the $97 billion Vision Fund accounts for less than 15% of SoftBank’s holdings, that investment vehicle made up 53% of operating income last year. Crucially, 68% of that contribution came from unrealized gains on the valuation of investments. In other words, SoftBank is heavily reliant on paper profits.As a result, the dive in shares of Uber Technologies Inc., Slack Technologies Inc. and Guardant Health Inc. during the three months to Sept. 30, combined with a 498 billion yen ($4.6 billion) write-off on WeWork, weighed not only on the Vision Fund but on the company itself, forcing SoftBank to an operating loss of 704 billion yen, its first in more than a decade. The fund alone lost 970 billion yen for the quarter, which means that it was underwater even before WeWork came along. The only thing that stopped it blowing out further was yet another paper profit: a $2.6 billion gain in the value of its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. To really understand what’s going on, however, we need a deeper dive into SoftBank and its relationship with the Vision Fund. Only a handful of the fund’s holdings are in publicly listed shares, whose value can be assessed in real time. What’s more, the biggest contributors to the fund’s gains to date come from buying and flipping two investments: Nvidia Corp. and Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ironically, its single biggest winner to date — Nvidia — was bought and sold in public stock markets, not through venture investing.The rest of its shares are private, including marquee unicorns such as Didi Chuxing Inc., ByteDance Ltd., Grab Holdings Inc. and The We Co. — the official name of WeWork. Many got their sky-high valuations because of SoftBank-led investment rounds. Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., a major backer of WeWork, already learned his lesson. He told CNBC this week, “Just because a valuation prints at a certain level by one investor doesn’t mean it’s the right valuation. That’s not price discovery.” If Son isn’t listening to Dimon, then let’s hope investors are, because the message is clear: We only know what these shares are worth after they list. Even the bailout and SoftBank’s 83% devaluation of WeWork doesn’t mean the office-rental company is truly worth its new $8 billion number; that’s merely what Son and his team think. The falling price tag on Uber, Slack, Guardant and WeWork all show us to be wary of SoftBank’s ability to correctly value a company. And how the Vision Fund and SoftBank make their money — quarter in and quarter out — is heavily dependent on how much Son thinks his stable of more than 80 companies is worth.Even if the fund doesn’t make a dime, it’s on the hook for close to $3 billion per year in coupon payments on around $40 billion of preferred shares that pay 7% per year. This cash need is probably what prompted the fund, and not SoftBank, to take out a $4.1 billion three-year loan led by Mizuho Financial Group Inc., JPMorgan, UBS Group AG and Saudi Arabia’s Samba Financial Group.A more accurate account of how much SoftBank has made from the Vision Fund might come from the money it has actually received. It plays two roles here: SoftBank the investor — just like the Saudi and Abu Dhabi governments — receiving a distribution when the fund sells an investment at a profit; and SoftBank the fund manager, earning a fee for sourcing and executing deals.All this explains why SoftBank not only wants to raise a second $100 billion fund, but truly needs to: From the fund’s inception through to June 30 this year, it earned $3.2 billion in management performance fees, twice the $1.6 billion it received in distributions as an investor. That distribution is supposed to rise over time as more investments come to market or get acquired, but the decline in publicly traded shares and the cooling mood toward unicorns doesn’t augur well for the future.With the first Vision Fund tapped out, there’s not a lot of money around to keep pushing up valuations, which in turn drive earnings of both the fund and SoftBank. And with public markets turning sour, hopes of a steady flow of distributions from cashed-out investments are also dimming. That makes fees the most reliable way to keep the machine ticking over. On Thursday, Softbank announced that “preparations for the full-scale launch of SoftBank Vision Fund 2 are underway.” So far that’s been a tough sell as would-be investors, including those who are part of the first fund, balk.Thankfully for Son, there’s a patron who owes him a favor. Having dodged questions over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi agents, and telling Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that SoftBank wouldn’t abandon him, now seems about the right time to expect a check in the mail. The Saudis can probably afford it. It helps when your own company is about to become the most valuable in the world. To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • WeWork Mess Leaves SoftBank’s Masa Son $6 Billion Poorer
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    (Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son is paying the price for bold bets on startups from WeWork to Uber Technologies Inc.The founder of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. has seen his net worth slide about $6 billion from its peak this year after his strategy of aggressively backing technology pioneers backfired. His fortune tumbled to roughly $13.8 billion as of Tuesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after peaking in July at about $20 billion.Son will give details of the damage on Wednesday when his Japanese conglomerate reports earnings, including likely writedowns for Uber and WeWork. The Vision Fund, its primary investment vehicle for startups, is said to be planning to swallow a charge of at least $5 billion. Some of that stems from the spectacular implosion of WeWork, the once-celebrated co-working company that SoftBank is now bailing out after systemic governance failures tanked its IPO attempt. The U.S. company, which raised money at a $47 billion valuation in January, was said to be valued at less than $8 billion in the rescue package.“Son has been through a number of ups and downs before, but it seems like these days he’s taking on more and more risk,” said Mitsushige Akino, an executive officer with Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “What’s really spooking investors is that they don’t know if WeWork is just the tip of the iceberg for SoftBank’s trouble.”Read more: SoftBank Vision Fund Planning Writedown of Over $5 BillionUber and WeWork, once among the brightest stars in the SoftBank constellation, now number among its worst performers. Their shrinking valuations have called into question Son’s investment credibility at a time he’s trying to raise an even larger successor to his original mega fund.Analysts expect SoftBank to post a net loss of about 300 billion yen in the quarter ($2.8 billion), compared with a profit of more than 500 billion yen a year earlier. Shares of Uber tumbled 34% in the third quarter, while Slack Technologies Inc., another SoftBank investee, dropped 37%. The poor public performance of its marquee investments also raises the question of whether the Vision Fund should reassess the valuations of other growth-focused companies in its portfolio, from ride-hailing giants Didi Chuxing and Grab Holdings Inc. to hotel startup OYO Rooms and food delivery app DoorDash Inc.SoftBank may book a $3.54 billion drop in the value of its Uber stake, a $750 million decline for Guardant Health Inc., and take a $350 million hit for Slack, according to Chris Lane, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. The combined writedown for WeWork may be as much as $2.82 billion, assuming a slide in the company’s valuation to $15 billion from $24 billion, but remains uncertain. He said his estimates represented a worst-case scenario and may be offset by gains from other unlisted companies.SoftBank Gives ‘Very Public Lesson’ to Founders in WeWork OusterSon has a lot at stake personally. His net worth excludes $8.3 billion worth of SoftBank shares he put up as collateral for personal loans from 19 banks, including Credit Suisse Group AG and Julius Baer Group Ltd. The billionaire has pledged 38% of his stake in the Japanese firm, according to a June regulatory filing. That’s up from 36% at the start of the year -- and triple the level in June 2013.The 62-year-old also leveraged his stake in the Vision Fund, the world’s single largest investment pool for startups. And SoftBank’s compensation plan involves a lot of debt. Son loaned himself around $3 billion to invest in the first Vision Fund, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.While SoftBank’s February announcement of a record 600 billion yen buyback sent its shares to a peak in April, the stock has since lost most of the gains and were largely unchanged ahead of the results on Wednesday.“Son is desperate enough to potentially announce another big buyback to show his confidence in the business and the Vision Fund,” said Amir Anvarzadeh, a market strategist at Asymmetric Advisors Pte in Singapore who recently removed SoftBank from his short-sell list. “If they do, and stock jumps further, we’ll be shorting it again,” he told Bloomberg Television.Read more: WeWork Isn’t Worth $47 Billion Anymore, But Its Rent Bill Is(Updates with a chart and shares in the penultimate paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net;Venus Feng in Hong Kong at vfeng7@bloomberg.net;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at thyuga@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • SoftBank's Vision Fund Writedown Can't Be the Half of It
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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- A disastrous three months for SoftBank Group Corp. may force its Vision Fund to write down at least $5 billion for the September quarter, Bloomberg News reported. That’s not the half of it. Literally.There are bigger, deeper, and likely unrecoverable losses ahead for the world’s largest venture-capital fund. That the devaluation of its holdings might be as low as $5 billion, possibly as high as $7 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, indicates that the Japanese company has barely scratched the surface of what losses it will need to book on its stake in WeWork, let alone the rest of its portfolio.All in all, $4.7 billion was lost across four publicly listed companies alone. Top of the list, the Vision Fund’s holdings in Uber Technologies Inc. dropped by $3.5 billion in the September quarter thanks to the ride-hailing company’s 34% share price slide. Slack Technologies Inc., another of Masayoshi Son’s celebrated investments, fell 38% during the same period for a loss of $504 million to the Vision Fund, the $100 billion investment vehicle controlled by SoftBank. Biotech company Guardant Health Inc. and China’s ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co. also declined.Those losses were offset by an $894 million gain on one stock. China’s Ping An Healthcare and Technology Co., better known as PingAn Good Doctor, climbed 41% for the period, mitigating the fund’s losses on listed shares to around $3.9 billion.(1) Overall, the portfolio of listed shares, which includes the listing this month of Vir Biotechnology Inc., is down again this quarter.To be clear: Those are just the revaluations we can track in public markets.The elephant in the room is The We Co. — WeWork’s official name — which plunged from a $47 billion valuation just a few months ago to around $8 billion after SoftBank’s bailout this week. Its initial public offering has been withdrawn. As Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine summed it up: SoftBank has put in “an astounding total of more than $18.5 billion for a company it values at $8 billion.” It will take creative accountants to avoid taking a writedown on that $10 billion gap. But SoftBank has already said it doesn’t control WeWork, and thus can treat it differently. Even if we put aside that train wreck, there are more than 80 companies in the Vision Fund’s portfolio. Close examination is required.Its largest and third-largest investees, by valuation, are also in the ride-hailing game  — a business which has yet to prove profitable. China’s Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc., better known as DiDi, is worth $56 billion, according to CB Insights’ unicorn list, while Southeast Asia’s Grab Holdings Inc. is listed at $14.3 billion.Maybe DiDi really is worth all that money, but the continued slide in shares of both Uber and Lyft Inc. make such a valuation a little hard to back up. Grab is arguably a little different since it has made the move beyond ride-hailing into food (like Uber) as well as payments and fintech. Grab’s new services aren’t yet proven to be profitable, but we could give the company a little more leeway when examining its underlying value. SoftBank is reported to have been invested in China’s ByteDance, owner of popular short-video streaming service TikTok, at a $75 billion valuation, though curiously it’s not listed among the Vision Fund’s 83 portfolio companies. It might be the one investment that has the most traction given the service’s extreme popularity around the world, yet this current cooling of enthusiasm for high-flying unicorns means that figure probably deserves to be trimmed. That said, it’s possible this investment sits on the books of SoftBank, rather than the Vision Fund, so who knows how it will be accounted for.A writedown of $5 billion to $7 billion on the Vision Fund will certainly hurt. But that’s just the start.(1) The Vision Fund invested in 10x Genomics, which listed during the quarter. But the company's prospectus doesn't list SoftBank among shareholders with at least 5%, so I estimate gains during the period to be little more than $50 million. SoftBank declined to say how much it owned when I asked last month.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- SoftBank Group Corp. and its Vision Fund need another win. And they need it fast.With news that U.S. rental office company WeWork  – formally known as The We Company – looks set to delay its IPO, we can see just how dependent SoftBank supremo Masayoshi Son’s empire was on this one exit to keep the Japanese company’s hit machine ticking along. SoftBank Vision Fund has been a major investor in some of this year’s most significant listings. Uber Technologies Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc. were among them. Both have fallen this quarter, dragging down the value of the Fund.There is a pattern to how the Vision Fund keeps returns climbing. Buy in at a later round of a startup’s funding, list the company a year or two later, and book the mark-to-market gains.Sounds simple, except for the one-two punch that follows: SoftBank, like most pre-IPO investors, is generally locked in and can’t cash out that profit for at least a year. Additionally, IPO shares have a tendency to perform badly in their first year. For SoftBank and the Vision Fund, that means quick gains turn to slow public-market losses that need to be booked every period, hurting returns in subsequent quarters.To paper over these losses, the Fund can book gains by bringing its next hot offering to market. That means that as long as there’s a healthy IPO each quarter, the pain from public-market declines can be squelched. So the model becomes: IPO gain, public-market losses, IPO gain. And around again.With WeWork, however, the merry-go-round risks turning into musical chairs. The game needs IPOs on the floor or the music stops. Had WeWork gone public before Sept. 30, and at a healthy premium to the various prices SoftBank paid through its funding rounds, then such paper profits likely would have covered over losses caused by the 26% decline in Uber’s shares so far this quarter and the 30% drop in those for Slack.As Bloomberg’ s Gillian Tan wrote earlier this month, SoftBank and its affiliates own around 29% of WeWork. Should the $47 billion valuation at which SoftBank most-recently bought in turn into the current whisper number of $15 billion, then SoftBank and the Fund could be set to lose as much as $9.28 billion right out of the gate.(4)That would result in an unusual IPO loss, drag down the Fund, and ruin the quarterly model. So it makes sense that SoftBank wants to delay WeWork’s IPO, at least until after Sept. 30. WeWork responded to reports of this delay by saying it expects to complete the IPO by the end of this year.Assuming that there’s no other basis for revaluation, such as a new equity round, the Vision Fund can still contend that WeWork is worth $47 billion when it closes its books at the end of this month.But that doesn’t solve the possibility of the Vision Fund posting a loss this quarter thanks to slides in Uber and Slack. One listed portfolio company, Ping An Good Doctor (aka Ping An Healthcare and Technology Co.), was up 39% in Hong Kong as of Tuesday morning, netting a gain of around $110 million to the Vision Fund. Others have fallen, including Guardant Health Inc. (-13%) and ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co. (-8.6%).  I believe that this leaves SoftBank Vision Fund with little choice but to enact a two-pronged strategy. First, take a “big bath(3)” for the September quarter and get the bad news behind it. Second, hurry along the IPOs of the other unicorns in its stable.ByteDance, the hugely popular Chinese video content platform, is currently the world’s most valuable startup at $75 billion, according to CB Insights. That’s followed by Chinese ride-hailing provider Didi Chuxing at $56 billion. I don’t think either is ready to IPO in the next month or two, but there’s always a chance ByteDance may decide to list before a slowdown in the Chinese economy starts to show up in its growth metrics.There are also some smaller fruit about to ripen. South Korean e-commerce company Coupang and U.S. food delivery provider DoorDash Inc. could find favor among IPO investors. Southeast Asian transport and services startup Grab Holdings Inc. would also be very popular, but I sense they want to spend a little more time building the non-transport offerings before pitching an IPO. Then there is Son’s plan to relist British semiconductor designer ARM Holding Plc, which would likely be a success because of its central role in the global technology sector.Despite the troubles with WeWork, SoftBank still has a strong team of highly valued startups on its roster. But they’re not much good to the Vision Fund if they’re sitting on the bench.(1) The exact scale of any loss would depend on how SVF has valued preferred shares acquired in earlier rounds. This figure assumes the Fund raised valuations in subsequent funding rounds.(2) Big Bath refers to the concept of collating lots of bad news in one quarter so that a company can put it all in the past and move on. Often seen as manipulation, I'd argue this can actually be a healthy strategy because it allows investors and management to return their focus to building the company.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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