S - Sprint Corporation

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
9.48
-0.01 (-0.11%)
At close: 4:01PM EST

9.83 +0.35 (3.69%)
After hours: 4:50PM EST

Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close9.49
Open9.49
Bid9.52 x 3000
Ask9.48 x 4000
Day's range9.30 - 9.71
52-week range4.26 - 9.71
Volume55,215,326
Avg. volume20,436,814
Market cap38.976B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.13
PE ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-0.65
Earnings date04 May 2020 - 10 May 2020
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend date04 Dec 2007
1y target est6.31
  • WarnerMedia CEO calls T-Mobile-Sprint merger approval ‘surprising’
    Yahoo Finance

    WarnerMedia CEO calls T-Mobile-Sprint merger approval ‘surprising’

    “Surprising judicial activities” like the approval of a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile have disrupted the U.S. business environment, says AT&T President and COO John Stankey.

  • T-Mobile, Sprint near agreement on new merger terms - WSJ
    Reuters

    T-Mobile, Sprint near agreement on new merger terms - WSJ

    Deutsche Telekom AG , T-Mobile's parent, will own 43% of the combined company, up from just below 42% earlier, the report added. T- Mobile US did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, while Sprint declined to comment. Last week, a federal judge approved the merger deal, rejecting a claim by a group of states that said the proposed transaction would violate antitrust laws and raise prices.

  • T-Mobile, Sprint near agreement on new merger terms: WSJ
    Reuters

    T-Mobile, Sprint near agreement on new merger terms: WSJ

    Deutsche Telekom AG , T-Mobile's parent, will own 43% of the combined company, up from just below 42% earlier, the report added. T- Mobile US did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, while Sprint declined to comment. Last week, a federal judge approved the merger deal, rejecting a claim by a group of states that said the proposed transaction would violate antitrust laws and raise prices.

  • SoftBank’s Son to Pitch New York Investors Under Cloud of WeWork
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank’s Son to Pitch New York Investors Under Cloud of WeWork

    (Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son will head to New York next month for the first time since the implosion of WeWork, seeking to persuade hedge funds and institutional investors that the fortunes of SoftBank Group Corp. have turned since the disastrous investment.The Japanese billionaire is scheduled to address investors on March 2. There, he could point to the approved sale of Sprint Corp., a rally in Uber Technologies Inc. shares and Elliott Management Corp.’s purchase of SoftBank stock as signs of progress at his company, said people familiar with the plans. It’s unclear where WeWork will fit into the agenda.Within SoftBank, there’s disagreement about how to convey the company’s strategy. Son, 62, is known for his eccentric financial presentations, which have included a “hypothetical illustration” of WeWork profitability and stock photos of ocean waves and calm waters. One memorable slide from 2014 contained only a drawing of a goose and the words: “SoftBank = Goose.” Many staff at headquarters in Tokyo love the founder’s showmanship, but some senior executives are exasperated and argue a clearer and more sober message is needed, said people familiar with internal discussions who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.Ultimately, Son will decide. He has downplayed any pressure from Elliott, a New York-based activist investor that disclosed a nearly $3 billion stake in SoftBank this month. Son called Elliott an “important partner” and said he’s in broad agreement with the investor’s arguments for buybacks and increasing the stock price. Son has signaled less receptiveness to Elliott’s other suggestions: selling more of the stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and reining in the Vision Fund, a $100 billion investment vehicle that accounted for more than $10 billion of losses in the past two quarters.In private meetings with SoftBank, Elliott raised issues over the clarity of SoftBank’s strategy, people familiar with the talks said. SoftBank is planning to make hires within its investor relations department to help shape the message to shareholders. SoftBank declined to comment. A spokesperson for Elliott declined to comment.“Right now, serious heat is being applied on Son,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners in Singapore. “Son has to be seen actually doing something.”Although next month’s event was scheduled before Elliott disclosed its stake and is not designed to specifically address the activist investor’s involvement, it will be a focus for attendees, said people familiar with the preparations. Executives are bracing for questions about Elliott’s intentions and how far the shareholder will go to boost the stock’s value.Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is organizing the March event, the people said. The firm, which helped Japan’s Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. in their dealings with activist investors, is vying for the job of advising SoftBank on Elliott, said a different person said. However, SoftBank is likely to manage the relationship in-house, another person said. The job may fall to Marcelo Claure, the chief operating officer who’s helping oversee the WeWork debacle; Katsunori Sago, the chief strategy officer and a former Goldman Sachs executive; or Ron Fisher, a director and trusted adviser to Son. A Goldman representative declined to comment on SoftBank.Dogs and PizzaSoftBank is recovering from a series of stumbles in recent months. WeWork’s plan to go public last year imploded, forcing SoftBank to arrange a rescue financing of $9.5 billion in October. Uber, despite a two-month surge, is still trading about 10% below last year’s offering price. The Vision Fund has suffered other high-profile setbacks, including investments in failed online retailer Brandless Inc., dog-walking app Wag Labs Inc. and pizza robot company Zume Pizza Inc.Elliott has said it took the stake in SoftBank because the Japanese company’s shares are woefully undervalued compared with its assets. Son himself has been pleading the case with increasing frequency. SoftBank’s own sum-of-parts calculation puts its total value at 12,300 yen a share ($111). That’s more than double SoftBank’s actual share price, which values the company at about $104 billion. Elliott has pegged SoftBank’s net asset value at about $230 billion, people familiar with the discussions have said.The disconnect between what SoftBank and Elliott say the company is worth and the market value can be explained by several quirks of how the business is run, according to a report from Pierre Ferragu, an analyst at New Street Research. Many shareholders would like the company to return more capital and improve its governance, he wrote. Risks associated with the Vision Fund and a lack of details about tax liabilities associated with cashing out its investments are other factors.SoftBank recognized the need for more oversight as early as 2018, when it charged Claure with a broad review of operations across SoftBank companies. Claure, the former head of Sprint, spent months assembling a team of about 40 executives. In the end, he was forced to cede control of the so-called SoftBank Operating Group to the man it was supposed to be overseeing: Rajeev Misra, the head of the Vision Fund.Elliott wants SoftBank to set up a special committee to review investment processes at the Vision Fund. Elliott argues the fund has dragged down the share price despite making up a small portion of assets under management, said people familiar with the discussions.Some at SoftBank are resistant to the idea of an oversight committee. Instead, SoftBank is seeking to resolve issues at the Vision Fund with new governance standards for the companies it invests in. The new rules will encompass how the fund approaches the composition of the board of directors, founder and management rights, rights of shareholders, and mitigation of potential conflicts of interest.Son has conceded that missteps with the original fund is making it difficult to raise money for a successor. He said last week that SoftBank may need to invest in startups using solely its own capital for a year or two.‘Black Swan’Elliott is also calling for a buyback of as much as $20 billion. A repurchase of that scale could boost SoftBank’s shares by 40%, Ferragu estimated. SoftBank’s last share repurchase was announced about a year ago, a record 600 billion yen. It sparked a rally that pushed the stock to its highest price in about two decades.Selling Alibaba shares to pay for a buyback, as Elliott has proposed, could be a point of contention with Son. In the past, Son has used the shares as collateral to borrow money for big acquisitions, including the $32 billion purchase of chip designer ARM Holdings. Son said last week during a quarterly financial briefing that he’d prefer to sell as little as possible and that there’s “no rush” to do so.SoftBank said on Wednesday it plans to borrow as much as $4.5 billion against shares of its Japanese telecom unit. The company, which had 3.8 trillion yen of cash and equivalents at the end of December, said it was raising capital for operations. SoftBank’s debt load exceeds $120 billion.Son’s reliance on debt is raising alarms, said Tang, the financial analyst. “He’s going to get wiped out if there is some black swan event,” Tang said. “SoftBank needs to de-leverage, and the best way to do it is to sell the Alibaba stake.”Elliott has a tradition of using strong-arm tactics to get its way with target companies, but there’s little chance of that happening with SoftBank. Elliott’s stake enables it to call an emergency shareholder meeting, but pushing through a proposal without the founder’s backing is a long shot. Son, who often goes by the nickname Masa, controls more than a quarter of SoftBank stock through various vehicles, and the company bylaws require two-thirds of votes to pass any proposal made through the board, according to a person with knowledge of the rules.“Unless everyone is against him,” said Tang, “it’s not possible to dislodge Masa.”\--With assistance from Scott Deveau.To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net;Giles Turner in London at gturner35@bloomberg.net;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at thyuga@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Mark Milian, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SoftBank Climbs on Plan to Borrow $4.5 Billion Via Telecom Stock
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank Climbs on Plan to Borrow $4.5 Billion Via Telecom Stock

    (Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp.’s stock climbed after it unveiled plans to borrow as much as 500 billion yen ($4.5 billion) by putting up shares of its Japanese telecom unit as collateral, raising capital for the investment giant’s operations.The money for the two-year loan, which will have a one-year extension option, will come from 16 financial institutions, SoftBank said in a statement. It pledged as much as 953 million shares of SoftBank Corp. and said the money will be used to fund operations. SoftBank Group’s stock rose as much as 3.6% in Tokyo, while the unit’s was little changed.Activist investor Paul Singer this month revealed his firm had acquired a stake of as much as $3 billion in SoftBank and has advocated for a share buyback of as much as $20 billion, along with governance changes and more transparency about its investments. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son called Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. an “important partner” and said he is in broad agreement with the investor about SoftBank buybacks and share value.SoftBank will need to raise cash to meet those demands. Son is adopting a more conciliatory stance just as he’s struggling with the $100 billion Vision Fund, which made him the biggest investor in technology. The fund lost money in the three months ended in December, one quarter after the meltdown at WeWork triggered a record loss for the Japanese company. Son is trying to raise capital for a second fund, but last week said he is no longer targeting $108 billion and SoftBank may finance the effort on its own.“We sense that the stars are now aligned for the firm to conduct a buyback,” Citigroup Global Markets analyst Mitsunobu Tsuruo wrote. SoftBank “will be in a position to flexibly implement a buyback amounting to” about 5% of its market capitalization.Read more: SoftBank’s Son Considers a ‘Bridge’ Fund Before Vision Fund 2The past 12 months have been tumultuous for Son and SoftBank. A year ago, the company unveiled a record buyback, sparking a rally that pushed shares to the highest since its dot-com peak in 2000. Uber Technologies Inc.’s disappointing public debut and the implosion of WeWork wiped out the gains over the next few months. But SoftBank surged again this month after Singer disclosed his stake and Son won approval to sell his Sprint Corp. to T-Mobile US Inc.SoftBank has 13.75 trillion yen of interest-bearing debt, with more than 2.6 trillion yen of bonds coming due in the next three years. The company also had 3.8 trillion yen of cash and equivalents as of the end of December.To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SoftBank's Latest Fund Wheeze Sets Off New Alarms
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank's Latest Fund Wheeze Sets Off New Alarms

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- SoftBank Group Corp. became vulnerable to activist attack by Elliott Management Corp. because of the harmful noise generated by the Japanese technology investor’s giant Vision Fund. That noise just won’t die down.Sunday brought a report in the Financial Times that Vision Fund head Rajeev Misra is looking to raise a multi-billion dollar fund to buy listed stocks. The blueprint was established last year with SoftBank’s investment in controversial German payments company Wirecard AG via a convertible bond. The new plan looks like a bid to do more unconventional equity investments in the same vein.The development marks a strategic departure. After all, the $100 billion Vision Fund was established to take stakes in private, tech-focused startups. SoftBank has already had to deny that there’s a “misalignment” between Misra and the group’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son over the idea of investing more in public companies. But it’s not hard to see why Son, and other SoftBank shareholders, might need persuading.Setting up a listed-equity vehicle would bring in new revenues from management and performance fees. It could also create capital gains (or losses) from any investments in the fund that are made using SoftBank’s own capital. Whether it would make such commitments — and the decision-making around any such moves — is unclear. The FT said funding of about $4 billion is being lined up from sovereign funds in Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan.There is some logic to Misra’s idea. It would, theoretically, marry SoftBank’s nous in emerging technology with the experience in trading and structured products possessed by a bunch of former bankers working for the Vision Fund. The result could bring a new dimension to SoftBank, similar to how the American buyout giants have become purveyors of real-estate, private-equity and credit strategies.The numbers being spoken of may be small relatively. But SoftBank’s core competence is in a specific sector, technology, and a specific category, late-stage venture capital. It needs to be crystal clear about why it would have an edge in the listed markets. The new offshoot would engage in financial engineering by wrapping listed investments in leveraged structures. But would it be looking to hire people or engage advisers with that expertise in a public-equity strategy if it didn’t already have it on the payroll? Or is the tail wagging the dog?SoftBank shares trade at a near 60% discount to net asset value, hence Elliott’s interest. That’s due largely to high-profile mishaps in the Vision Fund, such as WeWork, even though the fund still accounts for only a 10% slice of SoftBank’s overall managed assets. The risk is that, as with the Vision Fund, this venture has an outsized impact on sentiment toward SoftBank overall.Ironically, SoftBank has a huge opportunity already to dabble in the stock market and do financial engineering. The discount at which its shares trade means it could buy nearly $50 billion of underlying investments by spending $20 billion on its own stock. Son could fund such a buyback either by raising debt or selling some of SoftBank’s shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Sprint Corp., telecoms subsidiary SoftBank Corp. or even chipmaker Arm Holdings via a public offering. Maybe the brains in the Vision Fund could start by identifying which of these levers to pull.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at chughes89@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • New York drops fight against T-Mobile-Sprint merger
    Reuters

    New York drops fight against T-Mobile-Sprint merger

    New York on Sunday dropped its fight against the $40 billion merger of U.S. wireless carriers T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp , saying the state would not appeal a judge's approval of the deal. New York Attorney General Letitia James said her office would end the court challenge to the 2018 merger agreement between the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless carriers. New York, California and other states had challenged it on antitrust grounds, saying it would drive up prices for consumers.

  • Here's why Big Tech is winning the war against the government
    Yahoo Finance

    Here's why Big Tech is winning the war against the government

    The U.S. government has never been a model of consistency but lately the inconsistencies—foolish and otherwise—emerging from Washington directed at the tech industry have become truly mind-blowing.

  • Dealmakers, Beware: A ‘52-Headed Monster’ Is Watching
    Bloomberg

    Dealmakers, Beware: A ‘52-Headed Monster’ Is Watching

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The anything-goes world of megamergers under President Donald Trump has encountered new resistance. More than a dozen U.S. states sued to stop T-Mobile US Inc.’s takeover of Sprint Corp. and failed when a judge ruled against them this week. But their unusual effort to step in as de facto antitrust regulators in the era of a lax Trump administration — and the fact that the case was seen as such a close call — is sure to unnerve other dealmakers who may be contemplating their own controversial mergers and acquisitions. The Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission are the main regulatory bodies that deal-hungry telecommunications CEOs must appease to get their transactions over the antitrust hurdle. (Other industries may have to answer to the Federal Trade Commission.) But the states have emerged as one more powerful group to worry about. In the T-Mobile-Sprint matter, state attorneys general from around the country, led by New York and California, demonstrated a willingness to go beyond the convention of securing one-off concessions for their own constituents when a deal raises concerns. Instead, if regulators drop the ball, the states are prepared to team up and take companies to court, with proceedings that could potentially stretch on for months — and time is money. With the DOJ, FCC and now the states, it’s become “a three-headed monster,” said John Stephens, AT&T Inc.’s chief financial officer. “Or maybe a 52-headed monster, I should say,” he added, speaking during a post-earnings phone interview on Jan. 29, before the Sprint ruling.District Judge Victor Marrero ultimately ruled in favor of the wireless carriers this week, rejecting the states’ arguments that the merger will lead to higher prices for consumers and that wireless newbie Dish Network Corp. won’t become a viable competitor capable of replacing Sprint. The deal, which the companies expect to close by April, will shrink the number of U.S. national wireless carriers from four to three, a level of market concentration that was taboo under previous administrations.On the one hand, the ruling has the potential to open the floodgates for other megamergers that traditionally would have been considered off-limits. To use a hypohetical, take Dish and AT&T’s DirecTV: They compete in providing satellite-TV service to U.S. households, and both parties have said in the past that there would, in theory, be benefits to putting the businesses together, if not for the regulatory hurdles. (AT&T executives have since said they aren’t planning to sell DirecTV.) But just as T-Mobile and Sprint successfully argued that their industry is different now thanks to changing technologies, satellite providers could make that claim, too. Even so, the states’ persistence in the Sprint matter may make some would-be dealmakers think twice about how far they’re willing to go to get a transaction across the finish line. Keeping with the Dish-DirecTV example, those are precisely the kinds of well-known brands that the states could go after in a merger fight. And if it weren’t for the states, T-Mobile and Sprint would have had the major regulatory approvals they needed wrapped up months ago; FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave his blessing back in May, and the Justice Department cleared the deal in July. As the battle with the states dragged on, Sprint’s market value shrank, its business deteriorated, and now T-Mobile wants to renegotiate the price it pays Sprint’s shareholders. In a bit of irony, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that it’s looking into whether past purchases by U.S. technology giants such as Amazon.com Inc., Google and Facebook Inc. that slipped by regulators’ radars were, in fact, anticompetitive. The FTC’s announcement — part of the ongoing scrutiny of the power wielded by Big Tech — came hours after the ruling for T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint, one of the most anticompetitive megadeals in the tech sphere.Letitia James, the New York attorney general who led the T-Mobile-Sprint opposition, said in response to Tuesday’s court decision that while she disagrees with the outcome, the states “will continue to fight the kind of consumer-harming megamergers our antitrust laws were designed to prevent.” Think she means it?To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at tlachapelle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Missed call? Counting the cost of no-show Mobile World Congress

    For an event meant to showcase the power of telecoms, cancelling this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona without a back-up plan has perplexed many in the trillion-dollar sector. Wednesday's decision to call off the telecoms industry's biggest annual gathering over fears of coronavirus, which has yet to reach mainland Spain, has left a hole in marketing budgets and dealt a $500 million blow to the local economy. Sony and Nokia said after pulling out of the event that they would hold product launches online instead, while South Korea's Samsung Electronics showcased a new folding phone at separate event in San Francisco last week.

  • Democrats Sprint Into 16-State Frenzy That Will Shape 2020 Race
    Bloomberg

    Democrats Sprint Into 16-State Frenzy That Will Shape 2020 Race

    (Bloomberg) -- The Democratic presidential candidates have spent their summers at the Iowa State Fair and fall weekends at New Hampshire diners, trying to win over one voter at a time in the two early states that can make or break a campaign.Now, the campaign explodes into a geographic and demographic battle that will test the candidates’ national appeal, their fundraising prowess and their staying power. All five top-tier candidates seem likely to get to the next big contest, Super Tuesday on March 3.Only two or three might come out the other side, and one of them hopes to be Michael Bloomberg, the self-funding billionaire who has reshaped the race without even being on a single ballot yet.(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)For all the hubbub surrounding the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, five candidates have split less than 2% of the delegates to the Democratic presidential nomination. Now it’s a mad dash for another 44% up for grabs in the next three weeks.“The rest of the nation is out there,” Joe Biden said.The next stops offer the first chance for large numbers of non-white voters to have their say: the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22 and the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29.Then comes Super Tuesday, a 14-state contest where candidates hope to do well in the biggest prizes -- California and Texas -- but clever candidates could pick up lots of delegates by picking off smaller states that will be less traveled, like Arkansas and Minnesota.“The road to the Democratic nomination is not paved with statewide winner-take-all victories,” Elizabeth Warren campaign manager Roger Lau wrote in a state-of-the-race memo released Tuesday. “This is not a race for governor, the U.S. Senate or the state treasurer’s office. This is a district-by-district contest for pledged delegates awarded proportionally.”The big contest sets up particularly well for Bernie Sanders, who led the popular vote in Iowa and New Hampshire, is leading in California surveys and showing surprising strength in Texas. With his tailwind out of Iowa and New Hampshire, he is the candidate to stop on Super Tuesday.Nipping at his heels is 38-year-old Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who surprised everybody with a steady strategy that has made him the delegate leader and a candidate to watch. A late surge by Amy Klobuchar vaulted her into third place in New Hampshire.Many of the others will limp into the multi-state battle. Biden’s campaign insists he was never going to win the overwhelmingly white Iowa and New Hampshire and his best was yet to come in Nevada and South Carolina.Warren is looking to hang on until Super Tuesday and focus her energy and resources on defeating Biden and Sanders.“In that three-way race, Elizabeth Warren is the candidate with the highest potential ceiling of support and the one best positioned to unite the party and lead the Democratic ticket to defeat Donald Trump,” Lau said in his memo.Watching is Bloomberg, who skipped the first four contests and has spent $357 million on advertising in the Super Tuesday states. He is picking up black support from a fading Biden, despite new audio of a speech he gave in 2015 in which he defends the stop-and-frisk policy in New York City by saying the best way to reduce gun violence in minority communities is to “throw them up against a wall and frisk them.” He has apologized again for that policy.Here’s how the next frenetic three weeks are shaping up for each candidate:Bernie SandersSanders will barnstorm Super Tuesday states with rallies in North Carolina, Texas, Nevada and Colorado through the weekend.He could face a little trouble from the unions who dominate Democratic politics in the state.The Culinary Union, whose 60,000 hospitality workers are predominately Hispanic, hasn’t endorsed a candidate. Neither has the Service Employees International Union.The Culinary Union distributed a one-page handout to members warning them about “presidential candidates suggesting forcing millions of hard working people to give up their health care,” the Nevada Independent reported, an oblique reference to Sanders’ Medicare for All proposals.Although Biden has older black voters on his side, younger African Americans have been attracted to the 78-year-old senator from Vermont. Sanders is sending adviser Nina Turner to the Carolinas along with actors Susan Sarandon and Danny Glover, just two members of his celebrity surrogate stable, along with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.Pete ButtigiegButtigieg will focus his upcoming travel on Super Tuesday states as well as Nevada. He’ll also have four fund-raisers in Indiana as well as California to pay for ad buys and the cross-country campaign.He has raised more money than his rivals from California’s wealth centers of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, but he is polling there in single digits. His historically close second-place finish in New Hampshire and celebrity appeal could give him a boost.The Buttigieg campaign acknowledged it has fewer paid staff on the ground in Super Tuesday states than his competitors, but said it’s trying to get volunteers to recruit friends and family.For Buttigieg, the playbook is similar to his successful Iowa strategy: Focus on areas that voted for both Obama and Trump, hoping to appeal to more moderate voters.Amy Klobuchar“Hello, America, I’m Amy Klobuchar and I will beat Donald Trump,” Klobuchar exclaimed in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, re-introducing herself to the field after hanging in the second tier for months.After her surprisingly strong finish in the New Hampshire primary, Klobuchar is going on a hiring spree and holding a New York fund-raiser Wednesday to replenish her resources.Joe BidenBiden didn’t even stick around to watch the New Hampshire results and thank supporters. Instead he went to South Carolina, where he is focusing on predominately African American congressional districts there and elsewhere in the South in the hope of netting significantly more delegates. One such place: the Alabama district held by Representative Terri Sewell, who has endorsed Biden.But first, Biden needs to convince donors that he’s still worth backing. On Thursday, he’ll be in New York for a pair of high-dollar fund-raisers organized by influential contributors including Marc Lasry, Mark Gallogly, Jane Hartley and Rufus Gifford. Then he decamps to Las Vegas until the Nevada caucuses, jumping off for Super Tuesday stops around the West.Biden’s also hoping the Nevada unions skeptical of Medicare for All will favor his plan to bolster Obamacare.Biden has been losing black support to Bloomberg and has some repair work to do, which explains his leaving New Hampshire before the polls closed to hold a rally in South Carolina. A Quinnipiac poll on Monday showed Biden, Barack Obama’s vice president, losing 22 percentage points in that demographic, and Bloomberg is picking up the lion’s share there.While Biden is in Nevada, he’ll send prominent African American surrogates — like senior adviser Symone Sanders and Louisiana Representative Cedric Richmond — to South Carolina.Michael BloombergThe former New York City mayor has opened more than 150 offices with 2,000 staffers in 43 U.S. states and territories, plus 400 workers at his campaign’s New York City headquarters. He got into the race in November and ignored the first four contests, where candidates are expected to spend months tending to the grassroots.Dan Kanninen, the campaign’s states director, said Bloomberg plans to compete for delegates in all 165 districts in play on Super Tuesday.The chaotic aftermath of the Iowa caucuses prompted Bloomberg to double his advertising budget as the progressive Sanders surged and Biden began to collapse, leaving an opening for a centrist candidate.In 2016, no candidate had spent money on television ads in Super Tuesday states on the day of the New Hampshire primary. Bloomberg has already spent at least $95 million in the Super Tuesday states, including $39.8 million in California and $33.3 million in Texas.The only other candidates competing in California’s air war so far are Tom Steyer, with $21.8 million in ads, and Sanders, who leads there, with $4.1 million.Tom SteyerSteyer, another billionaire, is polling in single-digits nationwide but gaining in South Carolina after shifting the focus of his campaign to racial issues. In last week’s debate in New Hampshire, he was the only candidate to fully endorse reparations for slavery.To collect the delegates needed to secure the nomination, Democrats need to get at least 15% of the vote to be eligible for delegates. The bigger the margin, the more delegates.Most campaigns must be strategic in which states they target and which they ignore. Candidates can win delegates at both the statewide and congressional district level. Some congressional districts are worth more than others based on the number of Democratic voters.Those decisions will be made by the delegate directors.“It’s a science and an art,” said Jeff Berman, the delegate director for Obama’s successful 2008 nomination fight who’s now working for Steyer. “Each campaign looks at its strengths, looks at the media markets, looks at its budget and integrates those factors into a calculation of where it can be competitive.”\--With assistance from Bill Allison, Jennifer Epstein, Mark Niquette, Emma Kinery, Tyler Pager and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou.To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Korte in Manchester, New Hampshire at gkorte@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • How Done Is the Sprint Deal?
    Bloomberg

    How Done Is the Sprint Deal?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Is Sprint Corp. a duck or a rabbit?Bear with us. Earlier this week, SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son showed investors a bemusing slide with an ambiguous image of a duck and rabbit. If you look at the picture from the right, you see a different critter than the view from the left.In his characteristically gnomic fashion, he was trying to suggest that there were two ways of evaluating SoftBank, and investors were doing so from the wrong perspective. But the analogy could also hold true for Sprint, the U.S. carrier in which SoftBank is the biggest shareholder, and whose planned merger with rival T-Mobile US Inc. finally secured the regulatory green light on Tuesday.When it was agreed back in April 2018, the all-stock deal gave Sprint an equity value of $27 billion. Since then, the two firms’ trajectories have diverged. Prior to Tuesday’s decision, T-Mobile stock had gained 31%, while Sprint had fallen 26%. Because Sprint shareholders are set to get T-Mobile shares in exchange for their existing stock, the value of the deal had therefore climbed to $36 billion, while the market only valued Sprint at $20 billion.So you can see why Deutsche Telekom AG, which owns 63% of T-Mobile, is now seeking to renegotiate the terms of the deal, whose existing terms lapsed in November. It looks like it might now be overpaying, so Tim Hoettges, the German firm’s CEO, has a fiduciary duty to his shareholders to at least give it a try.Here’s the metaphorical duck. Son is more vulnerable than he might have been just a week ago. That’s because the activist investor Elliott Management Corp. has built a stake in SoftBank, seeking governance improvements and a $20 billion buyback. SoftBank is meanwhile trying to find the capital for its new, reduced Vision Fund, the follow-up to the $100 billion pot of venture capital cash that Son used to make outsize bets on Uber Technologies Inc., WeWork parent We Co. and some 80 other firms over the past three years. The deconsolidation of Sprint reduces its debt exposure, while selling the remaining stake could free up capital to invest in the new fund or buybacks. The current deal terms value its stake at about $30 billion.What’s more, Sprint needs the merger more than T-Mobile. The declining share price has been driven by lackluster earnings and falling subscriber numbers. In the almost two years since the deal was agreed, Sprint’s number of subscribers has fallen by 460,000 to 54 million at the end of December. T-Mobile has meanwhile added 12 million customers for a total of 86 million.Now for the rabbit. A major renegotiation only becomes realistic if Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile are prepared to walk away from the deal. T-Mobile stock’s 13% jump after the takeover was approved on Tuesday suggests that shareholders are happy with the deal even under the current terms. It will create value by reducing the cost of new 5G networks; giving the new company more pricing power over its customers; and letting the German-controlled firm get hold of Sprint’s valuable wireless frequencies.Ultimately, the deal remains in both firms’ interests. Deutsche Telekom would probably prefer an expensive takeover to no deal at all. Were the terms to be reevaluated based on the diverging stock prices, then T-Mobile could expect a swap ratio of at least 12 Sprint shares for each of its own (assuming a $27 billion valuation), up from the 9.75 shares agreed two years ago. Is such a drastic change likely? No. But given SoftBank’s need for cash, there’s a good chance it will be open to concessions to get the deal done.To contact the authors of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.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/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Telecom Stock Roundup: T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Approval, Qualcomm's Solid Q1 & More
    Zacks

    Telecom Stock Roundup: T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Approval, Qualcomm's Solid Q1 & More

    T-Mobile (TMUS)-Sprint (S) merger approval will likely pave the way for faster 5G rollout across the country. Qualcomm (QCOM) reports solid first-quarter fiscal 2020 results driven by 5G chip strength.

  • T-Mobile Parent Is Said to Seek New Terms for Sprint Deal
    Bloomberg

    T-Mobile Parent Is Said to Seek New Terms for Sprint Deal

    (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Telekom AG wants to renegotiate the terms for the sale of Sprint Corp. to its U.S. wireless unit T-Mobile US Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.The German carrier, the majority owner of T-Mobile, is seeking a lower price because Sprint’s shares have been trading below their level when the deal was proposed in 2018, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private.Getting one of the biggest U.S. wireless mergers ever over the finish line would be a boon to both companies. For Deutsche Telekom, the deal reduces its reliance on Europe, where carriers are struggling to grow amid fierce competition. For the chairman of Sprint owner SoftBank Group Corp., Masayoshi Son, it allows him to better focus on his technology investments and the $100 billion Vision Fund. The renegotiation talks are expected to start soon, the people said. They would follow a victory for the companies in a U.S. court this week, when a federal judge rejected a state lawsuit against the tie-up. Now the deal is in the home stretch, with only minor approvals left to secure and final financial terms to be ironed out. SoftBank declined to comment. Deutsche Telekom didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.Deutsche Telekom shares fell 1.4% in Frankfurt as of 12:58 p.m. on Thursday. What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:Deutsche Telekom has limited leverage to renegotiate the terms of its Sprint acquisition, we think, even as the valuation of the latter jumped to $75 billion from $60 billion in 2018 under the deal terms, despite worsening operational performance. The allure of consolidation, including the acquisition of an attractive spectrum portfolio, suggests only a modest potential improvement in stock-exchange ratio.\-- Erhan Gurses, BI telecoms analystClick here for the researchFrequency ConstraintsWhile Sprint’s standalone value has dropped, SoftBank also sees itself in a good position because T-Mobile needs Sprint’s wireless frequencies or would face capacity constraints within as little as two years, one of the people said.T-Mobile’s importance for Deutsche Telekom has grown steadily in recent years and it now accounts for about half of group sales, up from around a third in 2014. T-Mobile and Sprint haven’t renewed the merger agreement since it lapsed on Nov. 1, and there have been discussions regarding several issues that T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere described as “not hostile” that month on an investor call. T-Mobile has suggested there could be new terms.The combined company, which will operate under the T-Mobile name, will have a regular monthly subscriber base of about 80 million -- in the same league as AT&T Inc., which has 75 million subscribers, and Verizon Communications Inc., which has 114 million. T-Mobile will have more wireless frequencies than any other U.S. carrier, giving it an advantage as the industry transitions to the next generation of wireless technology, the much-faster 5G standard.Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Sprint and SoftBank would likely have to accept a lower price than when the merger agreement was first forged in April 2018. Sprint’s monthly churn -- a closely watched measure of how many customers leave -- has risen to nearly 2%, which means roughly a quarter of its subscriber base is quitting the carrier each year.The German company is likely to leverage that to negotiate a lower price, but Sprint also has valuable radio frequency spectrum without which T-Mobile US will face serious bottlenecks, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Wednesday.The Financial Times previously reported that Deutsche Telekom is pushing to renegotiate terms of the deal, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.(Updates with analyst comment in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Stefan Nicola.To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net;Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • T-Mobile Parent Deutsche Telekom Seeks New Terms for Sprint Deal
    Bloomberg

    T-Mobile Parent Deutsche Telekom Seeks New Terms for Sprint Deal

    (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Telekom AG wants to renegotiate the terms for the sale of Sprint Corp. to its U.S. wireless unit T-Mobile US Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.The German carrier, the majority owner of T-Mobile, is seeking a lower price because Sprint’s shares have been trading below their level when the deal was proposed in 2018, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private.Getting one of the biggest U.S. wireless mergers ever over the finish line would be a boon to both companies. For Deutsche Telekom, the deal reduces its reliance on Europe, where carriers are struggling to grow amid fierce competition. For the chairman of Sprint owner SoftBank Group Corp., Masayoshi Son, it allows him to better focus on his technology investments and the $100 billion Vision Fund. The renegotiation talks are expected to start soon, the people said. They would follow a victory for the companies in a U.S. court this week, when a federal judge rejected a state lawsuit against the tie-up. Now the deal is in the home stretch, with only minor approvals left to secure and final financial terms to be ironed out. SoftBank declined to comment. Deutsche Telekom didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.Deutsche Telekom shares fell 1.4% in Frankfurt as of 12:58 p.m. on Thursday. What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:Deutsche Telekom has limited leverage to renegotiate the terms of its Sprint acquisition, we think, even as the valuation of the latter jumped to $75 billion from $60 billion in 2018 under the deal terms, despite worsening operational performance. The allure of consolidation, including the acquisition of an attractive spectrum portfolio, suggests only a modest potential improvement in stock-exchange ratio.\-- Erhan Gurses, BI telecoms analystClick here for the researchFrequency ConstraintsWhile Sprint’s standalone value has dropped, SoftBank also sees itself in a good position because T-Mobile needs Sprint’s wireless frequencies or would face capacity constraints within as little as two years, one of the people said.T-Mobile’s importance for Deutsche Telekom has grown steadily in recent years and it now accounts for about half of group sales, up from around a third in 2014. T-Mobile and Sprint haven’t renewed the merger agreement since it lapsed on Nov. 1, and there have been discussions regarding several issues that T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere described as “not hostile” that month on an investor call. T-Mobile has suggested there could be new terms.The combined company, which will operate under the T-Mobile name, will have a regular monthly subscriber base of about 80 million -- in the same league as AT&T Inc., which has 75 million subscribers, and Verizon Communications Inc., which has 114 million. T-Mobile will have more wireless frequencies than any other U.S. carrier, giving it an advantage as the industry transitions to the next generation of wireless technology, the much-faster 5G standard.Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Sprint and SoftBank would likely have to accept a lower price than when the merger agreement was first forged in April 2018. Sprint’s monthly churn -- a closely watched measure of how many customers leave -- has risen to nearly 2%, which means roughly a quarter of its subscriber base is quitting the carrier each year.The German company is likely to leverage that to negotiate a lower price, but Sprint also has valuable radio frequency spectrum without which T-Mobile US will face serious bottlenecks, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Wednesday.The Financial Times previously reported that Deutsche Telekom is pushing to renegotiate terms of the deal, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.(Updates with analyst comment in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Stefan Nicola.To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net;Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SoftBank Founder Son Says He’s Open to Working With Elliott
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank Founder Son Says He’s Open to Working With Elliott

    (Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son opened the door to making at least some of the changes championed by activist investor Paul Singer, after the Japanese company reported a second quarter of losses from its startup investing.Son called Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. an “important partner” and said he is in broad agreement with the investor about SoftBank buybacks and share value. Son said he is on the side of shareholders, especially since he is the largest stockholder at the company. The two billionaires held discussions a couple weeks ago, he said.Son is adopting a more conciliatory stance just as he’s stumbling with his signature effort -- the $100 billion Vision Fund, which made him the biggest investor in technology. The fund lost money in the three months ended in December, one quarter after the meltdown at WeWork triggered a record loss for the Japanese company. On Wednesday, Son said he is no longer targeting $108 billion for a second fund and SoftBank may finance the effort on its own.“We are thankful that such a distinguished investor has joined us as a friend,” Son said at a press conference in Tokyo to discuss earnings. “We are basically in agreement on carrying out large buybacks when the finances allow it.”Elliott disclosed a stake of almost $3 billion in SoftBank this month, arguing the company’s shares are substantially undervalued compared with its assets. It has advocated for a share buyback of as much as $20 billion, along with governance changes and more transparency about its investments.The Vision Fund lost 225.1 billion yen ($2.05 billion) for the three months ended in December. SoftBank Group reported a slim operating profit of 2.6 billion yen, compared with the 344.7 billion yen average of analyst estimates.The past 12 months have been a roller coaster for Son and SoftBank investors alike. A year ago, the company unveiled a record buyback, sparking a rally that pushed shares to the highest since its dot-com peak in 2000. Uber Technologies Inc.’s disappointing public debut and the implosion of WeWork wiped out the gains over the next few months. But SoftBank surged again in the past week after Singer disclosed his stake and Son won approval to sell his Sprint Corp. to T-Mobile US Inc.SoftBank shares are up about 21% this year. They were little changed in Tokyo trading Thursday.Son focused on the positive in the presentation to shareholders and the media in Tokyo. He said the Vision Fund is on track to return to profit in the current quarter. The eight portfolio companies that are publicly trading, including Uber, Slack Technologies Inc. and Guardant Health Inc., have added $3 billion in paper profit in the current three months, he said.“At the last earnings briefing I used the words ‘I regret’ 20 times. But after a difficult winter always comes spring,” Son said. “The tide is turning,” he added, standing in front of a slide with the same words and a crashing wave.The most dramatic change in portfolio value since the quarter closed was Uber, whose shares have climbed more than 35% this year. That, Son said, means the Vision Fund’s stake is now worth $1.5 billion more than its investment, compared with $1 billion less at the end of December.The Vision Fund’s overall performance was murkier. SoftBank said the fund’s portfolio remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 88 investments. It reported a gain in valuation for 29 companies in the December quarter, while 31 saw their worth decline. The unrealized gain on the investments, or the difference between the cost at which it acquired the stakes and their present fair value, shrunk to $5.2 billion. That’s less than a third of the paper profit SoftBank reported six months ago.Atul Goyal, an analyst at Jefferies Group, pointed out that the losses at Vision Fund essentially wiped out profits created by the rest of the company.“These results validate our concerns that most other things that SBG does outside of Alibaba have led to distractions or value destruction,” he wrote in a research note.Vision Fund 2 Is Risk to SoftBank Investors, Analyst Says (Video)SoftBank said it is introducing new governance standards for its portfolio companies, including the composition of the board of directors, founder and management rights, rights of shareholders, and mitigation of potential conflicts of interest. The new rules will “enhance value creation and liquidity” at portfolio companies, it said in a statement.Elliott wants SoftBank to set up a special committee to review the investment process at the Vision Fund, which it thinks has dragged on the share price despite making up a small portion of assets under management, people familiar with the matter have said.Son’s best bet to date is still the investment he made in Alibaba two decades ago. In the latest quarter, SoftBank said it booked a 331.9 billion yen gain from the e-commerce giant’s listing in Hong Kong.That deal turned Son’s $20 million into a stake worth over $130 billion, a spectacular return that cemented his reputation as an investor and helped him raise the original $100 billion Vision Fund. But the track record since then has been spotty. In addition to the WeWork fiasco, he suffered setbacks at portfolio companies, including Wag Labs, Zume Pizza and Brandless Inc.Son, asked repeatedly about the second Vision Fund at the conference in Tokyo, said he still wants to raise the money but acknowledged the WeWork troubles have set back those plans. Major backers of the first fund, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co., have remained on the sidelines so far. He said SoftBank may start with a smaller, bridge fund so it can keep doing deals.“A lot of our planned investors have been worried by the trouble at WeWork and Uber and we heard their feedback,” Son said. “It’s fully possible for us to carry on investing entirely with our own funds.”He wasn’t precise about what the size of the fund would be, and said that it “seems right that the scale is somewhat reduced this time.”At a Milken Institute conference in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Vision Fund head Rajeev Misra said that the second fund has already made seven investments and another six are in the pipeline. About a dozen companies from the first fund are expected to list in the next 18 months, he said.“There’s no rush, they don’t need capital,” Misra said. “A lot of them won’t even raise capital through an IPO, it will be a direct listing.”SoftBank has weighed contributing $40 billion to $50 billion for the second fund, people familiar with the matter have said.“The company will struggle to fund both Vision Fund II and buybacks unless they get a large outside commitment to VF II,” Chris Lane, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein, said prior to the announcement.SoftBank’s last share re-purchase was announced about a year ago, a record 600 billion yen.The company’s own sum-of-parts calculation puts its total value at more than 12,000 yen a share. That’s more than double SoftBank’s actual share price, which values the company at about $110 billion. Elliott thinks SoftBank’s net asset value could be about $230 billion, people familiar with the discussions have said.Son urged investors to focus on SoftBank’s shareholder value, which would include its stake in Alibaba, rather than operating profit, which is swayed by share price fluctuation in investments like Uber. To illustrate, he showed a slide with a famous visual illusion that can look like a duck or a rabbit depending on perspective.“The only measure by which SoftBank, an investment company, should be evaluated by is whether shareholder value rises or falls,” he said.(Updates with shares in eighth paragraph)\--With assistance from Nicolas Parasie.To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at thyuga@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SoftBank's Biggest Name Is One Son Dare Not Mention
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank's Biggest Name Is One Son Dare Not Mention

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- SoftBank Group Corp.’s chairman took to the stage Wednesday afternoon to gloat about the company’s return to profit in a horrible year and to name drop some of the wonderful companies in his orbit. But the most important name of all was missing: Paul Elliott Singer. Getting top billing in Masayoshi Son’s earnings presentation was Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which netted the Japanese company a 331.9 billion yen ($3 billion) paper gain for the fourth quarter, and telecom arm SoftBank Corp., contributor of 244 billion yen in operating profit. Sprint Corp. also added to the bottom line, though investors were more excited Wednesday about the long-awaited approval of its merger with T-Mobile US Inc.Son couldn’t escape mentioning WeWork, formally know as The We Co., because it’s the elephant in the room weighing down the Vision Fund and by extension all of SoftBank. The $100 billion fund now has 88 portfolio companies. But Elliott Management Corp., the investment firm founded by Singer, was conspicuous by its absence in Son’s vocabulary. As a result, his evasion became an unintended key feature of his entire live performance.The famous activist investor was still there, writ large in a statement titled “SoftBank Group Adopts Enhanced Governance Standards for Investments.” Just last week, Elliott confirmed it had taken a nearly $3 billion stake in SoftBank because it saw room to close the gap between the value ascribed by equity investors and what its own balance sheet indicates. That news helped drive SoftBank’s share price up 8% for the largest gain in a year, a jump that was topped just a few days later when  the merger of the two U.S. telecom firms passed the final hurdle.Elliott has three key strategies that it hopes SoftBank can implement to boost the stock: a $20 billion share buyback, more independent directors, and better corporate governance, especially with regard to its investments.SoftBank’s press release on the governance, though, looks to be lip service rather than any kind of deep-seated reform. The four paragraph statement used the term standards eight times, but doesn’t actually detail what they are. We’re required to have faith that they exist and are robust. This new corporate governance policy wasn’t mentioned in the 83-page financial statement, and Son didn’t provide any details during two hours on stage. It wasn’t until two minutes from the end of Son’s set remarks that he even acknowledged Elliott, and then not by name but merely as “an activist investor.” He used the reference simply as proof that his pet peeve — that SoftBank’s share price severely lags its book value — was shared by others.Only during the Q&A session did Elliott’s name first get mentioned  — by a reporter. Son’s response, and many that followed, were consistent in dodging not only Elliott’s core demands but in recognizing that the U.S. fund even had a valid point. He demurred on the topic of buybacks, noting that they'd been done in the past. He claimed to have had plans to appoint more independent directors even before Elliott brought it up. He indicated that improving standards was already on the radar.Investors hoping for some contrition after the WeWork disaster — which saw SoftBank bail out the office rental company after an aborted IPO — would be sorely disappointed. Anyone believing that Son might suddenly discover the importance of enhanced management standards is naive. In his own words, corporate governance of startups is exercised by simply not investing in a problematic company.About the closest Son got to acknowledging any weaknesses in his strategy of making huge bets on unprofitable companies in the hope they’ll come good was to admit that he’d dialed back the size of the planned $108 billion SoftBank Vision Fund 2  — a possibility I foreshadowed last month. Smaller and more circumspect bets may now be on the table.Even before this second act, investors will need to contend with the more immediate fact that the Alibaba IPO was a one-time bonus, while the rest of SoftBank’s portfolio is at the mercy of stock markets at a time when the coronavirus epidemic is sending share prices on a roller-coaster ride.So while people may have high hopes about the role Elliott could play in spurring SoftBank to change its ways, they ought to take note of the fact that Son barely utters the name.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 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/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and Dish Network
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and Dish Network

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and Dish Network

  • T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Gets Federal Judge's Nod, Stocks Rally
    Zacks

    T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Gets Federal Judge's Nod, Stocks Rally

    T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) advocate the idea that the merger would prepare the New T-Mobile to compete with arch-rivals and lead to lower prices for Americans with faster Internet speeds.

  • SoftBank Stock Surges 14% After Sprint Sale Wins Approval
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank Stock Surges 14% After Sprint Sale Wins Approval

    (Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son is finally getting some good news.After a punishing year, the founder of SoftBank Group Corp. won approval for the sale of his Sprint Corp. to T-Mobile US Inc., a long-delayed acquisition that had been fiercely opposed by states including New York and California. The deal would extract the Japanese billionaire from the cash-draining U.S. wireless business and remove about $40 billion in net debt from his balance sheet. Sprint shares rose 78% in U.S. trading Tuesday after a federal court approved the deal, while SoftBank’s stock surged 14% in Tokyo.Son has been struggling to regain his footing after the meltdown at WeWork last year. Following the co-working startup’s failed initial public offering, he suffered setbacks at portfolio companies, including Wag Labs, Zume Pizza and Brandless Inc. The U.S. activist investor Elliott Management Corp. just took a stake in SoftBank, arguing its shares are undervalued.The Sprint sale helps Son in several ways. SoftBank will no longer face the risk of having to fund the wireless operator, a huge debt load will move off its balance sheet and Son will have more flexibility in raising capital for a share buyback or for his planned second $100 billion investment fund. Son will also have something to talk up to investors when he reports financial results on Wednesday.“This is obviously great news for Sprint,” said Kirk Boodry, an analyst at Redex Holdings who writes for Smartkarma. “It is better news for SoftBank.”SoftBank shares’ jump is the most in a year on an intraday basis, pushing the company’s market value to more than $110 billion. Son’s net worth rose more than $2 billion to $18.9 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaries Index calculations.The stock has gained about 20% this year including today’s increase.The terms of the T-Mobile deal are likely to be revised because the original deal has expired, Boodry said, which means SoftBank may end up with a smaller stake in the combined company. But SoftBank won’t be on the hook for what Boodry estimates would be a potential $5 billion to $10 billion in capital investments. The two companies said they plan to close as soon as April 1.SoftBank Group is expected to return to profitability in the December quarter after reporting a loss of more than 700 billion yen ($6.4 billion) in the previous quarter, including the writedown at WeWork. Still, operating profit is projected to fall about 20% to 345 million yen, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.In recent years, Son has overhauled his company to focus on startup investments and shift away from the more traditional telecom business. He set up the $100 billion Vision Fund in 2017 with the goal of becoming the biggest investor in technology. He even sold a stake in his Japanese wireless operation to public shareholders so he could focus on deals. For several quarters, his performance seemed strong as startup valuations rose and SoftBank regularly booked gains.But Uber Technologies Inc., one of SoftBank’s biggest bets, stumbled as it went public last year. Then WeWork’s valuation crashed from $47 billion to less than $8 billion. Public investors suddenly turned their backs on the fast-growing, money-losing startups that SoftBank had favored.In taking its stake, Elliott has urged SoftBank to buy back its shares because of their discount, arguing it could spend as much as $20 billion by trimming investments in companies like Sprint and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The New York hedge fund also wants SoftBank to boost the independence and diversity on its board and bring more transparency to its investment approach.Son is still determined to raise a second Vision Fund, originally targeting at least $100 billion. His early backers are reconsidering their commitments. But SoftBank has weighed contributing $40 billion to $50 billion, people familiar with the matter have said.With the Sprint sale heading for completion, Son would have more flexibility with his finances. The deal won’t bring in capital because SoftBank’s Sprint shares will be converted into stock in the combined entity. But he will be able to borrow against the equity, which is likely to be worth more given the early share reaction.“It certainly changes the conversation,” said Chris Lane, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein. “This is the first piece of good news in quite a while.”(Updates with share price from second paragraph.)\--With assistance from Pei Yi Mak and Andrew Heathcote.To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at thyuga@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SoftBank stock surges to seven-month high after judge OKs Sprint-T-Mobile merger
    Reuters

    SoftBank stock surges to seven-month high after judge OKs Sprint-T-Mobile merger

    SoftBank Group Corp stock surged to its highest price in over half a year in Tokyo on Wednesday, after a U.S. federal judge rejected an antitrust challenge to the proposed takeover of subsidiary Sprint Corp by T-Mobile US Inc . The ruling brings the Japanese technology conglomerate a significant step closer to slashing its exposure to a troubled asset at a time when other major bets face investor scepticism, and as it struggles to find backing for a successor to its $100 billion (77.13 billion pounds)Vision Fund. "This is obviously great news for Sprint... It is better news for SoftBank," analyst Kirk Boodry at Redex Holdings wrote in a note on the Smartkarma platform.

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