SoftBank Group Corp.’s first-quarter profit rose 19 percent as proceeds from selling part of its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. helped offset losses at Sprint Corp.
Net income at the carrier rose to ¥254.2 billion in the three months ended June 30, the Tokyo-based company reported Thursday. SoftBank’s operating profit was ¥319.2 billion. Sprint reported a $302 million loss in the quarter as the loss-making U.S. carrier focused on growing its subscriber base over profit.
The gradual turnaround at Sprint has been overshadowed by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son’s $32 billion deal for chip designer ARM Holdings PLC. The company’s biggest acquisition ever came just weeks after the departure of President Nikesh Arora, who is credited with a portfolio reshuffle that generated the cash needed for the purchase. The changes have left investors wondering about Son’s strategy for a company burdened by more than $100 billion debt.
“The ARM acquisition will have a major balance sheet impact in the short term and there has yet to be a satisfactory explanation of how and when it will become a core business for SoftBank,” Tomohisa Nonomura, an analyst at Toyo Securities Co., said before the earnings announcement. “Sprint recovery is picking up steam. We can now consider the timing of their return to profit. Domestic operations continue to generate steady profits.”
The company did not issue forecasts citing “uncertain factors.”
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