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SoftBank on Sprint: We see Light at the end of the Tunnel

August 6, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

SoftBank, the owner of Sprint, recently announced their earnings. And actually reported higher than expected, thanks to Sprint doing better than they had expected. SoftBank is forecasting “light at the end of the tunnel” in regards to Sprint. SoftBank also announced a share buyback of nearly $1 billion. Or 120 billion yen. This would be the biggest buyback for SoftBank if it’s carried out in full. SoftBank’s Son said this surprise move is due to their share price and renewed confidence in Sprint, which cost them about $20 billion in 2013. And is still struggling, however the turnaround has started.

SoftBank’s CEO, Masayoshi Son spoke with reporters and stated, “Repurchasing shares is an effective way of returning profit to shareholders. But it’s also a message from management to markets, regarding the share price.” He went on to say “We’ve no become fully confident.” In the recent quarter (April to June), SoftBank’s operating profit rose to about 343.6 billion yet. That’s an increase from 319.4 billion yen a year prior. This was better than what analysts estimates were, at around 320 billion yen.

While SoftBank reported a higher than expected quarter, Sprint was the opposite. While they did add customers, they did still lose about $20 million in the quarter. Masayoshi Son stated during the Sprint conference call this week, “There was a time when I lost confidence in managing Sprint. Now I have no intention of selling.”

So there you have it. SoftBank isn’t planning on selling Sprint, and they still think they can turn the company around. Sprint has seen a bit of a turnaround, while it’s not to the same degree as T-Mobile’s turnaround – yet – Sprint is actually adding customers now instead of losing nearly half a million each quarter. Which is a big improvement for the carrier. While Sprint did lose their #3 spot to T-Mobile, they are definitely ready to fight on the battle lines and get that spot back and challenge the duopoly for #1 and #2 spots in the US. Hopefully there’s good days ahead for Sprint. They are investing pretty heavily in the network and hopefully that brings back a decent return rather soon.