SoftBank has just released their earnings for the fourth quarter of the year, and that included a 71% increase in their profit, bringing them to $2.64 billion for the quarter. That's up from $1.53 billion during the fourth quarter a year earlier. This is largely due to Sprint's turnaround in recent quarters. Sprint, during the same final three months of 2016, posted $8.5 billion in revenues, which was a 5% increase year-over-year. While they did still post a net loss of $479 million in that period, it was a much better net loss than the $836 million it recorded in the year prior. Over the last two years, under Marcelo Claure's leadership, Sprint has been working to cut costs, and save money while also working on their network and bringing customers back. It appears to have been working so far for Sprint, and it's starting to show in SoftBank's financials as well.
According to The Wall Street Journal, about half of SoftBank's growth last quarter was from Sprint alone. Keep in mind that SoftBank does hold a 83% stake in the fourth largest US carrier, so when Sprint does well, so does SoftBank. There's been a lot of spotlight for SoftBank and their CEO, Masayoshi Son since the election in November of Donald Trump. Son has confirmed that he will be bringing thousands of jobs back to the US, as will Sprint (without SoftBank's help, notably). On top of that, there are plenty of rumors swirling that now with a new FCC and other regulators in place, Sprint may attempt to pick up T-Mobile again.
While President Trump has been against the AT&T and Time Warner merger, he hasn't made a move to stop it just yet. So it would be interesting to see if a Sprint/T-Mobile merger could make it through the appropriate regulators and be approved under his administration. Of course, it'll be harder for Sprint now, than it was a few years ago, largely because T-Mobile is now much larger and a larger company than Sprint, but their price has also almost tripled since then. Which means SoftBank is going to need some fairly large loans to be able to pick up a controlling stake from Deutsche Telekom.