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Fri, 27 Mar 2020
21:57:00 +0000
SoftBank Group Has Multiple Problems. It Also Has an Undervalued Stock.
Moody’s isn’t impressed, but maybe it should be: SoftBank has holdings worth almost triple its current stock price.
Thu, 26 Mar 2020
14:44:54 +0000
HP CEO on how the company is responding to COVID-19
HP CEO Enrique Lores joins Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to discuss how HP is faring amid the coronavirus outbreak and what it is doing to support the U.S. front liners.
Thu, 26 Mar 2020
00:51:00 +0000
SoftBank Says Ratings Firm Is ‘Biased and Mistaken’
Moody’s chopped its rating on SoftBank Group debt by two notches. The Japanese telecom giant said there was no rationale for the downgrade.
Thu, 26 Mar 2020
00:21:33 +0000
SoftBank Blasts Moody’s for ‘Biased’ Ratings Downgrade
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. lashed out at Moody’s Corp. after its debt was downgraded by two notches, accusing the ratings company of “bias” and “creating substantial misunderstanding” days after the investment group announced a $41 billion asset sale program intended to shore up confidence.SoftBank’s shares slid as much as 8.4% early in Tokyo trade. The Moody’s downgrade -- lowering SoftBank’s corporate family rating and senior unsecured rating to Ba3 from Ba1 -- pushed the company deeper into junk territory. It comes at a critical time for founder Masayoshi Son, who this week set in motion his biggest play yet to silence critics and shore up his company’s crumbling shares and bonds.“Such a downgrade, which deviates substantially from Moody’s stated rating criteria, will cause substantial misunderstanding among investors who rely on ratings in making investment decisions,” SoftBank said in a statement, which also asked Moody’s to withdraw the rating.While SoftBank had 1.7 trillion yen ($15 billion) of cash and equivalents on hand at the end of December, it also has a huge debt load: The firm faces 1.68 trillion yen of bonds and loans coming due over the next two fiscal years and a total of about 3.6 trillion over the following four-year period.Read more: Masa Son Unveils a $41 Billion Asset Sale to Silence His CriticsThe company, which also operates the $100 billion Vision Fund, is vulnerable to economic shocks given that debt, and its ties to unprofitable startups from WeWork to Oyo Hotels. Many of the Vision Fund’s biggest bets lie in what’s known as the sharing economy, which has been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic that’s causing millions of people to stay indoors. Travel spending has slumped as a result.SoftBank is said to be targeting the sale of $14 billion of stock in the Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., as well as slices of its domestic telecom arm and Sprint Corp., which is merging with T-Mobile US Inc. But SoftBank risked unloading some of its most prized assets at a discount given the downturn, Moody’s said in its statement.“Asset sales will be challenging in the current financial market downturn, with valuations falling and a flight to quality,” said Motoki Yanase, a Moody’s senior credit officer in Tokyo.Read more: SoftBank Is Said to Plan $14 Billion Sale of Alibaba Shares“SoftBank’s decision to withdraw its corporate and foreign currency bond ratings by Moody’s probably wouldn’t save the company from higher new borrowing and refinancing costs.”Anthea Lai, analyst, Bloomberg IntelligenceThe scale of the endeavor unveiled by SoftBank on Monday surprised investors. Despite several days of gains, however, the stock remains down about 30% from its 2020 peak, underscoring persistent concerns that tumbling technology valuations will damage Son’s company. S&P Global Ratings said this week the asset sales could ease downward pressure on SoftBank’s credit quality.The rout triggered by the coronavirus has spread to credit markets and sparked a surge in the cost of insuring debt against default -- including that of SoftBank, whose credit-default swaps are near their highest level in about a decade. Apollo Global Management, the alternative asset management house co-founded by Leon Black, has placed a short bet against bonds issued by SoftBank because of its tech exposure, according to the Financial Times.(Updates with share action from the second paragraph)For 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.
Wed, 25 Mar 2020
15:59:19 +0000
FCC Commissioner on how telecommunications are staying strong amid coronavirus
Yahoo Finance’s Editor in Chief Andy Serwer sat down with FCC Commissioner, Brendan Carr to discuss 5G and the strength of the telecommunications industry in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.
Wed, 25 Mar 2020
15:01:45 +0000
FCC Commissioner talks about the Secure 5G and Beyond Act
Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission Brendan Carr talks with Yahoo Finance's eidtor-in-chief Andy Serwer on a range of topics from coronavirus and the FCC's role to the recently passed Secure 5G and Beyond Act.
Wed, 25 Mar 2020
13:19:01 +0000
Nokia & Sprint Augment 5G Network With Software Upgrade
Nokia (NOK) collaborates with Sprint to achieve a record-breaking deployment of 5G network technology through a software upgrade over Nokia's much-acclaimed AirScale solution.
Wed, 25 Mar 2020
09:41:12 +0000
SoftBank Group Corp. -- Moody's downgrades SoftBank Group to Ba3; places ratings on review for further downgrade
Moody's Japan K.K. has downgraded SoftBank Group Corp.'s (SBG) corporate family rating (CFR) and senior unsecured rating to Ba3 from Ba1, and its subordinate rating to B2 from Ba3. At the same time, Moody's has placed the ratings under review for further downgrade. The rating action follows SBG's announcement on 23 March 2020 that it will monetize up to JPY4.5 trillion (about $41 billion) of its investment portfolio and use the proceeds to repurchase up to JPY2 trillion ($18 billion) of its own shares.
Tue, 24 Mar 2020
17:20:00 +0000
SoftBank Rally Continues as Company Reportedly Plans to Sell $14 Billion of Alibaba Stake
SoftBank’s single largest asset is its 26% stake in Alibaba. It reportedly intends to sell $14 billion of its shares, a little over 10% of its position.
Tue, 24 Mar 2020
15:12:10 +0000
T-Mobile Offers YouTube Premium Services to Boost User Morale
T-Mobile (TMUS) collaborates with YouTube to provide two months of free YouTube premium services as part of its much-acclaimed "T-Mobile Tuesdays" rewards program amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Tue, 24 Mar 2020
03:40:02 +0000
SoftBank Plans to Sell $14 Billion in Alibaba Shares
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. plans to sell about $14 billion of shares in Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. as part of an effort to raise $41 billion to shore up businesses battered by the coronavirus pandemic, according to people with knowledge of the matter.The Japanese conglomerate is considering raising the remainder of the money by selling a stake in SoftBank Corp., its domestic telecommunications arm, as well as part of Sprint Corp. following its merger with T-Mobile US Inc., said one of the people, who requested anonymity discussing private transactions. The Alibaba stake sale could range from $12 billion to as much as $15 billion, the people said.SoftBank’s shares surged as much as 21% in Tokyo Tuesday in their biggest intraday gain since listing, just days after marking a drop of roughly the same magnitude. The reversal comes as founder Masayoshi Son is finally doing what investors have been urging for years -- using his stake in Alibaba for shareholder returns and to pay down debt.Son has set in motion his biggest play yet to silence critics, unveiling the unprecedented plan Monday to unload 4.5 trillion yen ($41 billion) of stock and alleviate investor concerns that at one point shaved more than 40% off SoftBank’s value from a February peak. The company, which also operates the $100 billion Vision Fund, is vulnerable to economic shocks given its enormous debt load and ties to unprofitable startups from WeWork to Oyo Hotels. Many of the Vision Fund’s biggest bets lie in what’s known as the sharing economy, which has been particularly hard-hit by a virus that’s causing millions of people to stay indoors and slash travel spending.“The market sent a strong message and SoftBank has heeded it,” Kirk Boodry, an analyst at Redex Holdings who writes for Smartkarma, said after Monday’s announcement. “What’s changed is that this will entail a meaningful sale of Alibaba stake with much of the proceeds going to shareholders,” he added. “SoftBank has never done that before.”Read more: Masa Son Unveils a $41 Billion Asset Sale to Silence His CriticsWhile SoftBank didn’t specify which assets would be sold, its Alibaba stake is worth more than $120 billion and makes up the largest chunk of unrealized value. It’s unclear what timeframe SoftBank’s looking at -- its stock in Sprint and Hong Kong shares of Alibaba may be subject to lockup periods: one year from listing in Alibaba’s case and up to several years for Sprint, though certain conditions may allow earlier transfers and the company could employ special vehicles to get a deal done. Alibaba’s stock was up as much as 2.7%, reversing early losses on Tuesday in Hong Kong.An Alibaba spokesperson didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment. SoftBank spokespeople in Tokyo and the U.S. declined to comment.SoftBank’s Fire Sale May Erode Stake in Alibaba: Tim CulpanThe Japanese company’s envisioned asset sale would almost match its entire market value last week. Part of the proceeds would go toward a new share buyback program of as much as 2 trillion yen that comes on top of previously announced repurchases.The scale of the endeavor surprised investors and sent SoftBank soaring. Yet even after Monday’s and Tuesday’s combined gain, the stock remains down about 33% from its 2020 peak, underscoring persistent concerns that tumbling technology sector valuations will damage Son’s debt-laden company.The coronavirus-triggered rout has spread to credit markets and sparked a surge in the cost of insuring debt against default -- including that of SoftBank, whose credit-default swaps touched their highest level in about a decade. Apollo Global Management, the alternative asset management house co-founded by Leon Black, has placed a short bet against bonds issued by SoftBank because of its tech exposure, according to the Financial Times.Alibaba, Sprint and SoftBank Corp. are worth as much as $190 billion combined, estimates Atul Goyal, senior analyst at Jefferies Group. But Son will want to keep at least a 50% stake in the domestic telecom unit because it’s the only cash-generating asset and its dividends help pay for SoftBank’s interest on debt, he wrote. And since Sprint is going through a merger with T-Mobile, most of the funds will initially have to come from Alibaba, he said.“This buyback is music to our ears,” Goyal said. “But the timing of this announcement is not ideal. We would have ideally preferred such an announcement from a position of strength and not because the SBG stock came under tremendous pressure.”(Updates with Alibaba’s shares from the third paragraph)For 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.
Mon, 23 Mar 2020
21:45:09 +0000
Sprint (S) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know
Sprint (S) closed the most recent trading day at $7.63, moving +1.73% from the previous trading session.
Mon, 23 Mar 2020
12:00:21 +0000
5G Won't Help Rural Americans Shelter in Place
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- While the U.S. government and telecommunications industry have been engrossed in the race to 5G, much of the country is still in a slow crawl to regular home internet service. It’s a mistake with economic consequences, and unfortunately the coronavirus pandemic could provide the harshest evidence of that. Americans all around the country are being advised to stay home to slow the spread of the disease. That means adults and children are powering up their computers, laptops and tablets to work and study remotely for the time being, if they can. It’s part of a nationwide social-distancing effort that could go on for weeks or even months, as experts aren’t sure how the health crisis will progress from here. What may be more certain is that the near shutdown of the country’s economy will expose and perhaps exacerbate the digital divide that exists between wealthier cities that have reliable internet access and the many rural towns that don’t. Only 63% of rural Americans have a broadband internet connection at home, compared with 75% of Americans overall, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center early last year. That gap is only a slight improvement on the 16-percentage-point difference that existed 13 years ago. In a separate Pew study in 2018, about a quarter of rural respondents cited access to high-speed internet as a major problem, a far higher proportion than people living in urban areas or suburbs.The digital divide tends to be talked about in terms of being a wealth divide, which it absolutely is. But in rural communities, frustration over internet access is also notably shared across different income and education levels, Pew has found. So even as parts of the country are given no choice but to work from home, many that should have the ability don’t. In a similar vein, suburban kids using iPads to attend digital classes or learn from online tutors won’t have the same interruption to their education as children in rural or less well-off areas, where a greater burden may in turn be placed on parents.There’s also a problem within the problem: Nobody really knows exactly how many rural Americans are without high-speed internet, leaving it to guesswork through surveys. That’s due to a lack of useful coverage maps showing what areas have broadband access. During a panel last July about rural broadband challenges, Eric Koch, a Republican state senator from Indiana, said that when a broadband provider “serves” an area, that might mean one customer or a thousand. There’s also a disagreement over what “access” even means. The Federal Communications Commission measures it in terms of those with minimum internet download speeds of 25 megabits per second and at least 3 megabits per second for uploads. About 21 million Americans couldn’t access such connections as of 2017, the latest data available from the FCC. Faster speeds of 100 Mbps — which is what households using multiple devices really need — were deployed to only 58.6% of the rural population, compared with 88.5% of the U.S. overall.What makes this all the more maddening is that the country’s broadband problem has been willfully overshadowed by the fascination of late with 5G, the faster next generation of wireless networks that is being rolled out by carriers such as Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. FCC Chairman Aji Pai was giddy in throwing his support behind T-Mobile’s takeover of Sprint Corp. last year, citing the 5G possibilities and asking for weak concessions in return. The deal brings together the two low-cost carriers in an already highly concentrated market that’s trying to regain pricing power over consumers. “Carriers and the FCC are so obsessed with the next thing (5G), they’ve not ensured that everyone who needs access to the network can get it or afford it,” Gigi Sohn, a distinguished fellow with the Georgetown Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a former FCC official, said in an email Thursday.Even with 5G, more densely populated areas are being prioritized, where there are more structures upon which to affix the boxes that serve as mini cellular towers. Delivering 5G to smaller towns is more costly and cumbersome relative to the amount of customers that would be served, which means there’s little incentive to build there.The FCC will say there has been much progress made in closing the digital divide and that lots more work is being done. But it hasn’t been happening nearly quickly enough, and now a pandemic has paralyzed the country. Where you live could determine how you come out on the other side of it. This 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.
Sat, 21 Mar 2020
01:00:00 +0000
Where to Invest in Telecom Stocks Now
As Americans spend much more time at home, they are relying more on their internet, TV, and phone connections—and perhaps upgrading to more expensive telecom plans.
Fri, 20 Mar 2020
13:09:01 +0000
T-Mobile Ready to Close Sprint Deal Despite Coronavirus Scare
The merger of T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S), which remains subject to certain closing conditions, is undeniably going to disrupt the competitive landscape of the U.S. telecom market.
Thu, 19 Mar 2020
12:58:00 +0000
T-Mobile on track to close Sprint merger, as all 16 banks remain committed to funding
T-Mobile U.S. Inc. said it is "financially prepared" to close the planned merger with Sprint Corp. , in an attempt to reassure investors amid the uncertainties surrounding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. "The company has been in communication with all sixteen banks and has not received any notification that any of the banks are unprepared to fund their commitments to support the closing of the merger transaction," T-Mobile said in a statement. T-Mobile shares fell 0.6% in premarket trading, while Sprint shares slid 3.3%. Over the past month, shares of T-Mobile have lost 26.0% and of Sprint have declined 20.9%, while the SPDR Communication Services Select Sector ETF has given up 28.2% and the S&P 500 has dropped 29.2%.
Wed, 18 Mar 2020
01:53:54 +0000
SoftBank Group Falls Most Since 2012 After S&P Cuts Outlook
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. shares fell the most since 2012 after S&P Global Ratings cut its outlook to negative, as investors grow increasingly skittish about the company’s prospects with global markets in tumult.The credit-rating agency said the Japanese conglomerate’s plan to spend up to 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) buying back shares amid plummeting markets raises questions about its commitment to sound financial practices. The company’s shares dropped as much as 12%, the most intraday since October 2012. The agency did affirm the company’s long-term issuer BB+ rating.SoftBank said it would buy back as much as 7% of its shares last week, taking a step advocated by activist investor Elliott Management Corp. to boost stockholder value. But the move has done little to reassure investors, with the stock down more than 15% since the announcement.“The buyback plan is likely to weigh on SoftBank Group’s credit quality because it strongly underscores its aggressive financial management,” S&P’s Hiroyuki Nishikawa and Makiko Yoshimura wrote in a research note. “Under normal circumstances, the current rating would likely tolerate the impact of a share buyback of this scale. But the buyback follows a plan announced in October 2019 to provide extensive financial support to U.S.-based investee WeWork Companies LLC. It also comes amid large falls in stock prices.”SoftBank Group’s market value has tumbled to about 6.98 trillion yen, about the same as SoftBank Corp., the domestic telecom operation that sold stock to the public last year. SoftBank Group still owns about two-thirds of the unit.“The company may struggle to maintain a level of financial soundness that is commensurate with the rating if stock prices remain volatile and result in a sharp drop in the value of its investment assets,” the S&P analysts wrote. Just after the S&P move, news emerged that SoftBank has told shareholders of WeWork that it could withdraw from an agreement to buy $3 billion of stock in the embattled co-working business, casting doubt on a deal that had been set to close in about two weeks.In a message to stockholders reviewed by Bloomberg News, the Japanese conglomerate cited numerous government inquiries into WeWork, including those from U.S. attorneys, the Securities and Exchange Commission, attorneys general in California and New York and the Manhattan district attorney.The WeWork stock purchase was part of a rescue financing from SoftBank after WeWork’s failed initial public offering last year. SoftBank already invested $1.5 billion as part of the bailout in October and is looking to arrange billions of dollars more in debt.S&P’s BB+ rating on SoftBank put it at the highest non-investment grade, same as Moody’s Ba1. Japan Credit Rating Agency ranks it at A-, or four levels above junk. Both Moody’s and JCR have a stable outlook on the company.SoftBank had 19.25 trillion yen of interest-bearing debt as of Dec. 31, a 23% increase since the start of the fiscal year in April. Sprint Corp.’s imminent merger with T-Mobile will lighten the load by about 4.9 trillion yen. The company had 3.8 trillion yen of cash and equivalents, while more than 2.6 trillion yen of bonds are coming due in the next three years.(Updates with SoftBank market value in fifth paragraph)For 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.
Tue, 17 Mar 2020
00:41:38 +0000
Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Sprint Corporation (S)
Coronavirus is probably the 1 concern in investors' minds right now. It should be. On February 27th we published an article with the title Recession is Imminent: We Need A Travel Ban NOW. We predicted that a US recession is imminent and US stocks will go down by at least 20% in the next 3-6 […]
Mon, 16 Mar 2020
12:49:37 +0000
Broadband, wireless industries pledge to keep a 'social distancing' nation connected
Broadband and wireless providers pledge not to cut small business and residential customers hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and to increase service availability to all.
Mon, 16 Mar 2020
11:05:18 +0000
Verizon retailer in Raleigh claims competitor is poaching employees
A Raleigh-based Verizon retailer is suing a former sales manager and a Sprint-linked competitor – claiming they are trying to poach its employees.



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