SoftBank posts profit, but tech investments sting

SoftBank Group posted a 6.1 billion dollar quarterly profit on Monday (November 9).

That as a broad upswing in tech valuations helped lift its mammoth Vision Fund back into positive territory.

It's likely to be welcome news for investors unnerved by the firm’s recent stumbles.

Founder Masayoshi Son had long enjoyed a reputation for foresight, not least due to his early investment in Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba.

But doubts grew after a series of missteps, including big losses on investment in office-sharing firm WeWork.

On Monday Son was asked exactly how he saw the future of his firm.

His answer: SoftBank will focus on becoming an investment company that specialises in the AI revolution.

In recent months the Japanese conglomerate has been selling shares in Alibaba and its domestic telecoms network.

It put the cash into tech stocks and derivatives in a bid to weather this year’s tough times, though that too may have backfired.

SoftBank ended up taking a 1.3 billion dollar loss on the investments over the six months to the end of September.

Son doesn’t seem worried though.

He says he’s not hung up about earnings numbers, suggesting investors should focus on the overall value of the firm’s assets instead.