SoftBank’s Son Poised for Best Quarter in Years as Arm Jumps

(Bloomberg) — After a series of brutal setbacks, Masayoshi Son has put SoftBank Group Corp. on track for one of its strongest quarters in years, with what is likely to be its first profit in more than a year.

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The Tokyo-based investment firm is expected to report net income of ¥373 billion ($2.5 billion) for the three months ended in December, according to a Bloomberg average of five analysts. This can be attributed to the increase in its stake in T-Mobile USA Inc. and rising valuations for the startups in its Vision Fund portfolio. The Vision Fund is likely to report its biggest profit since June 2021, of ¥111 billion, according to Astris Advisory.

Moreover, Sun’s most prized holding – Arm Holdings Plc – has risen more than 40% since going public in New York last year. This gain won’t impact SoftBank’s income statement due to complex accounting rules, but it contributes to SoftBank’s net asset value, one of Son’s favorite metrics for the health of an investment firm.

Buoyed by Arm, SoftBank’s NAV is likely to top $121 billion, the highest in nearly two years. In the December quarter, the chip designer’s shares hit an all-time high of $77.47 per share, valuing the firm at $79 billion.

“This is a very good development,” said Kirk Boodry, an analyst at Astris Advisory. “They’re going to say, ‘Look we’re good investors because our NAV is rising.’ That would be the first point. The second is that value is driven by AI – this will come back into the AI ​​story.

Arm’s rise was fueled by expectations that UK chip designers will play an increasingly important role in the production of AI chips. Shares of semiconductor companies capped their best year in more than a decade, led by chipmakers who may have the most to gain…

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