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SoftBank resumes buybacks with modest $380 million in September

SoftBank acknowledged in July it might not complete the buybacks by its originally scheduled target of March 31, the end of its fiscal year. (Photo: Bloomberg)Premium
SoftBank acknowledged in July it might not complete the buybacks by its originally scheduled target of March 31, the end of its fiscal year. (Photo: Bloomberg)

SoftBank Group resumed buying back shares in Sept, shelling out ¥40.1 billion ($380 million) after suspending in August a multi-billion-dollar program that’s proven instrumental in buoying the stock

SoftBank Group Corp. resumed buying back shares in September, shelling out ¥40.1 billion ($380 million) after suspending in August a multi-billion-dollar program that’s proven instrumental in buoying the stock.

Masayoshi Son’s conglomerate bought back 6.17 million shares last month, it said in a filing Wednesday, part of a now half-completed 2.5 trillion yen buyback program. The firm halted that in early August, about a month before announcing a deal to sell UK chip designer Arm Ltd. to Nvidia Corp. for $40 billion.

The Japanese company resumed buying on Sept. 15, the day after unveiling that mega-deal, then bought on every single business day till the final five days of the September quarter, when it’s prohibited from doing so. Despite the flurry of purchases, its shares are still down 2% over the month, after news emerged that the company was trading tech options, a strategy some investors deemed risky.

Still, SoftBank’s stock is at two-decade highs, bouncing back after a year of coronavirus setbacks and losses at startups such as WeWork. It’s more than doubled from its March Covid-19 trough, aided also by plans to offload ¥4.5 trillion in assets -- an effort SoftBank is on track to surpass.

It’s so far only spent roughly ¥1 trillion of its envisioned share repurchase amount. As of September, it had used just a fraction of the ¥500 billion it pledged in a program decided on June 25. It also hasn’t launched a ¥1 trillion buyback plan the board agreed upon on July 30. SoftBank acknowledged in July it might not complete the buybacks by its originally scheduled target of March 31, the end of its fiscal year.

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