A frown quarter (STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)
Never disappoints on the quirky decks... Japanese investment giant Softbank is famous for its simple but poetic earnings decks, which include pictures of unicorns falling into the "Valley of Coronavirus" (slide 50) and a powerful slide that just says "Many Regrets" (11). To understand the mood of Softbank's latest earnings, check out this frown on slide 4.
The decks are still iconic... but Softbank’s investments have soured. Rising interest rates have crushed high-flying valuations, while China’s regulatory crackdown on tech pummeled Softbank’s investments in Asia. Now Softbank is selling to raise cash and soothe losses:
It can be hard to see the downside… when the upside is so in your face. Softbank was riding high when tech was booming. For 2020, it posted a record $46B profit — the highest for a Japanese company, and $5B more than Google earned that year. CEO Masayoshi Son said he’d become "somewhat delirious" when prices soared, and regrets all the $$ he funneled into startups. Now Softbank is imposing discipline to weather the markets’ ups and downs.