TOKYO ⸺ SoftBank Group Corp shares slid 6% in early trading on Thursday after the conglomerate declined to extend its buyback program, removing support for the stock as concern over frothy portfolio valuations outweighed record earnings.
SoftBank completed its 2.5 trillion yen ($22.8 billion) buyback on Wednesday with Chief Executive Masayoshi Son declining to extend the repurchases while saying they remain an option.
SoftBank reported record profit following the listing of e-commerce firm Coupang Inc, but shares of listed investments including that firm and Doordash Inc have since been caught in a tech sell-off, and top asset Alibaba Group Holding Ltd by a regulatory crackdown.
“Without the buyback, SoftBank’s stock price is likely to reflect the performance of its listed investments,” Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal wrote in a client note, adding he was “extremely surprised” SoftBank did not extend the programme.
($1 = 109.7400 yen)
Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing; Reuters