updated 10:02 pm EST, Thu January 31, 2013
Softbank only Japanese cell operator increasing subscribers
Japanese mobile phone operator Softbank doubled its profits in the third quarter largely on the strength of Apple's iPhone and iPad. Net income climbed to 65.9 billion yen ($724 million) in the quarter that ended in December, up from $357.5 million a year ago. Sales grew 7.1 percent to $10.1 billion. The company rose 2.7 percent to close at $35.53 per share before the earnings announcement.
The company purchased a $20 billion share of Sprint Nextel to expand into the US, and also purchased Japanese company eAccess to meet iPhone bandwidth increases caused by the iOS devices on its network. The company believes that sales of Apple products have helped Softbank increase its earnings by seven times during the last four years. "Sales of the iPhone 5 have been strong, contributing positively to our earnings," CEO Masayoshi Son said.
Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Hitoshi Hayakawa said that "everything's going well for Softbank, unlike DoCoMo." Japan's largest wireless company DoCoMo posted declining earnings but increasing income for 2012. DoCoMo doesn't offer the iPhone, and suffered a loss in subscribers in November and December, the first losses in five years.