Telco SoftBank Q1 profit rises 4%, buoyed by enterprise and internet businesses

Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank Corp on Tuesday reported a 4% rise in first-quarter operating profit, beating analyst estimates, supported by its enterprise and internet businesses.

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank Corp 9434.T on Tuesday reported a 4% rise in first-quarter operating profit, beating analyst estimates, supported by its enterprise and internet businesses.

April-June profit reached 280 billion yen ($2.6 billion). That compared with the 262 billion yen average of two analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

Parent SoftBank Group Corp 9984.T has cut its stake in the telco to 62.1% from 67.1% as Chief Executive Masayoshi Son sells assets to fund a record 2.5 trillion yen share repurchase plan.

The buyback has fuelled a divergence in market valuation, with SoftBank Corp's share price languishing below its 1,500 yen initial public offering price from December 2018, even as its parent's shares rocket to two-decade highs.

SoftBank Group reports its earnings on Aug. 11.

Japan's third-largest wireless carrier maintained its forecast of flat operating profit of 920 billion yen for the current financial year ending March 2021.

SoftBank is making a major push into online retailing through companies it controls. Z Holdings Corp 4689.T last week said operating profit from e-commerce topped its media business for the first time and online fashion retailer Zozo Inc 3092.T reported a big profit jump as shoppers shift online.

Separately on Tuesday, the telco said it had under-reported 3 billion yen of income during the financial year ended March 2019, entailing additional taxes.

($1 = 106.0600 yen)

Graphic: Diverging stock priceshttps://tmsnrt.rs/2Xpr7t3

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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