SoftBank quarterly profit soars on investment empire

TOKYO (AP) " Japanese telecommunications, internet and solar company SoftBank Group Corp. reported Wednesday that its October-December profit soared to about 40 times what it was a year ago.

Tokyo-based SoftBank's fiscal third quarter profit totaled 91.2 billion yen ($814 million) up dramatically from 2.3 billion yen in 2015. Quarterly sales were relatively flat on-year at 2.3 trillion yen ($20 billion).

SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son held a highly publicized meeting with President Donald Trump in New York late last year and promised to invest $50 billion in U.S. startups to create 50,000 jobs.

An avid overseas investor, SoftBank owns U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp. Sprint was struggling, but its performance has been improving recently.

It also owns Britain's ARM Holdings, an innovator in the "internet of things." That stake helped boost earnings.

SoftBank also sells the Pepper human-shaped companion robot. The company, founded in 1981, also has within its investment empire financial technology and ride-booking services.

SoftBank didn't give annual forecasts, citing uncertainties. The company generally doesn't provide earnings guidance.

For the latest quarter, SoftBank also benefited from a favorable exchange rate. A weak yen helps boost the value of overseas earnings when translated into yen.

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Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/yuri-kageyama

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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