SoftBank posted an investment gain on its Vision Fund in the fiscal second quarter but booked another quarterly loss. The company attributed the gain to the sale of shares in chipmaker Arm to a SoftBank subsidiary, offsetting a decline in the value of other companies it is invested in, such as Chinese artificial intelligence firm SenseTime. The company reported net sales of 1.67 trillion Japanese yen ($11 billion), exceeding estimates, but also recorded a net loss of 931.1 billion yen ($6.2 billion), far surpassing the expected loss of 114.1 billion yen. SoftBank’s Vision Fund’s investment gain of 21.3 billion yen represented its second straight quarter of gains, a positive sign for the embattled tech investment arm.
This performance contrasts sharply with the record loss of $32 billion that SoftBank’s flagship tech investment arm incurred in the fiscal year that ended in March. However, it marks a turnaround after the Vision Fund posted its first investment gain in five consecutive quarters in the June quarter. This upturn is particularly noteworthy in light of SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son’s decision to shift from “defense” mode to “offense” mode, a sign of renewed optimism in the potential of artificial intelligence technology. Meanwhile, chip designer Arm, which went public during SoftBank’s fiscal second quarter and was acquired by the company in 2016 for around $32 billion, has valuated to over $50 billion, marking a significant milestone in this complex financial journey. However, while Arm posted an annual revenue rise for the September quarter, its disappointing guidance for the December quarter sent its shares lower in after-hours trading in the U.S.