High volatility in financial markets should not prevent SoftBank from achieving its goals. The Japanese giant is preparing for IPO of its telecom unit. The conglomerate will put on the market 1.76 billion shares at a unit price of 1,500 yen, which should enable him to raise $23.5 billion. An amount close to the record $25 billion raised in 2014 by the Chinese online trading giant Alibaba.
Altria, owner of the Marlboro brand of cigarettes, announced a $1.8 billion investment in Canadian cannabis producer Cronos to take 45% of its capital. Altria will acquire 146.2 million new shares at C$16.25 per share, a 16% premium over the closing price of its target on Thursday in Toronto. At the end of the transaction, Altria will be able to appoint four directors to the board of Cronos.
In earnings front, shares of Children’s Place (PLCE) extended declines on Friday after releasing its third quarter fiscal accounts. Earnings were $49.9 million ($3.03 per share), compared with $44.1 million ($2.44 per share) a year earlier. The adjusted EPS is $3.07. Sales rose 6.6% to $522.5 million. Analysts on average expected a quarterly EPS of $3.07, for sales of $511.2 million. On a same-store basis, sales were up 9.5%, compared to 8.3% consensus. Over the year, the group now sees EPS between $7.69 and $7.79, against a previous range of $8.09 to $8.29. Sales are expected between $1.95 and $1.96 billion.
H & R Block (HRB) also declined a day after its third quarter results. The net loss amounted to $176.3 million ($0.86 per share), compared with $153.6 million ($0.74 per share) a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the loss per share is $0.83. Revenues totaled $149 million, compared to $141 million a year earlier. Analysts expected on average a quarterly loss per share of $0.93, for revenues of $140 million.
Korn Ferry (KFY) was another decliner after its results for the second fiscal quarter. Earnings were $46 million ($0.81 per share), compared with $36.3 million ($0.64 per share) a year earlier. In adjusted basis, the EPS is $0.85. Revenues totaled $506.8 million, up 11.3%. Analysts on average expected a quarterly EPS of $0.80, for revenues of $484 million. In the third quarter, the company now expects earnings between $0.77 and $0.85 a share.