TOKYO—After 21 years, SoftBank Group Corp. is back on top.
Shares of the Japanese tech investor on Tuesday surpassed the peak they hit on Feb. 18, 2000, at the height of the dot-com bubble. They closed at 10,420 yen, equivalent to $98.96, which was almost double their price a year ago, and topped the old split-adjusted record of ¥10,111.1.
Much about the SoftBank of two decades ago would look familiar to investors today, starting with its guiding principle of betting big on the next tech revolution. Then, as now, global stock markets were on a tear, startups were listing at eye-popping prices, and SoftBank was building a huge stable of private companies.
“Structurally, we’re at the beginning of the AI [artificial intelligence] revolution, just as we were at the beginning of the internet revolution” in 2000, SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said at a press conference in Tokyo last week where the company reported around $11 billion in quarterly profit.
The differences are important too. Analysts say today’s SoftBank, known for its $100 billion Vision Fund, is more capable of withstanding market turbulence, even if stocks take a dive again.