Now I remember why I like the stock market so much -- because sometimes companies do really stupid things and you can make a lot of money from their inanities.
That's how I feel after listening to this weird, out-of-body Softbank-to-buy-Sprint (S) press conference this morning. The whole exercise reminded me of those old Godzilla vs. Mothra movies; this time, the Earth's cell phone markets are at stake!
Let's just tick down how strange this whole thing has been.
1. We have heard absolutely nothing from the always-candid Dan Hesse, Chief Executive of Sprint Nextel and one of my favorite CEOs. He has not bothered to respond to my many reach-outs, other than to say -- through his people -- that he's not talking. Maybe that will change now, because Hesse did say at the press conference that he wouldn't necessarily buy Clearwire (CLWR). He told you that he would use the new money for something -- maybe pay down debt, maybe expand. Who knows?
2. Softbank is being incredibly defensive about the whole thing, having spent most of the out-of-body press conference talking about how it isn't overpaying. If I could subtext it, I would say it was, "I know you think we are really stupid, but now we will be the world's third-largest cell phone player. Therefore it's good, so don't worry about it."
3. We still aren't all that clear what the rest of Sprint is worth. We know Softbank will be buying in the open market, but how aggressively, and with what kind of top? Who knows? There's lots of firepower, but will it be real? Will it just be on the bid side? Who can figure that out?
As for myself, this wacky deal makes me want to sell some of Sprint -- it's a stock that I have recommended heavily in the past. I'd let the rest run just in order to see how wild and crazy Softbank will get in what seems like an attempt to walk up a stock to see how far it can go.
I've never seen anything like this one. I guess all you can really do is to say, "Thank you, Masayoshi San!"