PSA Interviews & Media Coverage
8 February 2018
You Can Now Officially Play Esports for Money in Japan by Yuji Nakamura & Yuki Furukawa
"For the game companies, it's about the money. Worldwide revenue from competitive gaming -- including ticket sales, advertising, broadcast rights and merchandising -- will reach $5 billion annually by 2020, according to market researcher Activate. Tournaments outside Japan routinely draw tens of thousands of spectators. In China, the success of multi-player games like League of Legends, an esport sensation, has helped make Tencent Holdings Ltd. one of the world's ten most valuable companies, worth more than all of Japan's software publishers combined.
'The esports market has been closed in Japan and as a consequence Japanese companies have struggled to compete," said Pelham Smithers, owner of an eponymous London-based firm that researches Asian tech companies. "This weekend was a bit hastily arranged, but the organizers are throwing a lot of money at it. Give it 12-24 months, and I think we could see Japan become one of the main hosts of these tournaments.'"
22 January 2018
Bankers in fight to lure Softbank float to City by Richard Lloyd-Parry, Robin Pagnamenta
"....Keiichi Yoneshima, of Credit Suisse in Tokyo, said: "The reaction has been very positive. I think it will go ahead . . . Mr Son seems to want to invest more aggressively in future technology and is always thinking about how to raise finance to invest."
Pelham Smithers, whose firm conducts research on Asian technology companies, said that London was a frontrunner because Softbank already had an asset management operation in Britain. Mizuho Financial Group, of Japan, which co-owns a consumer lender with Softbank and advised it on the Arm deal, and Citigroup, with which Softbank has a long-established relationship, are viewed as strong contenders to act as advisers.
Robey Warshaw and The Raine Group also advised Softbank on the Arm transaction. Its legal advisers included Morrison & Foerster and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Other large banks likely to seek a role include Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. They advised Softbank on a recent $4.5 billion bond offering.
'It would make sense to list in the UK,' Mr Smithers said, adding that a London and Asian listing would ensure a "good 24-hour market" in the shares. He said that plans for the float were likely to be "reasonably well advanced". He added, however, that Softbank might choose to do the entire deal in Tokyo and avoid a foreign listing...."
15 January 2017
Softbank may split in two to focus on tech bets
"Some investors are concerned that SoftBank's shares trade too cheaply. Its current market cap is about 10 trillion yen ($90 billion). That's less than the value of its big stake in Alibaba, which research firm Pelham Smithers Associates estimates is worth a gigantic 14.7 trillion yen ($133 billion).
The reason for this gulf in valuation is that growth at SoftBank's mobile business -- which still contributes a huge part of the company's annual revenues -- has tailed off, giving investors few reasons to get excited about it.
Spinning it off will allow investors to pick and choose between SoftBank, the globe-trotting high-tech investor, and SoftBank, the slow and steady Japanese telco, according to Pelham Smithers...."
20 December 2017
Bitcoin as Money? Here's How It'll Happen by Andy Mukherjee
".... Now that bitcoin is a mainstream asset, with futures contracts traded at the world's largest exchange, becoming actual money should be the logical next step. But if you were to ask investors their expectations, the reply in most cases would likely be: "Not in my lifetime."
After all, even as an asset, the digital token's volatility is a damper. Researchers Pelham Smithers Associates and Albert Maass reckon that bitcoin is 25 times more volatile than stocks, and since it moves in lockstep with shares 94 percent of the time, only about 4 percent of an equity portfolio can be substituted without taking more risk for the same reward."
10 November 2017
".... The country has plenty of its own technology companies. Most of them actually make stuff, rather than dominating the intangible world of cyber space. That Japan does not have its own Faangs is partly down to the infancy of its bull run. It is also, smirks Pelham Smithers Associates, because tech goliaths such as Keyence, Tokyo Electron and Fanuc all start with consonants. Technology accounts for about 13 per cent of Japan's market, high for almost any country bar the US, which has nearly double that proportion...."
27 October 2017
Why Twitter's "fake counting" is pretty irrelevant
Pelham Smithers, managing director at Pelham Smithers Associates, speaks about micro-blogging site Twitter's third-quarter earnings beat.
3 Sept 2017
Nissan Hopes Drivers Will Turn To Its New Leaf by Sean McLain
TOKYO — Nissan Motor Co. was a path-breaker in electric vehicles for the mass market, but for nearly seven years the masses mostly ignored it.
This week, Nissan hopes to inspire car buyers to turn to its new Leaf. On Tuesday in the U.S., the company will release a revised version of its Leaf all-electric
25 August 2017
How to invest as electric cars get the green light
As emissions caps choke demand for diesel vehicles, electric cars will start motoring. Buy lithium miners and battery makers to cash in, says Julie Boote of Pelham Smithers Associates
18 August 2017
China has no practical alternative to Alibaba, online retail
Chinese e-commerce giants like Alibaba should have a degree of oversight because of China's lack of a retail alternative to digital, Pelham Smithers, managing director at Pelham Smithers Associates, said.
7 August 2017
Softbank Profit Tops Estimates on Shift To Deals, Investing
.....SoftBank's founder Masayoshi Son has long relied on earnings from Japanese wireless and telecom operations, using the money to make acquisitions and investments. The billionaire is in the process creating the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, which was included in the results for the first time, to speed up investments in technology startups abroad. And the dealmaking is set to continue, with Sprint said to be back in merger talks with T-Mobile US Inc. "The issue is whether SoftBank is a conglomerate, or else an investment vehicle," Pelham Smithers, whose London-based firm offers equity research on Asian technology companies, wrote in a note to clients. "This is likely to be the question which focuses the minds of both senior management and investors over the next few years."........
7 August 2017
Softbank seeks to push into US with stake in Uber or Lyft
..... SoftBank on Monday broke out the results of the private equity and venture capital mega-fund for the first time, a move that analysts said made sense and could help with attaching a value to the company. "You could value the SVF business as it were any other fund management business and that makes it easier to value SoftBank in the future because you don't have to estimate the fund's undisclosed holdings," said Pelham Smithers, a veteran Japan analyst........
21 July 2017
Netflix numbers show there is an upside for Tech
Pelham Smithers, managing director at Pelham Smithers Associates, takes a look at how the tech sector has performed so far in the latest round of earnings.
26 June 2017
Toyota's problems highlight risks for carmakers
Fuel cell infrastructure is about 10 years behind electric vehicle charging infrastructure, reckons Julie Boote, analyst at Pelham Smithers Associates. She says it is too early to call Toyota's push into fuel cells a misinvestment, but the timing has been off because governments around the globe supported the development of electric vehicles.
26 June 2017
Is it the end of the road for the motor car marque?
....... BMW is trialling an "Airbnb for cars" scheme to let drivers in the US rent out their own cars to others using an app. Mercedes has a similar scheme in Germany, called Croove, but it is open to all drivers regardless of car brand. Julie Boote, an analyst at Pelham Smithers, says these moves are necessary as car ownership will increasingly be displaced by fleet services that will operate cars at all hours of the day, necessitating faster replacement that could lift overall sales......
23 June 2017
Toshiba to be demoted to second ranks of Tokyo Stock Exchange
"…….Under a strict reading of TSE rules, Toshiba’s failure to submit signed-off accounts by June 30 would trigger a delisting process but history suggests a level of flexibility in those rules being applied. Pelham Smithers, who runs a boutique research company focused on Japan, said that the Toshiba case had forced the authorities into an uncomfortable choice given Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s purported mission to clean up corporate Japan. “If the authorities play the ‘extenuating circumstances’ card it will be seen for what it is — preferential treatment for a Japan Inc stalwart,” he said…."
23 April 2017
Radio's the Star to Kill Pricey 7-Eleven Checkout Clerks
"........ switch could translate into 50 billion yen ($460 million) in demand for RFID tags, Pelham Smithers Associates wrote in a research note on the Smartkarma website. Potential demand for 7-Eleven RFID... "
11 April 2017
Fujitsu in big trouble over little Japanese chip maker
........ "The problem for Fujitsu is whether it can afford to be seen to step down," said Pelham Smithers, who runs a boutique research firm focused on Japan. "If the bidding does stop here, Fujitsu's management may well think they've dodged a bullet. But if it doesn't, they could be in for a rough ride."
18 January 2017
Five questions Winterkorn will face over Dieselgate
........ Julie Boote, analyst at Pelham Smithers Associates, said "there are three possible scenarios. First, there is not enough evidence to suggest anyone on VW's management or supervisory boards knew about the cheating, Second, the fine finalised last week with the DoJ includes secretive immunity for board members from prosecution. ......"
BBC World - World Business Report
6 Jan 2017
Samsung Q416 numbers
Pelham Smithers discusses Samsung's Q4 2016 figures and gives his views on what they show for the company going forward.....
21 Dec 2016
Apple may produce curved smartphone screens in 2017
Pelham Smithers, Managing Director at Pelham Smithers Associates, discusses his top technology stock picks, weighing in on product innovations from Apple, Samsung, Sony and...
5 Dec 2016
BMW confident inspite of new threat from US technology rivals
...."It seems a straightforward conclusion to reach that the new participants in this game will gain the upper hand, with the old ones losing out," says Pelham Smithers analyst Julie Boote.
But this also could be an opportunity for carmakers, according to analysts. Globally, BMW accounts for about 2 per cent of sales. Ms Boote points out that sales to fleet services could offset a decline to private owners...........
23 Nov 2016
Nissan cross out
"...newer companies, as Pelham Smithers Associates points out, see things differently partly because of high levels of management ownership. Dwango, a mobile internet content maker, disagreed with its market valuation, so management bought itself out in 2014.Another, games maker GungHo Online, paid out $1.5bn to its shareholders between 2014 and 2016. Others, such as Gree and Colopl, still have net cash worth more than half their market value...
14 Nov 2016
Not too concerned about tech stocks going forward
Pelham Smithers, managing director at Pelham Smithers Associates, weighs in on whether he thinks a Donald Trump presidency will be good for technology and stock market...
24 Oct 2016
Is AT&T Mega-deal a Match made in Heaven
AT&T Inc., the second-largest U.S. wireless provider, has agreed to acquire Time Warner Inc., owner of HBO and CNN, for $85.4 billion. Including the New York-based media company's debt and cash, the purchase is valued at $108.7 billion, making it the biggest takeover announced in 2016. If the deal goes through, AT&T will own a prized cache of movies and TV shows it can deliver to millions of pay-TV homes, mobile phones and internet customers. Pelham Smithers Associates Managing Director discusses with Anna Edwards and Manus Cranny on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Europe."
24 Sept 2016
Samsung's Note 7 Recall Will Be Pricey, But Probably Worth It
......... Estimates from Credit Suisse Group AG, Daishin Securities Co. and Pelham Smithers Associates put the recall's cost at around $1 billion or less. Asked about the financial impact, Koh Dong Jin, the head of Samsung's smartphone business, said at Friday's press conference in Seoul that it was a "heartbreaking amount." ....
9 Sept 2016
Sony PS4 'chief entry point for virtual gaming'
Pelham Smithers, managing director at Pelham Smithers Associates, describes Sony's PS4 as "disruptive technology," and adds that Apple is "changing its game."
28 July 2016
Facebook's performance is extraordinary
Pelham Smithers, head of Asian research and managing director at Pelham Smithers Associates, talks about the power of video content found online, in light of Facebook's earnings.
9 June 2016
Should Google be More Aggressive on the M&A Path?
Alphabet Inc., the owner of Google, is using its computing prowess to branch out into a dizzying array of new areas, from medical diagnoses to "transformative" partnerships between humans and artificial intelligence, laying out its ambition at the company's annual shareholder meeting. Pelham Smithers, Managing Director at Pelham Smithers Associates Ltd., discusses with Bloomberg's Francine Lacqua on "The Pulse."
2 February 2016
Adele and James Bond boost Sony profits and buoy shares
.......... Apple last week warned that iPhone sales would see their first year-on-year decline in the March quarter. Pelham Smithers, who runs a boutique research firm focused on Japan, added: "We have to assume any deterioration in the third quarter will only be magnified in the fourth quarter."
28 October 2015
Apple's China Focus Provides Boost to iPhone Dominance
Pelham Smithers, managing director at Pelham Smithers Associates Limited, and Axel Merk, president and chief investment officer at Merk Investments, examine Apple's fourth-quarter results, the company's business in China, their increasing reliance on the iPhone and Apple's potential for growth in Asia. They speak on "Bloomberg Surveillance."
7 October 2015
Samsung has stabilized market share
Pelham Smithers, managing director of Pelham Smithers Associates, says the Galaxy S6 has stabilized Samsung's mobile business.
30 September 2015
The Outlook for Toshiba after accounting scandal
Toshiba's semiconductor and government-related businesses face issues such as a slowing global economy, says Pelham Smithers, head of Asian research, MD at Pelham Smithers Associates.
16 September 2015
Mobile operators: continental divide
.............. Japan's mobile operators DoCoMo, KDDi, and Softbank - deliver a good service at a cost per customer of roughly $35, far less than in the US and UK, reckons Japan specialist Pelham Smithers Associates. And tariffs in local terms have dropped 17 per cent over the last three years
5 August 2015
Sony CFO looks to turn company aways for cuts to growth by Kana Inagaki
.......... In April, Mr Hirai received a scathing letter from a former chief financial officer, calling for the instalment of more engineers to revive “the Sony spirit”.
“It’s very difficult to move a company with the size of Sony from one way of thinking to another. To a large extent, the current management has achieved that,” says Pelham Smithers, who runs a boutique research firm focused on Japan.
10 April 2015
Galaxy S6 Is the iPhone 6 for Android Users
Pelham Smithers Associates Limited Managing Director Pelham Smithers and Bloomberg's Joshua Topolsky discuss both the Apple Watch and Samsung's Galaxy S6. They speak with Guy Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "The Pulse."
4 February 2015
Sony Is Back in the Game at the Top Level
Pelham Smithers Associates Managing Director and Parnter Pelham Smithers discusses Sony earnings and the impact the cyber-attack had on the numbers. He speaks with Bloomberg's Mark Barton, Anna Edwards and Manus Cranny on "Countdown."
4 February 2015
Sony has delivered 'home run' with Q3 results
Pelham Smithers, Managing Director at Pelham Smithers Associates, says Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has hit a "home run" after the Japanese corporation reported improved earnings
16 January 2015
Deflation isn't such a bonus after all
.............. We have a high exposure to the financial services sector and still growing levels of consumer and public sector debt. As Pelham Smithers, founder of the boutique research firm of the same name, puts it, "if you look only at the money we are less a country than a vast hedge fund........."
25 November 2014
Sony reassures on turnaround strategy by Kana Inagaki
..... The fact that Sony was holding its first investors meeting for its electronics business – lasting six hours – was an indication that it was comfortable with its turnround strategy, said analysts. "It is evidence that Sony itself is more confident again," said Pelham Smithers, who runs a boutique research firm with a Japan focus. He added that "Sony had not addressed important questions, including whether the smartphone business could survive without an economy of scale, and whether profit margins for the image sensor business could be maintained if smartphone prices continued falling with a surge in cheaper handsets from China..."
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31 October 2014
Tech Check Up: Taking the Pulse of the Industry
Pelham Smithers, Managing Director at Pelham Smithers Associates, discusses tech earnings, key trends we’re seeing and the outlook for the sector with Bloomberg’s Mark Barton and Anna Edwards on “Countdown.”
7 October 2014
Samsung Should Have Own Operating System
Pelham Smithers, Managing Director at Pelham Smithers Associates, discusses Samsung's revenues and outlook for the company. He speaks with Guy Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "The Pulse."
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17 September 2014
Sony rethinks smartphone strategy amid mounting losses
...scales back its mobile phone division. Some investors criticised Sony's handling of the growing smartphone losses. Pelham Smithers, who runs a Japan-focused boutique research firm, said: "There would have been a much better way to make this...
9 September 2014
Will Bigger Screens Mean Bigger Profits for Apple?
Pelham Smithers, Managing Director at Pelham Smithers Associates discusses the new iPhone 6, it's larger screen and how it will impact the smartphone market with Bloomberg's Anna Edwards, Mark Barton, Manus Cranny and Caroline Hyde on "Countdown."
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31 July 2014
Sony in the early days of recovery
Pelham Smithers, Managing Director at Pelham Smithers Associates, comments on Sony and Toshiba following their results, and says Sony seems to be in the early days of a "genuine recovery".
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Financial Times - FT Money
14/15 June 2014
We're in a bull market of complacency by Merryn Somerset Webb
".... The Japanese auto sector has, for example, fallen 8 per cent this year. But research from Pelham Smithers Associates shows the likes of Toyota and Nissan trading on price to earnings ratios of 9-10 times ......."
14 May 2014
Hardware electronics is 'trouble' for Sony
Pelham Smithers, head of Asian research at Pelham Smithers Associates, says Sony will remain in trouble until it can work out a way to "create an environment" to make its hardware electronics profitable.
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08 April 2014
Samsung Profit Suffers as Phone Prices Fall
Pelham Smithers, Managing Director at Pelham Smithers Associates, examines quarterly results from Samsung and the impact of competition from low cost phones as the company posted their second straight drop in profits on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.”
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24 February 2014
China's outbound ventures
Pelham Smithers, managing director and founder of Pelham Smithers Associates, says "it is important to be careful when comparing China's current ODI efforts with the heady days of Japan investment in the 1980s. The London-based research firm focuses on technology issues ......."
12 February 2014
Are Lenovo's shares undervalued?
After Lenovo posted a 30 percent rise in third quarter profit, Pelham Smithers, MD & Partner at Pelham Smithers Associates, discusses the stock's valuations.
17 January 2014
Size Not Apps Key to Apple in China
Pelham Smithers, Managing Director and Partner at Pelham Smithers Associates, discusses iPhones now being sold by China Mobile and the cultural differences among Smartphone buyers. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "The Pulse."
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7 January 2014
Samsung Did Well Under The Circumstances
Pelham Smithers, Managing Director and Partner at Pelham Smithers Associates, discusses Samsung's earnings, their telegraphed struggles, and factors that made the numbers look worse than they are. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "The Pulse."
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2 May 2013
Sony 'Back on Track' With Xperia Z
Pelham Smithers, managing director of Pelham Smithers Associates, talks about Sony Corp.'s business outlook and the global video-game industry. Smithers speaks in Hong Kong with John Dawson on Bloomberg Television's "On the Move."
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24 April 2013
Nintendo's Results Are 'Abysmal'
Pelham Smithers, Managing Director at Pelham Smithers Associates, says Nintendo's results are "abysmal" and that it will be hard for the company to return to profit despite weaker yen.
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