Japanese online retailer Rakuten saw its shares plummet as its 2013 net income was 21 % lower than expectations. The figure only reached 42.9 billion yen (307 million euro), although its turnover did rise to 518.6 billion yen (3.7 billion euro).
Second negative year in a row
Analysts had expected Rakuten to get a 2013 net income of 54.2 billion yen, 388 million euro, but it has failed to reach it, which is its second year it failed to reach expectations. The results meant that shares dropped 9.5 %, the biggest drop it has experienced in the past four months.
The acquisition of internet messaging service Viber Internet did not help to soothe shareholders, because Rakuten still has not managed to lower their losses overseas and the 650 million euro purchase still has to prove it has the potential to bring in money. “We understand the strategic role to help merchants communicate with consumers through mobiles, but are not sure Rakuten needed to buy Viber for that”, Oliver Matthew, an analyst at CLSA, has said.
Pinterest and Kobo
Rakuten, owned by Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani, has made several moves to increase potential income. Aside from Viber Internet, where it will also incorporate a new gaming service to entice the 300 million Viber Internet users, it has also bought digital content platform Viki and European video-on-demand and streaming service Wuaki.tv.
It has also bought a 70 million euro stake in Pinterest and another stake in Kobo Inc. (a digital book seller), moves that should help ease the pain of having lost 1.5 billion euro in market value in recent days.