News Article

Nintendo Confirms Plans To Acquire Up To Ten Million Of Its Own Shares

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Already owns 13,793,439 shares

In a notification document accompanying today's Q3 financial reports, Nintendo has confirmed plans to acquire up to ten million of its own shares up to 31st March, the end of the financial year.

This isn't uncommon, as Nintendo already holds 13,793,439 of these Treasury shares, though the planned increase is still a significant volume. There is speculation, and it is only that at the moment, that some of these shares will be those currently owned by the estate of former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi, which held 14,165,000 shares as of 30th September — Yamauchi-san sadly passed away on 19th September 2013.

Nintendo has set the following restrictions on its planned share acquisition:

  • Up to 10,000,000 shares (7.82% of the total number of shares outstanding excluding treasury shares)
  • Total amount of acquisition Up to 125,000,000,000 yen

As highlighted above, the company will aim to do this by 31st March, and the expenditure is likely part of the reasoning for such meaty projected losses; that explains why the company won't want any of this acquisition cost falling into the next financial year. 125,000 million Yen, for reference, is around $1214.3 million / £732.3 million / €887.1 million — naturally Nintendo may not spend the full amount.

The chart below also gives some context of the overall picture, as of 30th September 2013 — there are a total of 141,669,000 shares in Nintendo.

This seems like a bold move, but Nintendo may be aiming to consolidate its position and acquire shares while they're at a relatively low point — the current share value is around the same as it was for large parts of 2013, prior to the sudden leap and then similarly sized drop earlier this month.


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User Comments (43)



ECMIM said:

It's fair to assume that this is almost certainly (the lion's share of) Yamauchi's chunk of the company and Nintendo has little choice but to buy these up before they are offered on the market to protect the stock price.



electrolite77 said:

I didn't realise so much of Nintendo's stock was owned by foreign institutions. If those institutions were to acquire these shares they would go over the 50% mark.



MadAdam81 said:

It's good for Nintendo to protect their shares, and it's smarter to do so while their prices has dipped.



Emblem said:

@ECMIM I could be wrong but I thought Nintendo already got those shares?

In anycase its a good move, i'd like to see them go back totally private.



Kirk said:

Why not just buy them all back and be done with shareholders entirely?

I understand companies using the whole share method to get a large amount of quick and easy capital when they are first growing/expanding but when they are as well established and financially secure as Nintendo is I really don't see the benefit of shareholders at all.

I mean Valve doesn't have shareholders and it is doing just fine and dandy without them.

Am I missing something?



onlyaman said:

I was one of those 719 foreign individuals. But no longer.... I sold during that temporary price jump earlier this month when people got excited about China, but before the drop from their bad earnings reports and projections. You can have your stock back Nintendo- good luck with it



khululy said:

@ Guybrush20X6: there is nothing to understand here, it's a bloated facade to rake in money. Sure it looks all complex but wallstreet is run these days by programs and paranoid yuppies that get scared if they hear someone talking about that they might heard rumor that actually provide the possibility that there is a chance that the stock can go lower by 0.001% and they act like armageddon is upon is. It's a fools game and no should no longer be part of the modern world!



HarryK said:

@Kirk "I understand companies using the whole share method"
There's your problem - you don't.

@Emblem I can't imagine that's their goal. Buying back stocks is good for their investors. On an abstract level it's like giving them back some of their money they've invested (because it increases their share values). They do this to make investors happy. And for tax reasons, I assume.



Kirk said:


I understand that companies use the selling of shares to raise initial capital. That part isn't a mystery. Outside of that I don't really see the benefit of having shareholders.

Note: In fact, I don't see why I'm even clarifying that when it's very clear what I meant in the context of my original post.

So, oh wise one, please explain...

What are the benefits of having shareholders if the company has enough reserve money in the bank to be financially stable for the next 30-50 years, assuming it doesn't make any huge loses and continues to operate relatively smoothly...?



Kirk said:


Basically, yeah, I think Nintendo should just buy back all it's shares and do without shareholders altogether. I mean Valve isn't "run" by shareholders and look how well it's doing. Why wouldn't that work for Nintendo too is basically what I'm getting at.



element187 said:

@kirk how would Nintendo buy back all of its shares? It would obliterate its war chest they amassed in the Wii and DS years.. And for what? To keep doing what they are doing today? It would be nice if they could just do what they want without shareholders screaming for someone's head on a pike, but the cost right now would be tremendous, they need that money to invest in new games/advertising/R&D

If they want to buy back all of their shares they need to do it when the price collapses, not when it stabilizes or goes up.



Kirk said:


I'm really just saying it in principle as opposed to whether it's actually a genuinely viable option at this particular moment in time.

Basically, I just wish Nintendo would get rid of the shareholders entirely.


Yeah, it's probably not possible right now but that's what I'd want in an ideal scenario, assuming there's not actually some genuine benefit to keeping the douche shareholders that I'm currently unaware of.



StarDust4Ever said:

LOL, isn't buying your own shares basically corporate cannibalism? I don't understand this economic stuff. Do what you gotta do to stay afloat, Nintendo. Please don't "pull a Sega."



Gerbwmu said:

I would like to see Nintendo slowly buy back shares to get to a 51% margin because I'm selfish and don't want them at the mercy of investor's but in reality, most investors don't actively participate in voting so getting their holdings up to 20% with this move should allow them to control the board and company.



Kirk said:

Well I'm no expert but as far as I'm aware it just means you own a larger percentage and stake in your own company. The more shares you own the more control you have and the less likely shareholders can influence the future direction of the company. Also if you own a high enough percentage of the issued shares, or a controlling majority, then you can avoid potential hostile takeovers too. If you don't sell any shares at all, as in the company is privately owned, then you basically have 100% control over what your company does and its future direction, like Valve. As far as I'm aware that's actually the best situation, being privately owned (as long as you have enough money in the bank and are making enough money to continue to run the company successfully), unless someone wishes to inform me otherwise...



ReigningSemtex said:

It seems to me like a company who has faith in what they are doing when others doubt them, buy them shares when they are low then build the company back up.



Savino said:

Smart move! A path for independence for nintendo!

Nintendo needs to own the majority of its paper to get freedom to act! No more shareholders telling to put everything on mobile devices or to put Mario on the ps4!

I, sometimes, think that it could be better if nintendo get away from the stock market... But I know, I know....



Morph said:

So thats the reason they released wii u!
Share price plummets, nintendo buys them back, tells shareholders to do one, job done



spidey1010 said:

Well, this makes me happy.

I have 400 shares of Nintendo because I believe in their method of business: humility and constantly trying to innovate (not to mention their vast hoards of cash).

It's smart to buy Nintendo shares right now, when it's low. Plus, it makes it seem like Nintendo has faith in itself, if they're willing to give up capital and post more losses. Obviously someone at the company thinks it's a sound investment. Basically, my faith in the company is confirmed by the company itself making the same decisions I made.



Shworange said:

Buying all of these shares on the heals of a major drop in stock price... It sounds a little insider tradery to me. It will be interesting to see what the value of their stock does after the acquisition is complete. I would laugh really hard if the very next day, they announce a major game release, causing their stock to take a huge jump in price, and earning Nintendo millions in the process.



Jayvir said:

This can only be a good thing for Nintendo. The more shares they own, the less they have to do with investor pressure to release yet ANOTHER Mario game.



Luna-Harmony said:

Sounds like a good idea then nobody can nag nintendo.
I would buy shares in nintendo all it's needs is one or two big hit games to come out and they are no1 again.



DerpSandwich said:

Oh my gosh, Nintendo, KEEP BUYING. I suspect that a lot of decisions over the past several years have been made in haste to make shareholders happy. Short-term, really dumb stuff to appease a room full of old farts who don't actually know anything about games. And that system is completely dumb.

Maybe breaking free of that is what Nintendo needs. Maybe they'll be able to be creative again, rather than depending on the past.



spidey1010 said:

I really hate the ignorant perception that shareholders are all "old farts who don't actually know anything about games."

I'm a shareholder specifically because I love how Nintendo makes games and I expect that to keep making them money.



unrandomsam said:

@Kirk It is much harder to go from being public to private than staying private all along. The second they announced they were planning on it then they would have people like Carl Icahn to deal with.



Kirk said:


I used to own shares in Sega and I'm a hardcore gamer but being a hardcore gamer made no difference in the slightest to the input or impact I had on Sega's situation, be it positive or negative.

Owning shares in a company myself doesn't mean I think it's better for Nintendo to have a bunch of shareholders who are only in it for the money, yeah even me and I very much give a sh*t about Nintendo's future, to be subtly influencing it's important decisions, from such a point of view of making money above all else, over being private and doing what's best in the long run for everyone, particularly for the consumers.

Don't try and convince me you give a sh*t about anything more than the money and if you do then even being a shareholder you'd surely still agree with the general idea that Nintendo would be better off if it were a private company.

Unless you can tell me some very good objective reasons it's genuinely better off at this point in time having the shareholders...



Ruthven said:

I'd like to see them go back totally private, get rid of greedy investors who just want a pay-out.. Invest in yourself Nintendo and keep making great games



SphericalCrusher said:

@spidey1010 Most shareholders of gaming companies DON'T know shooby-dooby-bip-bap-ba-wow-wow about games. Business is business. Does not mean that all do though, so it's awesome to see some that do!

Language, please :3 -Raylax



Yamitora1 said:

Nintendo needs to Acquire Sega and make Sonic the Hedgehog a first party only title.



unrandomsam said:

@Yamitora1 Sega's most profitable stuff is Football Manager and what it got from Relic (Total War etc). It would cost loads plus Sammy makes money hand over fist. Not even sure they could. They should make pachinko machines that seems to work very well for all the other old console makers (Konami / SNK / Sega / Capcom).



JustinH said:

@Kirk They only really need to have a controlling interest in the company — getting to 51% is the goal, not owning 100% of the company.

But that said I think they're working toward that, and given the state of the industry that's not a bad thing. Some activist investors just look at Nintendo and think of the money that can be made dumping all their IP on smartphones for a quick buck. Nintendo's stock was crazy overvalued just a few years ago but now it's a relative bargain.



Kirk said:


Yeah but personally I'd still like to just see them get rid of shareholders altogether, in an ideal world, for the very reason you mentioned and more.

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