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(LEAD) NCSOFT stock price hits record high on earnings hope

All News 15:51 January 08, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, UPDATES stock data in 2nd para)
By Chung Joo-won

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- Shares in South Korean game publisher NCSOFT Corp. ended at an all-time high Wednesday on strong foreign buying, buoyed by expectations of record earnings in the current quarter.

NCSOFT stocks closed at 604,000 won (US$515.89) on Wednesday, up 1.68 percent from the previous session's close, the highest-ever quotation, bucking a 1.1 percent drop in the benchmark KOSPI. From Dec. 9-Jan. 7, NCSOFT jumped 10 percent.

(LEAD) NCSOFT stock price hits record high on earnings hope - 1

Foreigners, who held 50.27 percent of NCSOFT shares as of Tuesday, net bought 138.3 billion won worth of NCSOFT stocks during the cited period.

The foreigners' net purchase is the fourth largest after Samsung Electronics' 909.3 billion won, SK hynix's 625.5 billion won and Samsung Electro-Mechanic's 269.9 billion won.

The rally has been driven by rosy earnings outlook for the first quarter of the year.

According to Bloomberg consensus, the company is expected to post sales of 2.46 trillion won in 2020, up 46 percent from the previous year, and yearly operating profit of 981 billion won, almost doubling over the cited period.

NCSOFT's operating profit growth marks the fastest among all of its global top peers, including China's Tencent, Japan's Nintendo and U.S. Activision Blizzard.

In late November, NCSOFT released "Lineage 2M," a new mobile massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). "Lineage 2M" is the latest entry of NCSOFT's flagship "Lineage" series, featuring full 3-D graphics and 4K UHD resolution.

The game garnered high popularity among game lovers at home and overseas, becoming the No. 1 game on Google's Android and Apple's iOS devices on the day of release.

(LEAD) NCSOFT stock price hits record high on earnings hope - 2

"NCSOFT has attracted strong foreign buying recently, since its (earning) potential is considered uncontestable, far above its global competitors," Mirae Asset Daewoo analyst Kim Chang-kwean said.

"NCSOFT's Lineage M's strong revenue is expected to continue throughout 2020, and we'll see Lineage 2M's good performance fully reflected in the upcoming (January-March) quarterly earnings report."

jwc@yna.co.kr
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