SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- Shares of Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea's largest messaging app Kakao Talk, traded at a yearly high on the Seoul bourse on the back of a rosy quarterly earnings outlook, data showed on Thursday.
Kakao stocks were trading at 163,500 won (US$141.13) as of 11:01 a.m., up 2.51 percent from the previous session's close.
The tech firm's stock rally came amid high hopes for the firm's earnings last year.
NH Investment & Securities estimated Kakao's quarterly sales to grow 26.4 percent to 85.1 billion won in the October-December period from a year ago, with its operating profit to gain 1,539.1 percent on-year to 70.4 billion won.
Samsung Securities also said that Kakao's operating profit will continue to grow through 2020.
"Kakao's performance is strongly backed by its high-margin portfolios, such as advertisement, mobile gift sending, gaming and music businesses," the brokerage said, estimating Kakao's operating profit to reach 67.7 billion won in the fourth quarter of 2019.
During the third quarter of last year, Kakao's sales hiked 31 percent to a quarterly record of 783.2 billion won, and its operating profit shot up 93 percent on-year to a quarterly record of 27.7 billion won.
During the same period, the firm's net profit skyrocketed to 51.1 billion won, nearly six times higher than a year earlier.
S. Korea considering various 'vaccine swap' options with U.S.
FM: Seoul, Washington 'earnestly discussing' COVID-19 vaccine swap deal
(LEAD) FM: Seoul, Washington 'earnestly discussing' COVID-19 vaccine swap deal
Girl group TWICE to perform on Kelly Clarkson show next week
New virus cases in 500s for 2nd day, vaccine rollout to gather pace