How Squid Game is generating interest in Korean entertainment stocks
If you needed any further proof that narratives have been a significant driver of individual stock returns in the current market environment, you need look no further than the impact the recent success of Squid Game has had on the share prices of media companies in South Korea.
For those not familiar with Squid Game, it is a survival drama television series broadcast by Netflix (disclaimer – the show may not be for the fainthearted). No doubt the show is benefitting in some regions where people are avoiding outdoor settings, but its popularity is undeniable, with the series on track to become its most popular show ever.
Unsurprisingly, its success has spurred significant interest in Korean entertainment stocks associated with the series. Two companies that are worth highlighting are Bucket Studio Co (066410 KS) – which holds a stake in the agency representing its lead actor Lee Jung-Jae – has seen its share price spike up over 110 per cent in the month of September, while Showbox Corp (086980 KS) – a company with an indirect association with the show’s production company – has gone up over 50 per cent.
Bucket Studio Co share price
Showbox Corp share price
While it remains to be seen if the share price move is justified with a commensurate increase in future earnings, the small market cap of Bucket Studio (US$160 million) makes such a move easier to justify given the scale of the show’s popularity (most watched Netflix series in 76 countries).
The share price moves goes to highlight the power of narratives and viral hits and their impact on investors. I am reminded of Nintendo’s share price moves on the initial launch of Pokemon Go in mid 2016, which sparked a 120 per cent surge in the shares over the next fortnight, before falling approximately 34 per cent from its peak in the next month….
Nintendo share price
…. however, even with the initial euphoria in July / August 2016, the shares have still been a relatively attractive investment as the value of original content has been better appreciated by investors, as shown in the chart below.
Nintendo share price
Goes to show following popular culture trends can lead to impressive share market returns!