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Tech

Naver’s market cap to top 100 trillion won, analysts say

The growth of its metaverse platform Zepeto, education platform Cake and resale firm Kream justifies its valuation

By Sep 07, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Gucci's collaboration with Naver on its Zepeto metaverse platform.
Gucci's collaboration with Naver on its Zepeto metaverse platform.

South Korea’s market analysts projected that Naver Corp.’s market cap will surpass 100 trillion won ($86 billion), driven by the rapid growth of its new business initiatives and the strong performance of its key affiliates.

Naver’s stock price closed at 444,500 won ($382.72) a share on Sept. 7, with a market cap of 73 trillion won ($63 billion), after reaching a historical high of 454,400 won ($391.24) on the previous day.

The tech giant’s stock price rose by 5.83% over the last seven trading days, mainly fueled by the foreign investors who purchased 371.3 billion won ($319.7 million) worth of the company’s shares during the given period.

While the rapidly rising stock price may cast some doubts on its valuation, the market experts note that the company’s significant improvement in earnings justifies its market cap.

“Over the last two decades, Naver’s stock price was largely determined by the growth rates of its revenue and operating profit. Its stock price grew significantly every time when there was a new revenue model and when the revenue grew by more than 20% versus the same period of the previous year,” said Mirae Asset Securities Co.

Naver’s second-quarter revenue grew by 30.4% from the same period of last year to 1.66 trillion won ($1.42 billion). The new business sectors, including e-commerce, fintech, content and cloud, together took up more than 50% of the revenue figures for the first time in the company’s history.

The growth of its key affiliates Zepeto, Cake Corp. and Kream are also noteworthy. The metaverse platform Zepeto’s second-quarter revenue grew by more than 70% from last year, driven by the high number of subscribers surpassing 200 million people worldwide.

Naver’s resale platform Kream acquired a popular online resale community, Nike Mania, for 8 billion won ($6.9 million). The company’s English education platform Cake also enjoyed 10 million monthly active users (MAU) worldwide during the second quarter.

According to the market data provider FnGuide Inc., the analyst consensus estimates for Naver’s revenue and operating profit this year respectively are 6.78 trillion won ($5.84 billion), up by 27.9%, and 1.34 trillion won ($1.15 billion).

The market’s consensus target price for Naver is 556,000 won a share ($478.92). Hyundai Motor Securities Co. posted the highest target price at 600,000 won ($516.82), which translates into a market cap of 99 trillion won ($85 billion).

“Naver’s market cap of 100 trillion won is just a matter of time. Now is the time to buy Naver shares considering its potential as a global platform and the growth of its key affiliates,” said Hyundai Motor Securities in a report.  

Write to Hyung-gyo Seo at seogyo@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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