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Game and entertainment

Cookie Run developer enjoys 1126% year-to-date growth in stock price

Sharp price fluctuations continue amid an upward trend following unexpected successes in Japan and the US

By Sep 23, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Cookie Run: Kingdom is a social network where players can build their own buildings and engage in battles.
Cookie Run: Kingdom is a social network where players can build their own buildings and engage in battles.

Devsisters Corporation, the developer of the globally popular mobile game Cookie Run, has become a “ten bagger” stock with its price rising more than ten times since the start of 2021.

Devsisters closed at 177,200 won ($151.16) a share on Sept. 23, rising 13.23% from the previous trading day. The growth rate in September has reached 127% driven by stellar performances in South Korea, Japan and the US. The year-to-date stock price growth marked 1126%.

Analysts note that the price surge is mainly driven by the unexpected global popularity of its Cookie Run: Kingdom, launched first in South Korea in January this year. While the new online game became an immediate hit in the domestic market, driving the stock price to grow by 257% between February and April, market watchers had little expected the game to maintain similar levels of popularity in overseas markets.

Such uncertainty in the global outlook drove down the company’s stock price from around 140,000 won ($119.43) in April down to as low as 64,500 won ($55.03) on Aug. 23.

The share price started to make a big rebound following the news that Cookie Run: Kingdom became the most popular game on Apple’s App Store in Japan in just three days after its official launch on Sept. 4. The performance in the US is also strong, maintaining the third rank in the country’s App Store as of Sept. 23.

Analysts highlight that the US performance is particularly noteworthy as Devsisters has not even kicked off its official marketing programs in the country yet. Devsisters is reported to start a wide range of marketing initiatives in America starting from Oct. 8.

Some securities firms in Korea have raised the target price of the company’s stock to 200,000 won ($170.65) per unit. They highlight that Devsisters, which has been reporting losses every year since its foundation in 2015, is projected to post an operating profit of 87.8 billion won ($74.9 million) this year. The company made a loss of 6.1 billion won ($5.2 million) in 2020.

Others also note that Cookie Run: Kingdom will likely succeed in entering the Chinese market next year. Devsisters on Sept. 14 has signed a publishing contract with a local company in China and is awaiting the Chinese government’s approval to distribute the game in the country.

“Cookie Run: Kingdom is enjoying fast growth in users in Japan. Its official marketing programs will kick off in the US next month. Plus, the Chinese government has recently become more favorable to Korean game developers. We expect Devsisters to get the relevant approval at the right timing,” said Yuanta Securities Korea.

Write to Sul-gi Lee at surugi@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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