BTS label Big Hit's share price falls 23%

BTS at their online concert, which was held over the weekend of Oct 10 and 11. The boy band account for the majority of revenue for their management label Big Hit.
BTS at their online concert, which was held over the weekend of Oct 10 and 11. The boy band account for the majority of revenue for their management label Big Hit.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SEOUL • Big Hit Entertainment, the management agency of South Korean K-pop group BTS, saw its stock fall as much as 23 per cent last Friday, extending losses from its debut the previous day as pricing eased after pre-listing hype.

The stock had dipped from its debut price ahead of last Thursday's closing, with analysts saying the lower price should be viewed as more reasonable, based on the fundamentals of a company which relies heavily on a single boy band for revenue.

Analysts said Big Hit's valuation, based on its initial public offering (IPO) price of 135,000 won (S$160) per share, was comparable to peers such as K-pop agencies SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment.

They said the price, which fell as low as 199,000 won last Friday, seemed to be returning to earth after a period of overheated speculation pushed Big Hit's debut to double the IPO price and then fuelled a further 30 per cent surge shortly after.

The short-lived surge echoed the strong debuts of SK Biopharmaceuticals in July and Kakao Games last month, as South Korean retail investors known as "ants" capitalise on government economic stimulus programmes which have flooded markets with cash.

However, unlike a pharmaceutical maker with a pipeline of drugs or a mobile game developer benefiting from a stay-at-home trend, K-pop agencies that depend only on a few star artists can see more fluctuation in share prices, analysts said.

BTS accounted for 97.4 per cent of Big Hit's revenue last year and 87.7 per cent in the first half of this year, a regulatory filing showed.

"Big Hit's reliance on BTS is still absolute when including non-management, indirect sales such as merchandise, intellectual property and content," said Hyundai Motor Securities analyst Kim Hyun-yong.

"It must make all-out efforts to create a post-BTS revenue source."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2020, with the headline 'BTS label Big Hit's share price falls 23%'. Print Edition | Subscribe