Samsung Electronics Co. stock lost its growth momentum following its ambitious 50:1 stock split amid bets that it may have passed its peak from the semiconductor boom.
Data from Korea Exchange on Tuesday showed that shares of South Korea’s most valuable company dropped 7.2 percent from May 4, when they started the day trading at 53,000 won ($49.21) after a three-day halt from the stock split. The main Kospi index fell 1.2 percent during the same period.
Shares of Samsung Electronics finished Wednesday up 1.32 percent at 49,850 won.
The stock split designed to make Korea’s most expensive stock more affordable to retailers fell short of drawing new investors following disappointing performance in its non-chip sectors.
Analysts predict the company’s second-quarter profit would likely deteriorate from a year-ago period. Samsung Electronics’ output for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels has been affected by the lower-than-expected demand for Apple’s new iPhone, while its high-end white goods division has been losing against archrival LG Electronics.
The Samsung name also has been under bombardment of negative news including the pressure on Samsung Life Insurance from financial authorities to unload over 21 trillion won worth of holdings in Samsung Electronics shares.
This has led a growing number of investors to turn short on Korea’s bellwether stock in recent weeks. The ratio of Samsung Electronics shares that were sold short skyrocketed after the stock split, from 1.48 percent on April 27 to 25.6 percent on May 11. The positioning nevertheless indicates room for growth. Out of the total seven cases when its short-selling ratio exceeded 20 percent, the company’s shares went downward just once in July 2014.
Samsung Electronics’ operating profit for the full 2018 is estimated to be 65.1 trillion won, up 20.1 percent from the previous year. Its recent price-to-earnings ratio, however, has slipped to 7.56, below the Kospi average of 9.59, which can be another appeal to its price.
By Moon Il-ho and Kim Hyo-jin
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