[Photo by Big Hit Entertainment Co.]
Stock prospects for Korean showbiz category generally remain bright for the full year in line with unfazed K-pop fever, with scandal-hit YG Entertainment pinning high hopes on its girl group BlackPink for a BTS-like sensation to restore its name and bottom line from a sprawling sex and drug scandal involving a former artist.
According to Seoul-based market tracker FnGuide on Thursday, the combined operating profit of SM Entertainment Co., JYP Entertainment Corp., and YG Entertainment Inc. for the first quarter is estimated at 19.6 billion won ($17.2 million), up 43.5 percent from the same period last year.
YG, which used to lead the pack, is expected to have squeezed out 4.2 billion won in operating profit for January-March period while bearing the blow from the biggest Korean showbiz scandal triggered by Seungri, a former member of K-pop superstar Big Bang. SM is estimated to have registered 8.7 billion won and JYP 6.8 billion won in operating profit in the latest quarter.
For full 2019, the market consensus for the operating profit for the trio came to 130.3 billion won, up 51.5 percent from previous year. SM is estimated for 60.8 billion won, up 27 percent; JYP, 44.8 billion won, up 56 percent; and YG 24.6 billion won, up 159 percent on year.
[Photo by YG Entertainment Inc.]
Their performance, however, is dwarfed by Big Hit Entertainment Co., the unlisted management company behind K-pop superstar BTS, which earned 64.1 billion won last year versus 86 billion won total of the bigger trio.
Hana Financial Investment Co. predicts Big Hit Entertainment’s operating profit for this year to jump 40.3 percent on year to 90 billion won.
The showbiz earnings outlook stands out against the overall gloom for the Korean Inc.
The combined operating income of 215 companies listed on the country’s two stock markets Kospi and Kosdaq is estimated to have plunged 32.3 percent on year to 29.36 trillion won in the first quarter. The combined operating profit of 262-listed firms for this year is also projected to decline 11.9 percent to 159.35 trillion won.
YG Entertainment, which had severed ties with Seungri, has seen its shares nosedive 18 percent against the beginning of this year. The scandal quickly spread to affect other entertainment stocks, causing a series of downward moves. YG has its fingers crossed for a BTS-like magic from BlackPink whose newest song has topped iTune charts across the world ahead of their Coachella Valley Music act this week.
By Park Eui-myung and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]