Naver Cements No. 3 Spot in Market Cap | Be Korea-savvy

Naver Cements No. 3 Spot in Market Cap

Naver Corp.'s headquarters in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. (Image: Naver)

Naver Corp.’s headquarters in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. (Image: Naver)

SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Korea Bizwire)South Korea’s top internet operator Naver Co. appears to be cementing its position as the country’s third-most valued firm, sharply up from last year’s 10th place, on high expectations for its internet businesses and diversified portfolio.

Naver’s market capitalization reached 29.75 trillion won (US$25.6 billion) as of Thursday on the Seoul bourse, only third to the country’s two largest chipmakers — Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc.

The IT behemoth shares closed at 180,500 won on that day, up 51.7 percent from 119,000 won from a year ago. Last Friday, Naver shares soared to a 52-week high of 187,000 won.

After reaching the No. 3 slot in the list of market capitalization on Oct. 31, Naver has rivaled South Korean top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. for the spot. The internet kingpin has secured the spot since late November.

Brokerages expect a further rise in Naver’s stock price down the road, backed by strong earnings and a diversified business portfolio.

“Naver stocks are likely to make another leap in January, on strong gains in its platform businesses, such as online advertising, e-commerce, financing and cartoons,” Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. researcher Kim Chang-kwean said.

During the third quarter of the year, Naver’s net profit jumped 24.7 percent on-year to 85.3 billion won from a year ago. Operating income dipped 8.9 percent to 202.1 billion won, while sales rose 19.1 percent to 1.66 trillion won.

Naver attributed the gains in net profit and sales to its overall business’s good performance, buoyed by cutting-edge technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI). AI has become a key factor in its advertising and content recommendation.

During the three-month period, Naver’s revenue grew 17.3 percent in its platform business, 64.1 percent in content and 12.2 percent in advertisement services.


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