Data & Research

Glu Mobile’s the best and Nintendo’s the worst performing game stock during 2018 so far

Ebbs and flows

Glu Mobile’s the best and Nintendo’s the worst performing game stock during 2018 so far

Looking back at the performance of mobile game companies' stock during 2018, the picture is mixed.

Certainly there have been more losers than winners both during both the six month half year (H1) period that makes up the first half of the year, and the Q2 period running from April 1st to June 30th.

Nevertheless, some investors have done well.

Most notable is Glu Mobile, which thanks to the oft-mentioned top grossing ranking of Design Home is now cash flow positive, at least on the company’s favoured adjusted EBITDA measure.

That’s reflected in share price, up 70 per cent in Q2 and 76 per cent in H1.

Other familiar names from previous articles in terms of positive results include Animoca Brands, which has raised more money and is investing into mobile blockchain, and G5 Games, whose hidden object game-fueled rise continues.

More surprising names in the top half of the Q2 graph include Mag Interactive and Rovio, although reference to the H1 graph shows they are still recovering from poor performance at the start of 2018.

When it comes to companies whose shares have been falling in value, there’s no obvious trend, other than to point out the vast majority of game companies saw their share prices rise in 2017 so some level of downwards pressure should be expected.

This is particularly the case of the likes of Netmarble, GungHo and Mixi, each of which continues to struggle with the slow decline of their key - and highly lucrative - mobile games, Lineage: Revolution 2, Puzzle & Dragons and Monster Strike, respectively.

And when they were up...

Similar trends can be seen in the wider games market too, although the performance of shares in the larger global game companies has been more positive than for the generally smaller market cap mobile game-specific companies.

Ubisoft is the best performer to-date in 2018, with Japanese internet and games company CyberAgent taking that position during Q2.

Key US companies such as Activision Blizzard, EA and Take-Two have continued the strong momentum created in 2016 and 2017 into 2018 too, while Japanese outfits such as Sega Sammy, DENA, Capcom and Bandai Namco have rebounded from their stock’s sluggish performance in 2017.

Instead, it’s been the key Chinese (Tencent, NetEase) and South Korean companies (NCsoft, Nexon) that have experienced reversal, with the company with the largest games business - Tencent - seeing its share price decline somewhat in Q2 and H1, and that despite its part-ownership of Fortnite developer Epic.

Of course, Tencent is a multi-faceted technology company so it would be simplistic to account for its performance just through the lens of the games industry.

That excuse isn’t valid for Nintendo, however, which has been the worst performer during 2018 so far, losing 24 per cent of its valuation, presumably on concerns that Switch won’t be the Wii-scale success Nintendo keeps predicting.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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