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Shares of Nintendo more than double market cap; overtake Sony

19 July 2016

Shares of Japanese consumer electronics and software company  Nintendo Co shot 14 per cent yesterday, more than doubling its market capitalisation to 4.5 trillion ($42.5 billion) and overtaking Sony in just seven sessions since the  launch of mobile game Pokemon GO in the US.

Nintendo shares went up 14.4 per cent at 31,770 at close, bringing its gains to over 100 per cent since the launch of the game on 6 July.

Turnover in Nintendo shares hit 703.6 billion, breaking the record for trading turnover in individual shares it set on Friday, of 476 billion.

Its market cap now exceeds that of Sony by about 400 billion and account for almost a quarter of the entire trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board.

The phenomenal success of Pokemon GO - now available in 35 countries, the majority in Europe, and most recently in Canada - had set off massive buying in Nintendo shares, which surprised even some seasoned market players.

"I've never seen the trend of such a big company's shares changing so quickly in such a short period of time," said Takashi Oba, senior strategist at Okasan Securities, Reuters reported.

The success of Pokemon GO, not even expected by its creators, had boosted hopes that Nintendo could leverage the popularity of characters ranging from Zelda to Super Mario to strengthen its new foray into augmented reality.

Since it was launched two weeks ago, the game for mobile gadgets had triggered a global frenzy among users who took to the streets with their smartphones.

With the help of satellite locations, graphics and camera capabilities, the free app allows users to capture and train creatures for battles.

The popularity of the app has made investors bullish on Nintendo's nascent push into mobile gaming, a major U-turn for a company that long insisted on a consoles-only policy.

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