HYBE, the label behind K-pop supergroup BTS, has seen their stock price plummet after the K-pop boyband announced they would be going on a temporary break.
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The South Korean entertainment agency’s shares dropped as much as 28 per cent within the first hour of trading today (June 15), one day after BTS said they would be focusing on their solo careers. According to a report by Billboard, HYBE’s shares had fallen as far as ₩140 thousand per share after opening at ₩168 thousand.
The company is currently headed for its lowest close on record since it went public in 2020, wiping out as much as $1.7million in market value as of writing.
In light of uncertainties regarding the septet’s future, even prior to their recent announcement, HYBE has seen its stock go down by nearly 60 per cent this year so far, per The Straits Times. This means that the company has given up nearly all of its gains since its debut on the stock market.
Lee Hye-in, an analyst at Yuanta Securities Korea Co., told Bloomberg that the company is facing possible sharp downgrades to its profit and revenue estimates for this year and the next. Should HYBE confirm that BTS will not be resuming live performances for the year, the company’s revenue could be down by 25 per cent lower than previously estimated. Its profit, meanwhile, may be cut by as much as 33 per cent.
Lee Ki-hun, an analyst for Hana Financial Investment, said separately to Korea JoongAng Daily that the group’s announcement is “an indirect way of expressing [the need to] join the military”. BTS’ need to enter South Korean mandatory military service has been up in the air, with politicians in the country not able to see eye-to-eye on whether the septet should service.
“The 2022 earnings can be partly offset as there is a possibility the members may release at least one solo album this year if they join the army in 2023,” Lee added, per Korea JoongAng Daily.
Earlier this year, South Korea’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Hwang Hee called for BTS‘ exemption from the nation’s mandatory military service. He had proposed in a press briefing that globally recognised male pop-culture artists should be allowed to substitute their compulsory two-year conscription for alternative programmes.