Pokémon Go invigorates Nintendo stock
Pokemon's eponymous, nostalgic message "Gotta catch 'em all" has reached a fever pitch with last week's launch of mobile hit Pokemon Go — and in turn, boosted Nintendo Co.'s market value by $7.5 billion, reports Reuters. Its long-term earnings potential for Nintendo, which owns one-third of Pokemon Co., remains unclear.
Still, the new app launched July 6 has already cemented itself as the must-have game of the year and a beacon of pop culture. In some markets it's becoming common to see someone trying to catch a "Squirtle," bringing a decades-old phenomenon back into reality (both augmented, and for the market).
Some analysts are optimistic about the app and where it could lead. "If nothing else, Pokemon Go has shown that there are 'dormant' Nintendo fans eager to trial its content for smartphones," Deutsche Bank analysts say.
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Other investors believe Nintendo's console business is the true key to an earnings lift, reports Reuters. Pokemon Go is available in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand and will soon appear in other countries, such as Japan.
Niantic — the Alphabet (ticker: GOOG, GOOGL) spinoff — made the app with Pokemon Co., capitalizing on its experience with another augmented reality game several years ago. Nintendo and Pokemon hold undisclosed Niantic stakes, reports Reuters.
Nintendo stock trades on the Toyko stock exchange, where it's up 24 percent on Monday. It can also be purchased in the U.S. on the over-the-counter markets, or by using exchange-traded funds such as the PureFunds Video Game Tech ETF (GAMR), which includes Nintendo stock as 4.1 percent of its total holdings.
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