Pokemon GO craze sends Nintendo shares soaring


Shares in Japanese gaming giant Nintendo increased by nearly a quarter on Monday, spurred by the ever expanding Pokemon GO craze. The game has not even launched globally yet, but is nonetheless poised to surpass Twitter in daily active users on Android, according to data published by SimilarWeb yesterday. And that's not all. SimilarWeb's report also notes that as of July 8th – only two days after the game's official release – it has been installed on 5.16% of all Android devices in the US. If you are not impressed by these figures, consider that by July 7th, Pokemon GO was installed on more US Android phones than popular dating app Tinder. Wow.

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, this has caused Nintendo shares to jump 24.5% to $199.70 (¥20,260) per share, following Friday's gains of around 8.9%. Since its debut on July 6th, Pokemon has added more than $7 billion to Nintendo's market value.

It is unknown how much Nintendo will actually profit from Pokemon GO, as the game was developed and published by Niantic, and distributed by the Pokemon Company, of which Nintendo owns 33% but the boost in market value is nonetheless welcome for the Japanese giant, which has been struggling in the past few years with less-than-impressive Wii U sales.

In order to have a meaningful impact on Nintendo's profits, Pokemon GO needs to hit a minimum of $140 to $196 million turnover per month, claims Mia Nagasaka, an equity analyst with Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities. Daily turnover on the first day of Pokemon GO's release is estimated to be around $3.9 to $4.9 million, according to Nagasaka.

Pokemon GO was conceived by Nintendo's late CEO Satoru Iwata and president of the Pokemon Company Tsunekazu Ishihara as an April Fool's Day collaboration with Google called the Pokemon Challenge. With the success of its first entries in the mobile market, Nintendo is now reportedly planning to release four more games for Android and iOS by the end of March 2017, and possibly a smartphone peripheral further down the line.

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