Best Korean Media Stocks to Watch Amid 'Squid Game' Fame

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Sep. 28 2021, Published 11:41 a.m. ET

The Korean TV show Squid Game has soared to the top of Netflix, which makes it the first Korean show to rank number one on the platform. Meanwhile, small Korean media stocks are getting their windfall.

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Korean media stocks are the ones to watch right now, and the best might just outpace expectations for the long haul.

Korean entertainment is taking off.

The success of Squid Game, a TV series about a mysterious survival game where contestants compete for the chance to win $40 million in prizes, shows a shift in the global perception of Korean entertainment. From K-pop to Korean cinemas, the U.S. is taking notice.

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Bucket Studio is surging.

Bucket Studio (KOSDAQ:066410) is a Korean media company that holds a 15-percent stake in Artist Company, the agency that represents one of Squid Game's lead actors, Lee Jung-jae. The stock for Bucket Studio is up 57.91 percent over the last week. Since Sept. 17, when Netflix released Squid Game to its U.S. audience, Bucket took off on a 64.2 percent bull run.

The stock has since cooled about 4.5 percent, but the enthusiasm around the holding can't be denied.

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Is the bull run for Showbox over?

In the 10 days following Sept. 17, the stock for Showbox Corp. (KOSDAQ:086980) rose 60.39 percent. Showbox stock has since fallen more than 18 percent.

Showbox is a film, production, and distribution investor. The company, which operates under the umbrella of media conglomerate Orion, financed a film project by Squid Game's producer, Siren Pictures.

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Despite the downfall, investors could see long-term growth on stocks like Showbox. As popularity for the genre continues to increase, streaming services like Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV+, and HBO Max are looking to expand to Korea. Content competition is bound to step into third gear.

More Korean media stocks to know about

Over the past five trading days, stock for AStory (KOSDAQ:241840), a Korean drama production company, rose 19.76 percent.

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Next Entertainment World (KOSDAQ:160550), a Korean media content production and distribution company, saw its stock increase 12.44 percent during the same period. At one point, Next Entertainment shares were up more than 22 percent.

Another production company, Samhwa Networks (KOSDAQ:046390) stock is up a comparatively mild 8.75 percent, with peaks having approached 20 percent in the green at one point.

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Roblox caught some fire from the Squid Game hype, too.

Roblox (NYSE:RBLX) might not be a Korean stock, but this U.S.-listed company temporarily gained on Squid Game's coattails as Roblox players enact Squid Game competitions on the platform. The stock rose 7.01 percent the week of Sept. 20.

For RBLX stock, the hype didn't last too long. Shares have since dipped off 6.34 percent, which brought the one-month returns to -4.73 percent. Having just gone public last year, Roblox has noteworthy volatility. The shares are up 12.23 percent YTD and are measuring below the stock market average. SPY, an ETF that tracks the S&P 500, is up 18.26 percent so far this year.

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