The Pokémon Company has proved itself as a multigenerational phenomenon. Millennials and generations Z and alpha have come together to appreciate Pokémon with a fortitude that can't be faked. With a resurgence in demand around Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, the company upped production for its legendary Pokémon cards.
Pokémon isn’t publicly traded — at least not directly — but a partial owner of The Pokémon Company is.
Pokémon prints nine billion cards to satiate mega demand.
Pokémon announced it printed more than 9 billion cards over the last year. This is huge, especially compared to the previous year when it printed 3.7 billion cards and its average years of printing 1 billion–2 billion cards.
According to Joe Merrick, webmaster of Serebii.net, “Pokémon [trading cards] hit the mainstream again and people were buying up all the stock, not necessarily for the right reasons, and it was near impossible for people to get any of the new products. It was a nightmare for the general consumer.”
Naturally, the Pokémon resurgence is piquing the interest of investors in the stock market. Becoming a shareholder for a company bent on meeting massive demand makes sense, but for Pokémon, it isn't a direct route to stock.
Pokémon isn’t directly publicly traded — but a big-name partial owner is.
Japanese video game company Nintendo owns a 32-percent stake in The Pokémon Company. Nintendo traders on the OTC (over-the-counter) markets under the ticker symbol "NTDOY."
The rest of The Pokémon Company equity falls to companies Creatures and Game Freak, which split the remaining 68 percent. To make things more complicated, Nintendo owns a 10-percent stake in Creatures and about a third of Game Freak.
The original company behind the Pokémon anime show, 4Kids Entertainment, sold its partial stake in 2005. Ultimately, for investors seeking exposure to Pokémon, Nintendo is the way to go.
How to invest in Nintendo stock for Pokémon exposure
Since NTDOY trades OTC, investors must sign up for a brokerage firm that allows OTC stock trading. Popular OTC brokers in the U.S. include Charles Schwab, E-Trade, and Ameritrade.
NTDOY stock may be a worthwhile long-term investment or strategic swing-term trade. However, remember that it isn't a Pokémon-only exposure. Nintendo boasts a long list of global assets including cards, toys, arcade games, gaming consoles, entertainment systems, and video games.
On average, a set of Wall Street analysts label NTDOY as a buy, while others report a potential 404 percent upside. While that is likely a stretch, earnings growth could easily be on the horizon. At $53.87 per share, Nintendo stock is up 37.95 percent in the five years ending on July 7 and a full 322.51 percent since going public in 1998. Nintendo also performed a 10-for-1 stock split to lower the price of each share while proportionally increasing the number of outstanding shares.
While target prices vary, one thing is clear: Investors seeking to target Pokémon on the stock market should look to Nintendo.