March 21 (Bloomberg) -- NetEase.com Inc., operator of the second-largest online games website in China, jumped to a record after renewing a license to offer Blizzard Entertainment Inc.’s ‘World of WarCraft’ online game in the nation.
American depositary receipts of NetEase climbed 2.3 percent to $57.60 by 11:06 a.m. in New York, set for the highest-ever closing price. The ADRs earlier advanced as much as 4 percent to $58.57, the biggest intraday gain since Feb. 28.
Beijing-based NetEase and Blizzard, which is owned by Santa Monica, California-based Activision Blizzard Inc., renewed a license for NetEase to operate the online multiplayer game in mainland China, the two companies said in a joint statement late yesterday.
The new agreement, following the expiration of the previous license, will have a three-year maturity, according to the statement.
NetEase’s ADRs have increased 28 percent this year to the highest level since the company’s initial public offering in June 2000.
Analysts at JPMorgan Securities Ltd. and Piper Jaffray Cos. both reiterated their overweight recommendations on NetEase this week, indicating they expect the stock to outperform its industry or market. NetEase’s ADRs may reach $60.76 in the next 12 months, according to the average price estimate of 17 analysts, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
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