Mixi Inc. surged in Tokyo trade and the stock has more than doubled in the last 10 days as investors bet on the prospects for new apps including games similar to those sold by Japan’s GungHo Online Entertainment Inc.
Shares rose by the daily limit, jumping 21 percent to close at 2,874 yen. They have more than doubled since Nov. 15 when the stock closed at 1,225 yen. The TSE Mothers index has risen 5.1 percent in the same period and gained 1.2 percent today.
Mixi has expanded beyond its Facebook Inc.-like social networking service into smartphone games and e-commerce sites. Its “Monster Strike” game app is gaining popularity, and the company has expanded into dating and apartment-hunting. The Tokyo-based company, which has been unprofitable for the past two quarters, this month said it expects to end “structural” losses by early in the 2014 fiscal year as revenue grows from games and new services.
“There is a huge appetite for a stock which could be the next GungHo,” Hiroshi Naya, an analyst at Ichiyoshi Research Institute, said by phone today. “GungHo and Colopl are among the best stocks to bet on this year. Investors who benefited from these stocks are now looking for their next target.”
Japan-based gamemakers GungHo and Colopl have grown more than 600 percent this year. GungHo’s “Puzzle & Dragons” game has been downloaded for more than 21 million times since its launch in February 2012.
Mixi’s “Monster Strike” game has moved up the app ranking to the 22nd most popular free game on iTunes today, from its average of about 40th place this month, according to the AppDB website.
Mixi acquired Confianza, a company that organizes dating events, and plans to buy Diverse Inc., a wedding planning business, according to its second quarter earnings briefing session notes. The gamemaker’s Nohana Nengajo app helps to put family photos on greetings.
The number of Mixi group app users has grown to 12.5 million as of September from 7.6 million a year earlier.