GungHo Surges After Report on Earnings as Titles Spur Sales

GungHo Online Entertainment Inc., the game maker controlled by SoftBank Corp., rose the most in almost four months after the Nikkei newspaper said the developer’s profit jumped on “Puzzle & Dragons” sales.

The stock surged by 14 percent, the most since Dec. 26, to 609 yen at the close of trading in Tokyo. GungHo’s operating profit increased 40 percent from a year earlier to 26 billion yen ($255 million) in the three months ended March, the Nikkei reported today, without attribution.

GungHo shares surged eightfold last year on the success of “Puzzle & Dragons,” which has been downloaded to mobile devices about 30 million times globally since its 2012 release. The company aims to boost the number of players of the smartphone game through more functions and updates, Chief Executive Officer Kazuki Morishita said in an April 15 interview with Bloomberg News.

First-quarter sales rose about 50 percent from a year earlier to 47 billion yen, the Nikkei reported. Six of GungHo’s game titles are generating profit and four of them have monthly sales of more than 100 million yen each, Morishita said in the interview this week.

GungHo will announce first-quarter earnings on April 28, it said. The Tokyo-based company is not the source of the media report, according to a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange today.

“Puzzle & Dragons” is the top grossing game in Apple Inc.’s iOS application store and Google Play in Japan, according to App Annie Ltd.

SoftBank owns 33 percent of GungHo, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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