Nintendo’s (NTDOY) stock has been surging ever since it launched the Switch game console back in March but that isn’t stopping Nomura Securities from expecting even more upside out of the share price.
With the stock up 41% so far this year, profit-taking may be on the minds of investors, but Nomura’s Junko Yamamura thinks robust sales of the latest game console as well as the launch of its online Switch gaming service will boost earnings and lift the stock price even more. In a research note covered by Barron’s, the analyst raised her price target to JPY41,000 a share from JPY32,100 a share, implying the stock has room to gain an additional 18%.
“While we see a number of factors behind strong performance for the console, we think the change in the company’s hardware strategy is one of them,” Yamamura wrote in the note to clients. “Having a console that can be easily optimized for a range of different use scenarios means it can be used for a wide range of games, spanning from core games to motion control games. The issue facing the company at present is ramping up production capacity for the year-end shopping season.” (S: Nintendo to Charge Users for New Online Switch Service)
To say that meeting holiday sales requirements will be a problem for the Japanese video game maker may turn out to be an understatement. With demand for core components fierce among technology companies, Nintendo is in a race to keep up with red-hot demand for the Switch. Citing people within the industry, the Wall Street Journal reported last week the gaming company is facing a shortage of NAND flash memory chips, liquid crystal displays and the small motors that go into the hand held controllers of the Switch. Many of the same components are found in smartphones, computers servers and other devices. (Read more: Nintendo In Race With Apple, Other Device Makers Over Key Switch Components)
In addition to raising the price target, the analyst also upped her estimates for Switch console sales to 14 million from 9.7 million for fiscal year 2018. In fiscal year ending in 2019 that forecast goes to 19 million units from 8.7 million. By fiscal year 2022, the analyst thinks it will have sold 75.5 million Switch units, up from her past target of 43.1 million.
“We now see a greater likelihood of success for the Switch and have factored in earnings contributions from the Nintendo Switch Online fee-based service,” wrote the analyst. We estimate that it will boost operating profits by ¥50.0bn in 23/3. “We have been focusing on changes to the company’s earnings structure, and the startup of the mobile game business and the launch of the Switch have gradually started to flesh out the details.” She said its focus is shifting to ways Nintendo can improve shareholder returns and better use the cash it thinks it will continue to build, pointing to mergers and acquisitions as an example.