By Kwanwoo Jun
Kakao Corp. shares rose for a fourth straight session, and analysts are bullish on the South Korean internet group and its services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Kakao, whose chat app KakaoTalk is widely used by Korean smartphone users, closed 8.5% higher at 268,000 Korean won ($216) on Monday--the biggest daily gain since March 30.
The stock has added more than 75% so far this year, with much of the gains helped by its above-consensus first-quarter earnings.
Kakao's rally drove its market capitalization to KRW23.335 trillion ($18.81 billion) as of Monday, topping that of the country's largest car maker, Hyundai Motor Co.
Analysts said the internet firm's bullish run could continue, given that its business platforms are able to survive and even flourish within the pandemic-induced tough market environment.
Seoul-based Hana Financial Investment said Monday that Kakao has every reason to be confident about its future growth, especially in its new Talk Biz Board platform connecting businesses with KakaoTalk users. Kakao's online banking and online payment services also appear promising, Hana Financial Investment said.
Meanwhile, Nomura said earlier this month that Kakao deserves to rise further despite its recent rally. It raised the stock's target price by 14% to KRW240,000.
Write to Kwanwoo Jun at email@example.com