Biotech market bellwethers Celltrion Inc. and Samsung BioLogics Co. show different trends in stock price from the beginning of the year.
Celltrion closed at 211,000 won (US$188) on Jan. 14, down 5,500 won (US$5), or 2.54 percent from the previous trading day. The price of Celltrion shares dropped 5.16 percent this year compared to the end of last year. On the other hand, Samsung BioLogics closed up 7,500 won (US$7), or 1.9 percent, to 403,000 won (US$359) on Jan. 14, returning to the 400,000 won (US$356) level for the first time in one month after 410,000 won (US$365) on Dec. 13 last year. The figure increased by 4.26 percent over the same period, including Jan. 14. Samsung BioLogics climbed up to third place in terms of market capitalization on the KOSPI market with 26.66 trillion won (US$23.73 billion), overtaking Celltrion with 26.47 trillion won (US$23.56 billion).
This is largely due to the temporary differences in supply and demand. From the beginning of this year, foreigners and institutions net sold 69.8 billion won (US$62.13 million) and 27 billion won (US$24.03 million) worth of Celltrion shares, respectively. However, they bought up 6.2 billion won (US$5.52 million) and 22.1 billion won (US$19.67 million) worth of Samsung BioLogics, respectively.
In terms of earnings, both companies are expected to show a poor performance until the first quarter of this year. Market researcher FnGuide estimates Samsung BioLogics’ operating profit for the fourth quarter of last year at 19.1 billion won (US$17 million), down 62.25 percent from a year ago. The figure for the first quarter of this year is also forecast to go down by a whopping 52 percent to 4.8 billion won (US$4.27 million). Celltrion is expected to see its operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 decrease by 41.19 percent and 29.87 percent, respectively, to 95.5 billion won (US$85 million) and 81.7 billion won (US$72.72 million).