Dow Jones Newswires: HYBE shares slump as boy band BTS plans hiatus

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Shares of HYBE Co., which manages South Korean boy band BTS, slumped to a record low Wednesday after the seven-member K-pop group decided to go on hiatus.

The entertainment company’s shares
352820,
-24.61%

slid 28% to 139,000 won ($107.76), the lowest since its listing in 2020, in early trade. The shares pared losses later in the session, but still traded about 20% lower for most of the morning session, while the stock benchmark Kospi was down 1.2%.

HYBE’s plunge came after the BTS members said late Tuesday that they would take a break from group activities. The members said they would focus more on releasing music as solo acts.

BTS’s planned hiatus is likely to dent HYBE’s earnings significantly from 2023, Seoul-based Hana Financial Investment analyst Lee Ki-hoon said in a research note.

Mr. Lee slashed his operating profit forecast for the company by 54% to KRW200 billion for next year and lowered his 2023 revenue estimate by 32% to KRW1.6 trillion.

The South Korean boy band, which released their debut album in 2013, became the first K-pop group to top the U.S. album chart.

Write to Kwanwoo Jun at kwanwoo.jun@wsj.com

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