The Staying Power of Kim Kardashian Can Propel Glu Mobile Shares Higher

The staying power and initial record numbers of the Kim Kardashian suggest that Glu Mobile is worth more than the current market valuation.

Jul 23, 2014 at 10:00AM

The initial success of the Kim Kardashian game has surprised even this owner of Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU) stock. It's another sign that the small game developer continues to advance its mobile gaming platform mostly focused on action shooter games such as the previous successful Deer Hunter 2014. The staying power of Kim Kardashian could propel the game, and the stock, into the upper echelon of gaming stocks that includes King Digital Entertainment plc (NYSE:KING) and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) that sport much larger stock valuations.

Though the stock has surged since the successful launch of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, the current stock valuation suggests limited value is given to a game already setting company records. The stock is now only worth $600 million following the recent stock gains and the potential success of another release in the Deer Hunter franchise in Dino Hunters: Deadly Shores could provide more upside. A recent report suggests that Machine Zone might raise funding at $3 billion based off the number 3 grossing game on the iPhone. Note that the Kim Kardashian game sits in the next position behind Game of War-Fire Age.

In a previous article, a case was built for Glu Mobile turning into a franchise builder providing for more predictable revenue going forward. Even at that time, Kim Kardashian and the Stardom franchises weren't considered in the package adding further franchises to the system.

Staying power of Kim KardashianWhen viewing the initial success of the Kim Kardashian game, investors need to consider the success of the brand Kim and the Kardashian clan have created. Keeping Up With The Kardashians has aired on E! since 2007. The show is already in its eighth season and has included several spin-off shows.

In addition to a long-standing TV show, the Kardashians, specifically Kim, are extremely popular on social media. Kim has over 22 million followers on both Twitter and Facebook providing an immediate platform for marketing the game. Even Kourtney Kardashian has over 12 million followers on Twitter. With a crowded app store, explored in the previous article focusing on the importance of developing franchise games, the selling power of the Kardashian clan helps ensure the game got immediate attention.

Turning into money machine
The game was released on June 25 and continues to sit in the top position in downloads and now sits in the number 5 position for top grossing games on the iOS platform.

Screen Shot

Source: App Annie

With a quick look at the previous expectations for revenue and past successful games, Glu Mobile might substantially exceed all previous metrics and analyst estimates. Analysts forecast that the Kim Kardashian game could hit $200 million in revenue, which would far exceed the approximately $50 million earned from Deer Hunter 2014 through the first quarter results. The company released that the Kim Kardashian game has already produced single-day revenue records in 16 of the first 18 days. As well, the company has seen the highest sustained average revenue per user for a single Glu title over its initial 18 days.

Remember, top grossing games are now making billions with Candy Crush Saga earning over $1 billion for King Digital in 2013 and roughly $400 million during the first quarter after dropping to the number two grossing game. The stock is now worth over $6 billion based on the success of that game and some follow-on games. Dino Hunters: Deadly Shores is already a top downloaded game and reached the top 20 position for grossing. As an example of how huge that would be for Glu Mobile, Zynga is worth nearly $3 billion and the company doesn't have a top 10 mobile game.

Bottom line
Though Glu Mobile has surged to new highs, the stock is currently only valued at roughly $600 million despite a hit game expected to generate $200 million in revenue and several other strong franchises that are delivering solid and consistent revenue. Anybody questioning whether the Kardashian game will last needs to look at the continued success of the TV shows and the hoards of people on social media that follow the family. Lots of people, including the investment community, might not like the Kardashian family, but by all metrics Kim draws millions of followers with staying power.

The current valuation of Glu Mobile doesn't factor the success of the new games or the development of a mobile franchise machine at the company that will reward investors going forward. The staying power of Kim Kardashian could lead this game to producing the results of other high flying games, making Glu Mobile worth substantially more.

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Mark Holder owns shares of Apple, Glu Mobile, and ZYNGA INC. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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