So-called "anti-dust shares," equity stock of firms producing air purifying or mask products, are enjoying momentum on the Seoul bourse following the worst episodes of fine dust pollution the country has seen for days this month.
Thanks to a growing customer rush to buy the latest air purifying appliances and masks amid consecutive days of the worst fine dust conditions, these firms posted surging profits over the last few months. Their share prices have also reflected the sales boom.
According to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), air purifier maker Winix posted 330.5 billion won in sales last year, up 26.8 percent from the previous year. Operating profit also jumped 16.8 percent to 20.1 billion won over the period.
Reflecting the nation's largest air purifier maker's sales boom, the share price of Winix opened at 18,300 won per share Thursday, up 11.93 percent from the previous day's opening. The figure is also up 25.77 percent from its year-opening price.
The Kosdaq-listed firm's share price peaked at 19,550 won per share on March 6, the highest figure in 10 months since it reached 19,800 won on May 15 last year.
"The firm is expected to post record high sales of 403.3 billion won this year, up 22 percent from last year. Operating profit will also reach 30.6 billion won, up 52 percent from a year ago," said a Taurus Investment & Securities researcher in a press release.
Thanks to the air purifier sales boom, parts suppliers also gained momentum in their share prices. Clean & Science, a filter supplier for air purifier makers, posted a 33.59 percent jump in its share price while motor maker SCD enjoyed a 53.57 percent increase.
"The uptrend in anti-dust shares will continue for some time because an increasing number of people care about their health and wellbeing," Kiwoom Securities analyst Kim Ji-san said in a press release.
"It's inevitable air quality will remain poor for quite a while. Share prices of these firms will surge throughout the year."
Along with share prices of air purifier makers, mask producers also enjoyed momentum in their share prices since masks have become must-wear apparel for Koreans.
Share prices of mask maker Welcron, which enjoyed a 160 percent jump in sales year-on-year to 10.6 billion won in 2018, was up 62.17 percent in the January-to-February period. Another mask maker Mona Lisa also enjoyed a 35 percent jump in its share price.