미분류

InBody to benefit from aging, fare well globally

By KH디지털2
  • Published : Sept 26, 2016 - 17:12
  • Updated : Sept 26, 2016 - 17:15
[THE INVESTOR] “Let’s InBody!” 

Names of some companies or products become verbs, if they become popular.

InBody has become a new verb in the beauty and health care community, especially among young women who want to be in shape. 

InBody is a Kosdaq-listed company producing a range of health care equipment and devices both for professional and home use. It is the 61st largest firm on the tech-heavy stock index with a market capitalization of 519.3 billion won ($468.2 million).

The flagship product line of the company is a body composition analyzer dubbed “InBody.”

The bar-type InBody 570 is one of the body composition analyzers, featuring the fastest and upgraded solutions for monitoring health conditions of users. A user needs to stand on the equipment with bare feet and put in his or her height to take the self-mode InBody test.

The equipment’s interface offers voice guidance, monitors progressive changes of a user’s body composition and provides diverse analysis including visceral fat level that indicates intestinal obesity. Data can be listed up in the user’s PC as the InBody 570 has wireless connection function via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Demand for such health-related products is forecast to continue rising as the country is fast approaching to an aging society, said Han Seul-ki, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, releasing a positive growth analysis for related firms like InBody. In line with growing demand from the aging phenomenon, the company is now focusing on promoting its premium InBody 770, a research-grade analyzer preferred by hospitals and health care-related institutions around the world.

Dr. Cha Ki-chul from Harvard Medical School founded the firm in 1996 in order to develop methods that accurately analyzes by looking into levels of impedance in each body part. Before the invention of InBody, bioelectrical impedance analysis, known as BIA, was globally used to analyze body composition as a whole, which Cha found inaccurate.

The company established its first overseas subsidiary in the US in 2000. Its technology was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as well. Including its subsidiaries in Japan and China, InBody has an expansive global network formed across approximately 70 countries. It opened its first branches in India and Malaysia this year. 

The firm’s market value dropped to around 33,000 won in August due to lower-than-expected operating profit in the second quarter of this year. Sales of the latest InBody Band, a watch-type body composition analyzer, were poor compared to smartwatches made by Apple and Samsung. 

As a result, compared to early this year, the company’s share price plunged nearly 40 percent from its new high of 59,600 won on Jan. 7. Considering the pattern, analysts recommend investors buy the shares at the moment.

“InBody is undergoing a low valuation period,” said Lee Ji-yong, a researcher at Shinhan Investment Corp. “Considering its technological prowess compared to rivals in the global body composition analyzer market, such price fall provides chances buy the shares.”

US-based Wasatch Advisors bought a 5.57 percent stake in the company in August, the company announced last week.

The firm’s stocks traded at 38,050 won on Monday, up 0.4 percent from the previous trading session.

A memorandum of understanding with KT, the No. 2 mobile carrier in Korea, to cooperate on development of new home services based on the “Internet of Things” technology, known as IoT, helped boost the stock price Monday.

The researcher also made a positive assessment on the firm’s annual outlook as it continues to fare well in overseas markets.  

“The company’s China sales would increase around 35 percent as demand is rising among fitness centers and hospitals in the country, while US sales are also forecast to jump nearly 40 percent as the firm started to supply for some US Army camps,” Lee said. “The Band is not the flagship product of the company.”

By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (song@heraldcorp.com)

This is the 24th in a series of articles analyzing major companies by market capitalization traded on the tech-heavy Kosdaq market. -- Ed