South Korean battery giant LG Energy Solution’s stocks stood strong on Monday, despite the end of a year-long lock-up period.
The company’s shares rose by 0.79 percent to 510,000 won ($415.5) from the last trading day, according to the bourse operator Korea Exchange. The stocks tumbled by 3.16 percent to 490,000 won at one point in the morning but ticked upwards approximately one hour before the closing bell.
Foreigners and institutions each bought 29.1 billion won and 15.9 billion won worth of shares, while retail investors sold 48.6 billion won worth of shares.
The lock-up period of LG Energy Solution’s 7,924,939 shares under the employee stock option ended, greenlighting stock trading. The 4.4 trillion won worth of shares account for 23.1 percent of the total number of shares that are actually traded.
Market insiders had expressed concerns that the company’s stock price might fall due to an overhang issue, selling pressure of the employees to gain profit.
When LG Energy Solution made its debut on the benchmark Kospi last year, the employees were allocated 885 shares on average per person worth 300,000 won apiece. Comparing it with the closing price, they made a 70 percent profit.
But sources said the number of staff who are selling their shares might have been lower than expected.
Of the 577 LG Energy Solution employees who participated in a poll carried out at Blind, an anonymous workplace community app, on Saturday approximately 47.6 percent answered they would keep their shares. 34.6 percent said they plan on keeping the stocks until March while 17.8 percent answered they will sell off the stocks.
“Since the company is expecting to reach stellar performance, most of the employees seem to be holding on to their shares, except for those who are struggling to pay back high-interest bank loans,” said a member of staff from LG Energy Solution.
The 16 securities firms that issued reports on the company set the price target at an average of 650,000 won.
“This year, LG Energy Solutions will benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act, with business expansion in North America” said Park Jin-su, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities. “Production of pouch batteries for electric vehicles at two joint ventures with GM Motors is expected to give a growth momentum for the company.”
LG Energy Solution posted record high earnings last year -- 25.6 trillion won in revenue and 1.2 trillion won in operating profit, 43.4 percent and 57.9 percent increases on-year, respectively.
In January 2022, LG Energy Solution allocated 8,154,518 shares worth 2.45 trillion won to 9,564 employees under the Employee Stock Ownership Association. Due to those who sold their shares after retiring, stocks owned by employees dropped to 7,924,939 as of September.