SM Entertainment has K-pop stars BoA, TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, SHINee under its stable; while artistes PSY, Big Bang, 2NE1, Se7en are with YG Entertainment.
SM Entertainment is more expensive at 40.7x EV/EBITDA, 49.9x P/NTA and 62.1 Price/Sales; while YG Entertainment trades at 41.0x EV/EBITDA, 10.5x P/NTA and 10.9x Price/Sales.
The current valuations embed higher growth expectations for SM Entertainment which trades at 23.1x Forward P/E compared with 35.5x Forward P/E for YG Entertainment
Both do not have dividends and have a strong financial position. SM Entertainment has a gross debt/equity of 9%, while YG Entertainment is debt-free.
Current valuations are clearly out of reach for many value investors, with too much uncertainty in the assessment of the earnings power of intangible assets such as PSY and Super Junior.
However, stocks are called growth stocks when they are priced at 30x P/E; and value stocks when they fall to 10x P/E. Value investors should keep an open mind, make mental notes of interesting stocks and be ready to seize opportunities when valuations are attractive.