Yeah1 stock plummets over failed YouTube partnership

By Minh Son   September 8, 2019 | 05:50 pm PT
Yeah1 stock plummets over failed YouTube partnership
A screenshot from a YouTube video produced by Yeah1.
Media company Yeah1’s stock value has dropped 80 percent from last year’s peak with the company failing to salvage its contract with YouTube.

The largest digital media ecosystem in Vietnam saw its YEG stock value dropping from the peak of VND343,000 ($14.75) in June last year to VND65,000 ($2.8) last Friday.

The company has made moves to reduce the fall. Its chairman and CEO have recently registered to buy back 3 million shares of the company to increase their ownership to over 51 percent. Yeah1 itself paid VND140 billion ($6 million) in July to buy back 1.8 million of its own shares.

Yeah1 stocks were first listed in June last year at a price of VND250,000 ($10.75), higher than Vietnam’s top stocks of dairy giant Vinamilk and budget airline Vietjet.

The entrance of the company attracted interest from investors, subsequently increasing its value to the peak of VND343,000 ($14.75) in the next three days, the highest in the market at that time.

But this high soon crashed as a result of violation of YouTube’s policies by a Thailand-based firm in which Yeah1 owns a 17 percent stake. The violations led to YouTube terminating its contract with Yeah1 last March.

Yeah1’s subsequent efforts to salvage the partnership bore no fruit.

Although YouTube ads only contributed about 13 percent of Yeah1’s total profit, the incident prompted many concerned investors to sell their stocks.

The incident with YouTube began as an operational error but later "turned into a real crisis for the company," chairman Nguyen Anh Nhuong Tong told VnExpress in an interview in April.

The incident has caused Yeah1 to lose over VND107 billion ($4.5 million) in the first half this year. Its profit margin of digital ads dropped to 15 percent from 40 percent in the same period last year.

Yeah1 said it will turn its business model to focus on the local market instead of reaching out too fast to international ones.

Founded in 2006, Yeah1 is Vietnam's largest digital media ecosystem, operating TV channels, movie studios, YouTube networks, and digital news. It was also the first media company to go public, listing on the HoSE last June.

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