Samsung posts record Q3 profit on thriving chip business

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Samsung posts record Q3 profit on thriving chip business

The smartphone and semiconductor giant reported a 20pc surge in profits for the three months ending in September to 17.5tn won and a 4.8pc increase in revenues.

"While the third quarter guidance report is positive in that it exceeds earlier market consensus, heavy dependency on semiconductor performance is a negative [for Samsung Electronics]", said Kim Yang-jae, analyst at KTB Investment & Securities. The previous record was 15.6 trillion won set in the first quarter of 2018. That compared with an average 776 billion won forecast by nine analysts recently, according to a Refinitiv poll. That compared with a 15.9 trillion won forecast from 11 analysts.

Beyond smartphones and memory chips, another reason Samsung's earnings were so hot last quarter was because South Korea was so hot - literally. The numbers could potentially be even higher as well, as Samsung's guidance split the difference between the company's estimated range of 17.4-17.6 trillion won.

It was the biggest-ever quarterly profit in the company's history, surpassing the market expectations of around 17.2 trillion won (15.3 billion US dollars). Ltd. (Korea: SEC)'s chips business has traditionally accounted for about four fifths of its operating profits.

Samsung did not speak about its performance and will not disclose its earnings until late in October.

The price of DRAM products - used in mobile devices, servers and PCs - is expected to see a sharp drop of five percent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter on slowing demand, said TrendForce, a market research firm that tracks memory chip pricing.

With Samsung being the main display provider for the high-priced iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, up to 30 percent of its display unit sales come from Apple.

Competition from Apple and Huawei's new flagship phones mean Samsung faces "tremendous challenges to remain strong" in the high-end market, he added.

LG Electronics is expected to post an overall profit of 3 trillion won for 2018.

Samsung can weather slowdowns in particular market segments because it's invested in so many different ones.

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