IT&Software

Samsung predicts another record quarter, thanks to its chip business

Samsung predicts another record quarter, thanks to its chip business

Continuing demand for its chips used in servers and smartphones have kept Samsung in record profit, easing concerns about its display business suffering from disappointing iPhone X sales-the Korean company provides the OLED displays for Apple's flagship.

The global semiconductor leader and Apple smartphone rival forecast January-March profit to leap 57.6 per cent from a year earlier to 15.6 trillion won ($14.7 billion), beating an average forecast of 14.5 trillion won from a Thomson Reuters survey of 21 analysts.

The profit forecast from Samsung Electronics - the flagship subsidiary of the giant Samsung Group - widely surpassed the market consensus for about 14.6 trillion won.

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The prices of NAND chips commonly used in mobile devices began falling late previous year and analysts have been closely watching for signs of the peak in the DRAM price boom as well.

The shares of Samsung fell about 1% in Seoul, as the KOSPI index declined on concern over United States tariffs. "Although gains in memory chip prices have slowed from the height of the chip boom, lower prices could also increase demand for chips, and Samsung has the cost-cutting ability to keep profits up", Greg Roh, an analyst at HMC Investment & Securities, told Reuters. The stock is down more than 5 percent this year, after climbing 41 percent in 2017.

The latest positive result comes just months after Samsung's reputation was dealt a blow by the bribery conviction of heir Lee Jae-yong, the son of current group boss Lee Kun-hee. The 49-year-old vice chairman has since traveled to Europe to meet with business partners and been spotted in Canada. Prices for 128GB MLC NAND flash memory chips fell 10.7% in the March quarter from the December period while contract prices for 32GB DRAM server modules climbed 5.6% in the same period, according to inSpectrum Tech. "When you consider its entire memory business, there is an excellent chance that it will see higher profits in 2018". Shareholders also approved a 50:1 stock split that will take effect following a trade suspension from April 30 to May 3.


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