Samsung Electronics is likely to turn in its best quarterly profit in three years and a record revenue, on rising memory chip prices and brisk sales of its new foldable smartphones, analysts' estimates show.
Operating profit for the world's biggest memory chip and smartphone maker likely jumped to KRW 16.1 trillion (roughly Rs. 10,000 crores) in the quarter ended September, according to a Refinitiv SmartEstimate from 16 analysts, weighted toward those who are more consistently accurate.
That would be up 30 percent from KRW 12.35 trillion (roughly Rs. 77,300 crores) a year earlier and the highest since the third quarter of 2018. Revenue likely rose 11 percent to 74.6 trillion won (roughly Rs. 4,67,000 crores), a record high.
An unprecedented global shortage in semiconductor chips amid the pandemic has underpinned Samsung's results and shares, which soared 45 percent last year and hit a record high at the start of 2021.
But the stock has dropped since then, compounded by losses in September when US peer Micron warned its memory chip shipments would slip in the near term, amid industry views that chip prices will tumble after peaking in July-September.
"Samsung shares have fallen due to Micron's guidance but unlike Micron, Samsung internalises major components ... and has other businesses like mobile and foundry to buoy performance," said Hanwha Investment & Securities analyst Lee Soon-hak.
"Memory (chip) prices are seen rebounding next year after a short period of decline," Lee added.
Samsung will announce preliminary results on Friday.
Chip division, smartphones
Samsung's chip division is likely to report an operating profit of KRW 9.9 trillion (roughly Rs. 61,970 crores), an average of six analysts' forecasts shows, up 79 percent from a year earlier, helped by rising memory chip prices and shipments.
Prices of DRAM chips, used in servers, mobile phones and other computing devices, jumped 7.9 percent versus the June quarter, while those of NAND flash chips that serve the data storage market rose 5.5 percent, data from research provider Trendforce shows.
Analysts also forecast a double-digit operating margin for Samsung's chip contract manufacturing business as clients rush to secure production capacity.
Its mobile division likely saw about KRW 3.7 trillion (roughly Rs. 23,160 crores) in operating profits, analysts said, down from KRW 4.45 trillion (roughly Rs. 27,840 crores) a year earlier but up from the prior quarter's KRW 3.2 trillion (roughly Rs. 20,020 crores) on foldable smartphones sales.
An estimated 2 million Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 models were sold in a month since launching in late August, with South Korea topping sales followed by the United States, said Jene Park, senior research analyst at Counterpoint.
Market participants will be scouring Samsung's full results later this month for an update on its planned $17 billion (roughly Rs. 1,26,800 crores) US semiconductor factory after sources said it was drawing closer to finalising the construction.
© Thomson Reuters 2021