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Samsung Electronics expected to hit record earnings in second quarter

But technology giant will still fall short of market expectations, analysts say


Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone maker, is likely to have reached record-high earnings in the second quarter of this year.

But the company is expected to deliver results below market expectations, with many analysts lowering their initial forecast due to the eurozone crisis and continued slowdown in the semiconductor sector.

The general consensus among analysts indicated that the tech manufacturing giant will post around 6 trillion won ($5.26 billion) in operating profit in the second quarter.

This would still be a quarterly record for the 177 trillion won market cap company, whose operating profit has been reaching new highs since the fourth quarter of 2011.

But it would be below the 7 trillion won earlier estimated by analysts after Samsung Electronics announced its first-quarter earnings in April.

The company had an operating profit of 3.75 trillion won in the second quarter of 2011, according to financial statements.

It posted 5.85 trillion won in operating profit from January to March this year mainly due to robust sales of its flagship Galaxy smartphones. But its other main business driver ― semiconductors ― performed poorly due to seasonal factors.

A number of securities companies, including Korea Investment & Securities and Woori Investment & Securities, gave a rosy second-quarter earnings outlook of over 7 trillion won for Samsung Electronics on the continued increase in demand for smart devices.

Taurus Investment had the highest forecast of about 7.2 trillion won, but lowered it to 6.9 trillion won.

Korea’s top consumer electronics products maker recently introduced its new line of smartphones worldwide called Galaxy S3 with features including a voice-control system.

However, with the prolonged eurozone crisis and a slowdown in both the U.S. and China further tightening consumer spending, analysts revised down their predictions.

Also, analysts said that the company is facing delays in shipping its new smartphones due to the shortage of chip components, and heightened competition in China where low-end smartphones are hitting the world’s second-largest economy.

Despite negative factors in the short term, analysts remain optimistic that Samsung Electronics will sustain and meet market expectations in the latter half of this year on the back of a rebound in the chip sector.

Also, the tech giant is expected to take a 30 percent share in the global smartphone market in the second half when the number of mobile handsets is expected to reach 450 million, up 37 percent from a year earlier.

By Park Hyong-ki (hkp@heraldcorp.com)
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