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Q3 corporate earnings outlook slashed

South Korean companies are expected to report weaker-than-expected earnings for the third quarter as Samsung Electronics, which wields enormous sway over the country’s overall corporate earnings chart, is likely to suffer another earnings shock and low oil prices hurt local refiners’ bottom lines, the latest data showed Tuesday.

The operating profit estimate for 173 listed companies was reduced by 3.7 percent for the July-September period to 30.77 trillion won ($29.65 billion) as of Friday from an estimate of 31.96 trillion won a month ago, according to the data compiled by financial information provider FnGuide.

IT, energy, industrial parts, and three other sectors likely suffered an earnings downgrade, while the medical, telecom, and financial sectors can look to improved performance, the data showed.

Over the cited period, earnings outlooks for the IT and energy sectors were cut 8.87 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively, they showed.

Analysts said the gloomy third-quarter estimates came as Samsung Electronics is increasingly coming under pressure for a downgrade.

Samsung Electronics, which accounted for some 33 percent of combined operating income made by all listed firms during the first quarter of the year, is expected to report 6.6 trillion won in operating income for the third quarter, down 12.1 percent from an estimate of 7.5 trillion won made four weeks earlier, according to the data.

Some brokerage houses predicted an operating income of below 6 trillion won for Samsung, citing a waning margin from sales of high-end smartphones and increased competition in mid- and low-end smart devices.

“Samsung Electronics had a big impact on the third-quarter earnings estimates,” said Chung Seo-hyun, an analyst at Taurus Investment & Securities.

“When Samsung is excluded from the calculation, the earnings estimate cut is small.” (Yonhap)
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