The Korea Herald


Brokerages downgrade Q4 earnings outlook for major listed firms

By Yonhap

Published : Jan. 11, 2021 - 09:14

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South Korean brokerage houses (Yonhap) South Korean brokerage houses (Yonhap)
South Korean brokerage houses have slightly revised down their fourth-quarter earnings outlook for major listed companies amid the coronavirus pandemic, a market tracker said Monday.

The combined operating income forecast for 164 major listed firms came to 32.7 trillion won ($29.9 billion) for the October-December period as of Friday, up 52.4 percent from a year earlier, according to FnGuide.

Yet it represents a 2.6 percent decrease from their estimate of 33.6 trillion won made a month earlier.

The businesses cover those for which three or more local securities companies have put forward their forecasts for third-quarter operating income.

The downgrade came as top-cap Samsung Electronics Co., the world's No. 1 smartphone and memory chipmaker, forecast lower-than-expected operating income for the last quarter.

In its earnings guidance released Friday, the South Korean tech giant estimated its operating profit at 9 trillion won for the quarter, up 25.7 percent from a year ago but lower than the market consensus of 9.3 trillion won.

Local securities companies have also cut their earnings estimates for other large caps, including Woori Financial Group, LG Electronic Inc. and online game maker NCSoft Corp.

But brokerage houses have revised up operating income estimates for such large caps as chip giant SK hynix Inc., rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI and top chemicals maker LG Chem.

LG Electronics Inc. on Friday estimated its fourth-quarter operating profit at 647 billion won, a sixfold increase from a year ago.

Securities companies have offered bleak earnings outlooks for the aviation, travel and hospitality sectors pounded by the coronavirus pandemic, according to FnGuide.

Top carrier Koran Air Lines Co., however, is estimated to have swung to an operating profit of 102 billion won for the fourth quarter from an operating loss a year earlier.

Market watchers said the earnings downgrade for the major companies would have a limited impact on the local stock market, which has been on a roll in recent months on expectations of a better economy. (Yonhap)