Samsung Posts Second Straight Record Quarterly Profit -- Update

By Eun-Young Jeong and Timothy W. Martin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Samsung Electronics Co. delivered a record quarterly profit for the second time this year, as it continues to cash in on strong demand for its electronics components.

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The Suwon, South Korea-based tech giant said third-quarter net profit rose to 11.19 trillion South Korean won ($9.95 billion) from 4.54 trillion won a year earlier.

Revenue rose 30% to 62.05 trillion won from 47.82 trillion won a year earlier.

The year-earlier results were hurt by the global recall of the company's fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, causing Samsung to slash third-quarter earnings guidance by a third. The recall ultimately cost the company about $6.5 billion.

Despite that, Samsung executives have said early sales for its two premium smartphones released this year, the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy Note 8, have outpaced those of their predecessors. Even so, operating profits for the company's mobile division fell 19% compared with the previous three months.

The company's previous record net profit of 11.05 trillion won came in the second quarter. Samsung has raked in profits this year due to a proliferation of internet-connected devices and servers that keep demand for the firm's semiconductors high.

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Also, smartphone rivals--most prominently Apple Inc.--are adopting flexible organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, displays. Samsung has a roughly 95% market share for smartphone OLEDs, which enable phone makers to create thinner, sleeker-looking devices.

But the company's market dominance hasn't led to greater quarterly gains for its display unit. Operating profit there fell 5% from a year earlier.

Overall operating profit rose sharply from a year earlier to 14.53 trillion won--also a record high--compared with 5.2 trillion won a year earlier.

Samsung shares have risen about 50% this year, despite aftershocks from the Galaxy Note 7 recall and the absence of Samsung's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, who was convicted in August of bribing South Korea's former president. Mr. Lee's appeal is under way.

Shares were 0.4% lower in Tuesday morning trading in Seoul; the broader market was roughly flat.

Samsung was also shaken earlier this month when a top executive, Kwon Oh-hyun, said he would resign.

Samsung's recent run of record earnings are derived from robust sales of memory chips, which require heavy capital investment. Success can be fleeting. As recently as early last year, smartphones represented the lion's share of profits.

Semiconductors accounted for nearly 69% of the company's overall operating profit in the third quarter, the biggest contribution to Samsung's bottom line since the second quarter of 2010. The profit margin for the business unit was 50%.

Separately on Tuesday, Samsung said that it would pay out a total of 4.8 trillion won in dividends this year, a 20% increase from the previous year's 4 trillion won. For the period from 2018 to 2020, Samsung said it would pay out a total of 29 trillion won--double the dividend payout rate for 2017.

On capital expenditures, Samsung expects to spend 46.2 trillion won this year--an 81% increase from last year's 25.5 trillion won--the largest annual figure in the company's history. Investments for the fourth quarter will focus on the company's semiconductor business, the company said.

Write to Eun-Young Jeong at Eun-Young.Jeong@wsj.com and Timothy W. Martin at timothy.martin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 30, 2017 22:10 ET (02:10 GMT)