SEOUL – Samsung Electronics Co. said fourth-quarter operating profit will be its highest ever, as the company benefits from strong demand for its electronics components.
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On Tuesday, the company said it expected an operating profit of 15.1 trillion South Korean won ($14.1 billion) for the quarter, up 64% from 9.22 trillion won a year earlier. Samsung expects revenue will rise to 66 trillion won from 53.33 trillion won.
Analysts polled by S&P Global Market Intelligence expect the South Korean tech company to post an operating profit of 16 trillion won and revenue of 67.1 trillion won. The won has traded near three-year highs this month, which affects export-heavy firms like Samsung with significant overseas business.
Still, Samsung has been on a tear of late and the period ending Dec. 30 would mark the third consecutive quarter that the company posted a record-high operating profit.
Samsung, the world's largest maker of smartphones and semiconductors, will report final earnings later this month. It is expected to detail how sales of its flagship Galaxy Note 8 device--the follow-up phone to last year's recalled Galaxy Note 7--have fared against Apple Inc.'s iPhone X.
Samsung's memory chips are in demand due to the spread of internet-connected devices and the tech industry's broader push into artificial intelligence. The company also has a stranglehold on the production of flexible OLED displays, short for organic light-emitting diodes, which enable phone makers to create sleeker, thinner devices. The iPhone X, for instance, uses Samsung-made displays and memory chips.
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The run of record results comes as Samsung has grappled with a leadership vacuum at the top of the company. Its chairman is incapacitated, de facto leader Lee Jae-yong is in prison and the firm replaced all three of its co-CEOs in late October.
Mr. Lee, the grandson of Samsung's founder, was convicted in August for bribing South Korea's former president; he was sentenced to five years in prison. A ruling for Mr. Lee's appeal is expected on Feb. 5 and prosecutors have asked a South Korean court to extend his prison term to 12 years. Mr. Lee has denied wrongdoing.
Samsung shares have slid about 9% since they hit all-time highs in early November, as some investors grew concerned about potential price drops for memory chips. But the stock has risen about 40% over the past year versus a gain of about 22% for the benchmark Kospi index.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 08, 2018 20:01 ET (01:01 GMT)