LG Display swings to quarter 4 profit on solid Apple demand

LG Display Co Ltd reported a second consecutive quarterly operating profit on Thursday, helped by a rebound in television sales during the year-end holiday season and solid sales of its screens used in Apple Inc's iPad and iPhone.

LG Display, which vies with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's panel unit for the top position in liquid crystal display flat screens globally, reported 587 billion won ($550.6 million) in operating profit for the October-December quarter.

That was far above an average forecast for a 441 billion won profit in a poll of eight analysts by Thomson Reuters and up from an operating loss of 155 billion won for the same period a year earlier.

It also marks its highest quarterly profit since the second quarter of 2010 and a continuation of a turnaround that began in July-September after seven straight quarters of losses, mainly due to an industry oversupply of TV panels.

But analysts expect earnings for LG display, which provides about 70 percent of Apple iPad screens, will tumble this quarter. The U.S. company reported disappointing fourth-quarter results on weaker-than-expected iPhone sales, fanning fears that its dominance of the mobile industry was slipping.

LG Display's share price climbed 40 percent in the first 11 months of 2012 but have lost 17 percent since then due to worries about demand for Apple products.

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)