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Samsung Q3 Profit to Dip, Outlook Rosier
Oct 14, 2003
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Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's quarterly profit is set to show a dip from a year ago on lower income from its credit card unit but to improve from the previous quarter on better sales of its mainstay memory chips.

Higher-than-expected computer demand as students in the U.S. and elsewhere returned to school and low inventory levels are expected to be the key drivers behind Samsung's performance in the third quarter. An expected rise in shipments ahead of Christmas is likely to keep it buoyant.

Samsung, the world's top memory chip maker and the third-largest mobile phone producer, will also show sales of its sleek folding handsets have topped its forecasts on healthy exports to the U.S. and Europe, despite stagnant prices, analysts said.

"The demand for DRAM and flash memory was strong, thanks to back-to-school PC demand in July and August," said Chin Yeong-hoon, analyst at Daishin Securities. "We expect shipments to pick up again in mid-October ahead of Christmas."

The Christmas season is historically the best period for the tech sector, and analysts said this year would show a solid improvement over last year's dismal performance.

Samsung is expected to post a third-quarter net profit of around 1.64 trillion won (U.S. $1.43 billion) when it releases its results soon, according to 10 analysts polled by Reuters.

That is down 5 percent from a profit of 1.73 trillion won a year ago, but up 45 percent from a 1.13 trillion won profit in the previous quarter. Sales are expected to have risen to 11.34 trillion won in the quarter from 9.92 trillion won a year before.

Samsung's special gains should fall to 58 billion won in the quarter from 258 billion won in the previous quarter, due to lower income from its 56 percent-owned Samsung Card unit, a UBS research note said.

Analysts expect Samsung to record 1.77 trillion won in operating profit, unchanged from a year ago but up sharply from 1.16 trillion in the second quarter.

Samsung, Asia's most valuable electronics stock with a market value of about $63 billion, has risen 42 percent so far this year, beating a 22-percent gain in the broader market. (Reuters)

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