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Samsung flags record 4Q profit but misses expectations

Samsung flags record 4Q profit but misses expectations

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. Contract prices for 32 gigabyte DRAM server modules almost doubled previous year while prices for 64 gigabit MLC NAND flash memory chips rose 55 percent in the same period, according to inSpectrum Tech Inc.

Investors didn't take the news so well, driving down Samsung's share price by 1.6 percent in early trading.

Samsung Electronics expects to deliver record profits for the last three months of 2017, but the estimate missed analyst expectations.

Revenue hit a new yearly high of 239.6 trillion won (224.8 billion USA dollars) in 2017, surpassing the previous high of 228.69 trillion won (214.5 billion US dollars) in 2013.




Samsung's profits were reportedly hit by a leveling off in prices for memory chips, which are its biggest earner and the main driving force behind its record earnings in the past two quarters, Bloomberg said. NAND flash memory chips, used in things like digital cameras and USB drives, have entered a down-cycle and some analysts believe DRAM market conditions also will soften later this year. Analysts say a sharp fall in the exchange rate, which had a negative impact on Samsung's semiconductor and display businesses, and special bonuses in the fourth quarter dented the company's operating profit.

Samsung in September had announced that it set up a strategic business unit for autonomous and advanced driver assistance services, together with a $300 million fund to invest in automotive start-ups and technology.

The company will break out divisional performance later this month along with final results.

South Korean exporters like Samsung will be keeping a close eye on the won in 2018.


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