Earnings ought to have elevated within the fourth quarter

The Samsung logo can be seen on an Android phone.

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SINGAPORE – Samsung Electronics announced Friday that operating income for the quarter ended December was expected to increase 26% year over year to Korean won 9 trillion (US $ 8.22 billion).

According to Refinitiv SmartEstimate, this was largely in line with analysts’ estimate of 9.1 trillion won.

Samsung Electronics’ shares in South Korea rose 7.12% on Friday.

The company announced that consolidated sales were expected to reach 61 trillion won in the fourth quarter, an increase of nearly 2% year over year. Samsung has not broken down the performance of each business unit, including the main profitable semiconductor business.

Full results for the December quarter are expected later this month.

Korean won and smartphone sales

According to Daniel Kim, senior research analyst at Macquarie Equities Research, Samsung’s forecast fell short of analysts’ expectations for two reasons.

“A strong Korean won against (a) some major currencies like the US dollar and the euro,” he said on CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Friday. The other reason is “disappointing” smartphone sales, which have been quite unpredictable over the past few quarters, Kim said.

But the analyst is bullish about the stock. He pointed out that memory chip prices are expected to change this quarter, and average sales prices are expected to rise – this would benefit the semiconductor business.

“The memory surge is likely to last much longer than many people think. So I’m very pleased with my outperformance rating of the stock,” said Kim, adding that Samsung “remains one of the cheapest semiconductor stocks in the world.” “”

Both operating income and consolidated sales were down from the previous quarter, based on Friday’s guidance.

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