Samsung hopes to extend its earnings Hot Streak

SEOUL-

Samsung Electronics
Co.

He said that the operating profit of the first quarter will be the highest so far, surpbading the badysts' estimates and continuing the chain of record results of the company.

The world's largest maker of smartphones and semiconductors said on Friday it expected an operating profit of 15.6 trillion South Korean won. billion) for the quarter, 58% more compared to 9.9 billion won the previous year. Samsung expects revenues to increase to 60 trillion won from 50.55 trillion won.

Analysts polled by S & P Global Market Intelligence expect the company to generate an operating profit of 14.5 trillion won and gains of 61.5 trillion won. Samsung will report the final results later this month.

Samsung has already delivered record profits for three consecutive quarters. In the last three months of 2017, its operating profit stood at 15.15 trillion won.

The better-than-expected earnings forecast was favored by the anticipated launch of Samsung's latest flagship device, the Galaxy S9. The initial sales of the telephone – when demand is traditionally the strongest – began in March, placing it in the first quarter. Last year's version, the Galaxy S8, did not reach the shelves until April, a delayed release due to the expensive worldwide recall of Galaxy Note 7 devices.

Investors will closely monitor Galaxy S9 sales when Samsung reports the complete results. Consumers have been less eager to update themselves, unimpressed by new features and resisting prices approaching $ 1,000.

A sign of the riddle of smartphones: Samsung gave a price similar to that of last year's models. But the Galaxy S9 +, with 64 gigabytes of memory and a larger screen, cost $ 43 more to manufacture than the Galaxy S8 +, driven predominantly by more expensive semiconductors, according to IHS Markit, a market researcher.

Despite the optimistic forecast of gains, the shares of the South Korean company fell by 0.8% at the beginning of Friday due to fears about how a commercial fight between EE. UU And China could affect its thriving semiconductor business.

Samsung's record results have recently been boosted by memory chip sales, as the company took advantage of rising chip prices due to strong demand from manufacturers of Internet-connected devices and servers of data.

Samsung manufactures memory chips in China, but they are not expected to be subject to US tariffs. But Chinese products using components made by Samsung could be affected.

Samsung, which has faced a leadership vacuum, gained some relief after its de facto leader,

Lee Jae-yong,

He was released from prison in February after spending a year behind bars for his involvement in a government corruption scandal that rocked South Korea. An appeals court reduced its five-year sentence, although Mr. Lee, grandson of Samsung's founder, still faces a Supreme Court ruling later this year.

Samsung also officially installed new CEOs for its three divisions: mobile and electronic components. and consumer electronics. In October, Kwon Oh-hyun, one of the outgoing presidents and vice presidents, said the company faced an "unprecedented crisis" and needed a younger leadership, explaining its surprise resignation plans.

Write to Timothy W. Martin at [email protected]

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