Samsung Electronics, the world's No.1 memory chip maker, said it was on course to report a record quarterly profit, powered by robust sales of memory chips and flat screens in a strong consumer electronics market.
Samsung <005930.KS>, also the world's largest maker of flat screen TVs, estimated its April-June operating profit at a median 5.0 trillion won ($4.09 billion), higher than a consensus forecast of 4.8 trillion won polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Following are some reactions from fund managers and analysts:
MICHAEL ON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BEYOND ASSET MANAGEMENT, TAIPEI
Smartphone sales are pretty good now, so the guidance on record profit is not a surprise for me. But the second half could be a problem and that's because demand in Europe might slow and hurt sales of memory chips and panels. Its profits in the second half won't be as good as the first half.
LEE SEUNG-WOO, HEAD OF TECH TEAM, SHINYOUNG SECURITIES
Semiconductor prices were slightly higher than expected and are expected to continue to record highs in the third quarter. Due to the rise of competition in the mobile phone sector, we expected mobile phone sales to be weaker this quarter, but they were quite high as well. The mobile phone business is quite promising and recovery in LCD prices is expected to create a positive outlook for Samsung.
HWANG YOO SHIK, SENIOR ANALYST, SK SECURITIES
The European market demand for finished goods is decreasing, which could hurt earnings, but it must be kept in mind that more than half of Samsung Electronics' profitability comes from component products such as chips, for which demand is still strong. I expect stronger figures for the next quarter with increased demand in chips and the successful launch of its Galaxy smartphone.
DAVID CHOI, ANALYST, KTB SECURITIES
Higher profit margins appear to have contributed to the performance in the second quarter despite relatively weak shipments. I think this brisk trend will continue through the third quarter, when I expect another 5-10 percent rise in operating profit from the second quarter.
The impact from the euro zone crisis (on demand) must have been mostly offset by resilient demand from the rest of the world, especially from the United States.
Samsung's share price has some upward room with the brisk earnings prospects and despite the euro zone worries. The (euro zone crisis) impact on stock prices of technology companies appears to have faded by June.
JAY KIM, ANALYST, MIRAE ASSET SECURITIES
The numbers are slightly better than expected and earnings in the second half would be quite impressive again as chip prices, a major earnings driver for Samsung, are unlikely to fall sharply.
Profits will peak out in the third quarter and then gradually decrease from the fourth quarter...There are a few risk factors that could hit earnings, such as a slow recovery in the smartphone business, a potential surge in the won and macroeconomic conditions, but overall the picture is quite positive.
BENJAMIN BAN, ANALYST, DAISHIN SECURITIES
Earnings came out very strong, even slightly better than the market had expected. However I am a bit cautious on the third quarter outlook, given the current European (debt) situation. A weaker euro may dampen European appetite for electronics, given that Samsung bases its product prices in dollars.
Our six month target price on Samsung Elec is 975,000 won for now.
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim, Jungyoun Park, Yoo Choonsik, Suh Kyung-min and Seo Ji-won in SEOUL and Baker Li in TAIPEI; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)