Samsung posts record Q1 on strong chips, TVs

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Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS>, the world's top maker of memory chips and flat screen TVs, reported record quarterly results, powered by robust demand for chips and flat-screen TVs.

On Friday, the company reported a 4.4 trillion won ($3.95 billion) operating profit in January-March, beating a consensus forecast for a 4.27 trillion won profit by 13 analysts from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. This was also better than Samsung's median estimate of 4.3 trillion won in a range of 4.1 to 4.5 trillion won given earlier this month.

The results improved from a 590 billion won operating profit a year earlier and 3.44 trillion won earned in October-December.

Analysts expect Samsung, also the world's No.2 handset maker, behind Finland's Nokia to beat its first-quarter profit in the coming quarters as it rides a broad global technology recovery.

Samsung competes with Sony Corp <6758.T> and LG Electronics <066570.KS> in flat-screen TVs and Toshiba <6502.T> and Hynix <000660.KS> in semiconductors.

Shares in Samsung, South Korea's biggest company and Asia's most valuable technology firm with a market value of around $107 billion, have risen 5 percent so far this year, broadly in line with the KOSPI's <.KS11> 4 percent rise.

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner and Anshuman Daga)

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