Samsung Electronics, the world's top maker of memory chips and LCD screens, reported on Friday its best ever quarterly net profit on a resurgent memory sector and forecast a strong 2010.
Samsung, which forecast strong quarterly earnings earlier this month, made a spectacular turnaround this year, riding a sector recovery and wrestling market share from global rivals, sending its stock to a record high last month.
Samsung has made great progress in strengthening its market leadership throughout 2009, and we believe the outlook is positive for further growth as the global economic recovery continues into 2010, Robert Yi, Sansung's head of investor relations, said in a statement.
Still, the company and Korean peers such as LG Electronics may be hit by a recovery in the won and rising competition.
We forecast a solid fourth quarter supported by seasonal demand for consumer electronics, though the appreciation of the won and increased marketing expenses may lead to a quarter-on-quarter decline in profit, Yi said.
Samsung's July-September net profit rose to 3.72 trillion won ($3.14 billion) from 1.22 trillion won a year ago, beating an average forecast for 3.34 trillion won from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
It was Samsung's best-ever quarterly result, exceeding its previous record net profit of 3.14 trillion won in the first quarter of 2004.
Consolidated quarterly operating profit was 4.23 trillion won, better than a forecast for 3.92 trillion won and well above last year's 1.48 trillion won.
By 0056 GMT, Samsung's shares rose 0.7 percent versus the wider market's 0.2 percent rise, cutting earlier gains, as some investors adopted a cautious stance regarding its fourth-quarter results.
Shares in South Korea's biggest company rose 59 percent this year through Thursday, beating a 41 percent gain in the broader market. (Reporting by Marie-France Han and Rhee So-eui; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner and Anshuman Daga)