Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS>, the world's top maker of memory chips and flat screen TVs, estimated its October-December consolidated operating profit at a median 3.7 trillion won ($3.27 billion).

The preliminary estimate is higher than a consensus forecast of 3.54 trillion won from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In a filing to the Korea Exchange on Thursday, Samsung estimated its fourth-quarter consolidated sales at a median 39.0 trillion won.

Samsung is benefiting from stronger-than-expected demand in its flagship chip business and robust TV sales and as South Korean players wrestle global market share from Japanese rivals including Sony Corp <6758.T>.

The quarterly operating profit would be a big improvement from an operating loss of 0.74 trillion won a year ago, but smaller than a 4.23 trillion won profit posted in the third quarter.

Samsung is due to report its official quarterly results later this month.

(Reporting by Rhee So-eui; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner and Anshuman Daga)