Samsung tips record first-quarter profit

The Exynos 9820 is expected to arrive in early 2019

The Exynos 9820 is expected to arrive in early 2019

However, Analyst Kim Young-woo stated that the semiconductor industry could still slow in 2019, as RAM demand from major clients, such as Apple and social network giant Facebook Inc. might grow weaker, adding that Samsung is likely to trim down its capital expenditure for memory chips next year. The South Korean company is expected to rake in KRW60 trillion in consolidated sales (about $56.1 billion) and KRW15.6 trillion in operating profit (around $14.6 billion).

Meritz Securities estimated that the operating profits for the semiconductors division surged 79 percent since last year to 11.3 trillion won, while the mobile communications division shot up 64 percent compared to a year ago to 3.4 trillion won.

Samsung unseated Intel as the world's largest semiconductor maker a year ago on the back of solid demand for chips that hold data and help run programs faster for servers and phones.

Sales for the first quarter climbed to 60 trillion won, compared with the 61.3 trillion won average projection compiled by Bloomberg.

Samsung also released its new Galaxy S9 smartphone five weeks before the S8 was released a year ago, which likely increased the mobile communication division's operating profit over 2017's figure.

Even if DRAM price growth is at its peak, analysts said Samsung remained on track for record annual earnings. "Still, momentum may slow toward the end of this year with price rises likely to be less steep than last year".

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But it wasn't all good news for Samsung; its shares fell 1 percent, and are down 5 percent this year after climbing 47 percent in 2017. The 49-year-old vice chairman has since travelled to Europe to meet with business partners and been spotted in Canada.

Samsung has released its earnings guidance for the first quarter of 2018, and it's another record for the company.

Considering the company's whole memory business, Samsung is still expected to bring in higher profits this year.

Analyst Kim Yang-jae said demand for servers has offset sluggish sales for iPhone X as well as premium Chinese smartphones, and that demand is surpassing market expectations.

Last month at a shareholders' meeting, Samsung reorganised its leadership to separate the roles of business executives and board members, responding to public calls to improve its transparency and accountability.

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