Samsung Electronics Co yesterday said that its fourth-quarter profit rose 15 percent from a year earlier, a smaller-than-expected gain as the world’s largest maker of smartphones and memory chips struggles to revive growth.
The South Korean company reported in its earnings preview that it recorded 6.1 trillion won (US$5.1 billion) in operating profit for the October-December quarter, compared with 5.3 trillion won a year earlier.
Samsung was expected to report 6.6 trillion won in operating profit, according to financial data provider FactSet.
Sales stayed nearly flat at 53 trillion won, also slightly lower than expectations. It did not give net profit or other details, which will be announced at the end of this month.
The preliminary results showed that the company’s annual operating profit likely posted a slight gain from 2014 after posting more than 30 percent fall in 2014 from 2013.
However, analysts estimated that its annual net income dropped for a second time in three years last year after hitting a peak in 2013, as explosive growth in its mobile business, which once accounted for two-thirds of its profit, came to a stunning halt.
Analysts have recently lowered their forecasts on Samsung’s earnings for the final quarter of last year, citing weak global demand for personal computers and smartphones that hurt its semiconductor business.
Its memorychip and mobile processor business have helped partially outweigh its profit fall from sales of its own smartphones.
Korea Investment & Securities analyst Yoo Jongwoo said sluggish iPhone sales pushed down demand for memory chips and mobile processors at Samsung.
They said Samsung’s consumer electronics division was likely its only division that showed a recovery during the quarter thanks to seasonally high demand and a fall in LCD panel prices.
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