Samsung Electronics Co, Asia's biggest electronics maker by market value, had a smaller drop in fourth-quarter profit than analysts expected and said it will accelerate investment in plants producing chips, flat screens and mobile phones. The company's stock surged 6.2 percent. \nNet income fell 1.9 percent from a year ago to 1.8 trillion won (US$1.74 billion) as lower prices on mobile phones and flat-screen displays led to the first profit decline in six quarters, Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung said today in a regulatory filing. The profit beat the median 1.4 trillion won estimate from 19 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. \nThe decline failed to prevent a record annual profit for Chief Executive Yun Jong Yong, 60, who will raise capital spending by 34 percent this year -- more than double last year's pace. The plan underlines Samsung's strategy of outspending rivals such as Intel Corp by investing in the latest technology to cut costs. \nThe shares of Samsung, which lags only Intel in semiconductor sales, rose to 471,500 won, the biggest one-day gain in more than three months. \nTo boost its share price further, Samsung said yesterday that it will buy back at least 2 trillion won of stock this year. \nThe pricing pressures on semiconductors and flat screens that squeezed earnings in the final three months of last year should ease this quarter, Samsung said, adding handset prices and profit margins will rise "significantly." Demand for liquid-crystal display (LCD) televisions will also rise, the company said. \nSamsung expects the mobile phone industry to ship 670 million handsets this year, a forecast that's more optimistic than the 630 million projected by bigger rival Nokia Oyj. \nAided by sales of handsets and semiconductors, Samsung's full-year net income surged 81 percent to a record 10.8 trillion won on sales of 57.6 trillion won, also a record. Operating profit gained 67 percent to 12 trillion won, prompting the company to reward its employees with about 700 billion won in special bonuses. \nSales are expected to rise again this year, edging 2 percent higher to 58.7 trillion won, the electronics maker said. \n"The business environment during the fourth quarter was quite challenging" because of high oil prices, an appreciating won and slowing demand for electronics, said Chu Woo Sik, head of investor relations at Samsung in a conference call with analysts yesterday. "Despite these difficulties, I think the company did quite well." \nThe fourth-quarter result did little to deter the company from investing in more production capacity. Samsung will boost capital expenditures to 10.3 trillion won from 7.7 trillion won last year, when Samsung raised spending by 14 percent. \nSpending on chips will rise 9 percent to 6.01 trillion won this year, almost one-tenth more than Intel's projected spending of as much as US$5.3 billion. LCD investments will almost double to 2.9 trillion won; expenditures on telecommunications will rise 41 percent to about 410 billion won, Samsung said.
Dignitaries from 47 countries yesterday congratulated President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the commencement of her second term and highlighted Taiwan’s achievements in democracy and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent his congratulations a day earlier. As of noon yesterday, 263 high-ranking officials from 47 countries and global organizations had congratulated Tsai via statements, letters, social media posts or recorded footage, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, while releasing a collection of footage sent by selected dignitaries. The governments of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies sent their congratulations, as did the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy,
REASSURING NUMBERS: Taiwan’s test capacity ranks sixth or seventh among 91 nations, and is not low compared with other nations, Chen Shih-chung said The quarantine period for foreigners visiting Taiwan for business would vary based on the COVID-19 situation of the nation or territory that they are coming from, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported the 13th consecutive day of no new cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told reporters at the center’s daily briefing that modified rules covering foreign business visitors had been completed and were ready for him to sign. The complete details of the new rules would be released later this week, he said. Foreigners on long business trips would have
IN PROTEST: The US’ top diplomat said the WHA had been deprived of Taiwan’s scientific expertise, while Tsai said political factors should not be put above health US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday condemned Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly (WHA), while President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday lodged a strong protest against the WHO for not inviting Taiwan. Twenty-two nations voiced support for Taiwan’s bid for participation on the first day of the assembly’s two-day virtual meeting, but despite the global community’s unprecedentedly strong support for Taiwan, it remained blocked from the assembly, with WHO member states on Monday agreeing to delay discussion on Taiwan until later this year. Pompeo, who on May 6 urged WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to invite Taiwan to the WHA,
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced no new cases of COVID-19, adding that a ban on mask exports would be lifted soon under three conditions. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 401 people from among the nation’s 440 confirmed cases have been removed from isolation. Yesterday was the 12th consecutive day that no new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Taiwan, and the 37th day of no new domestic cases. “As our local communities have gradually become safe, we should not become careless,” Chen said. “We should continue to take personal protective measures