Seoul: South Korea’s Samsung Electronics said on Friday it expected a record operating profit of 8.1 trillion won ($7.3 billion) in the third quarter, boosted by sales of its flagship Galaxy smartphones.
The estimate beat analyst expectations and came with a predicted 26 percent surge in sales to 52 trillion won in the three months to September, despite uncertainties surrounding Samsung’s growing patent battle with Apple Inc.
Samsung, the world’s largest technology firm by revenue, was giving earnings guidance before official results later this month.
The predicted operating profit for July-September represents a 90.5 percent rise from a year earlier, and beats the previous record of 6.7 trillion won set in the previous quarter.
The estimate saw the company’s share price rise 1.5 percent to 1.387 million won at the opening of trade in Seoul — the highest level in five months — although it later fell to 1.363 million won, down 0.3 percent on the day.
Samsung’s operating profits have seen rises on a quarterly basis since the first three months of 2011, as rising smartphone sales helped it leapfrog Apple as the world’s biggest smartphone maker.
But its shares have been under pressure due to the legal spat with the iPhone maker.
The Korean electronics giant was dealt a blow in late August when a US federal jury ruled that Samsung infringed some of Apple’s design and software patents and fined it more than $1 billion. Samsung has appealed the ruling.
The legal duel, being fought in some 10 countries, has mirrored an intense market battle between Samsung’s new Galaxy S III smartphone, released in June, and Apple’s iPhone 5 launched last month.
The South Korean firm also launched the Galaxy Note 2 — the latest version of its oversized smartphone — at the end of September.
“A successful launch of the Galaxy Note 2 following the Galaxy S III release will continue to help the firm maintain solid smartphone shipments growth in the fourth quarter despite Apple’s iPhone 5 launch,” said H.J. Shin, an analyst at Dongbu Securities.
Galaxy S III shipments have been estimated at 18 million units for the third quarter, while smartphone and overall mobile device shipments are projected at 59 million and 106 million units respectively.
“Samsung’s mobile business is likely to continue its boom until the second quarter of 2013 as the global smartphone market is still growing, especially in emerging markets,” Jeff Kang, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co., told Yonhap news agency.
Stronger earnings at Samsung’s flat-panel display and television businesses also helped offset the performance of the company’s chip division, which struggled with sharp price falls of memory chips used in personal computers.