Samsung earnings plunge nearly 80% as chip demand slumps

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Samsung Electronics is expected to report a nearly 80% plunge in third-quarter earnings as its semiconductor business continues to come under pressure.

Analysts polled by LSEG expect operating profit of 2.3 trillion Korean won ($1.7 billion) for the September quarter, a 78.7% year-on-year decline. Revenue is expected to come in at 67.8 trillion won, a fall of 11.6%.

Samsung’s semiconductor business is typically its cash cow, but it is expected to post a more than 3 trillion won loss for the third quarter due to a glut caused by oversupply and low demand for end products like smartphones and laptops.

Memory chip prices have fallen dramatically this year, and the tech giant has cut production in a bid to help shore up prices. However, the effect is not likely to be seen in the third-quarter results.

There are some potential bright spots for Samsung in the September quarter, however. Its display business could see quarter-on-quarter growth due to the release of Apple’s iPhone 15 series, and its smartphone unit could see improving margins due to the high-end foldable phones it launched in July.

Investors will be looking for signs that Samsung’s core chip division will stabilize in the current quarter. Analysts expect operating profit of 3.8 trillion won in the fourth quarter, but that would still represent an 11.5% year-on-year decline.

Some analysts believe that the inventory glut may ease and memory prices could rise in the fourth quarter. Citigroup also suggested that Samsung may begin supplying advanced memory chips for Nvidia’s graphics processing units, which are used for artificial intelligence.

The sources for this piece include an article in CNBC.

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