SEOUL--After three years of struggle, shares of Samsung SSNHZ 0.00 % Electronics Co. roared to an all-time closing high on Thursday, capping a 30% rally this year that underscores the technology giant's improved fortunes. Shares of the world's largest maker of smartphones by shipments jumped 4.7% to finish the day at 1,640,000 Korean won ( 1,480) a share, giving it a market capitalization of 232 trillion won ( 210 billion). That makes Samsung five times as valuable as Japan's Sony Corp. SNE 1.61 % and puts it within striking distance of Chinese internet giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA -0.14 % and Tencent Holdings Ltd. TCEHY 0.57 % as Asia's most valuable technology companies. It also puts Samsung ahead of Intel Corp. INTC -0.47 %, Coca-Cola Co. and Visa Inc. V -0.80 % in market-cap rankings, though its main rival Apple Inc. AAPL 0.16 % 's market cap of 562 billion--the world's largest--remains nearly three times that of Samsung. Samsung's surge comes after the Suwon, South Korea-based company reported its most profitable quarter in two years last month, as operating profit at its mobile unit jumped 57% in the April-to-June period from a year earlier.
SEOUL (Reuters) - Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Thursday its second-quarter operating profit likely rose 17.4 percent from a year earlier, its highest in more than 2 years as Galaxy S7 smartphone sales propelled mobile earnings. The world's top maker of smartphones and memory chips said its April-June profit was likely 8.1 trillion won ( 7 billion), better than the average forecast of 7.8 trillion won tipped by a Thomson Reuters survey of 16 analysts. It was the highest since a 8.5 trillion won profit in the first quarter of 2014. The mobile division likely was the top earner for the second straight quarter, raising the question of whether the South Korean company can sustain this strong momentum in the face of competition from Apple Inc and cheaper Chinese rivals. "At this point it appears unlikely that we'll see stronger competing devices emerging (in the second half)," IBK Asset Management fund manager Kim Hyun-soo said.
Samsung Electronics, the world's largest smartphone maker, has recorded better than expected first quarter profits thanks to the successful early release of its new flagship Galaxy handset. The result will encourage shareholders after a disappointing 2015 that saw Samsung lose more than 8bn in market value, with its smartphone business sandwiched by top-end rivals like Apple's iPhone and lower-end devices from fast-growing Chinese outfits like Huawei and Xiaomi. In an effort to defend its smartphone share, Samsung rolled out the latest version of its Galaxy S7 smartphone in March – a month earlier than the previous year and ahead of new launches by its competitors. Boasting an improved camera, waterproofing and microSD storage support, Galaxy S7 models are on track to set a new first-year shipments record, boosting hopes the mobile business will post its first annual profit gain in three years. "The first quarter saw overall earnings growth led by the early launch and successful sales of the flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 edge," the South Korean company said on Thursday.
Hyundai Motor Co. reported a 12 percent drop in its first-quarter net profit on Tuesday as its sales falls in China, Russia and Brazil outweighed higher vehicle shipments at home and favorable foreign exchange rates. South Korea's largest automaker said its January-March net income was 1.7 trillion won ( 1.5 billion), compared with 1.91 trillion won a year earlier. The results were better than expected: Analysts expected 1.53 trillion won according to FactSet, a financial data provider. But the company reported a year-over-year earnings drop for a ninth consecutive quarter. The company blamed weak demand in emerging markets and oil-exporting countries.
Samsung Electronics announced Thursday that it expects a better-than-expected jump in operating profit in the first quarter of 2016. The South Korean electronics giant, which debuted its flagship Galaxy S7 smartphones last month, estimates that its operating income for the three-month period ending March 31 rose to 6.6 trillion won ( 5.7 billion) -- a 10 percent jump over the same period last year and higher than the 5.6 billion won forecast by Reuters. Samsung's net sales in the quarter rose 4 percent over the year-earlier period to approximately 49 trillion won -- largely in line with expectations. The company, which will report its final earnings later this month, did not disclose its net profit in the preliminary numbers released Thursday. The Korean company, whose profits have, since mid-2014, been squeezed by its American rival Apple, had reported an operating profit of 6.1 trillion won in the fourth quarter of 2015 -- a 15 percent year-on-year rise -- and revenue of 53.3 trillion won -- a 1.1 percent rise over the year-ago period.