Samsung Electronics on Friday said it was expecting record operating profits of about 14.5 trillion Korean won ($12.8 billion) for the September quarter, seeing a massive jump of nearly 179 percent from the same period a year earlier.
That estimate exceeds a Reuters average forecast of 14.3 trillion Korean won in operating profits.
Samsung Electronics shares closed down 1.46 percent. Following Samsung’s earnings guidance, its CEO unexpectedly resigned.
The South Korean tech giant also said it expected consolidated sales to be about 62 trillion Korean won in the third quarter, a touch lower than the 62.1 trillion won market forecast.
Over recent quarters, the world’s largest maker of memory chips, smartphones and other electronics products has seen its booming semiconductor business as a major earnings driver.
Samsung’s operating profits estimate could partly reflect a better pricing trend in the semiconductor industry, according to Mehdi Hosseini, senior analyst and senior VP for semiconductors at Susquehanna Financial Group.
“Looking forward, memory prices are going to remain stable in certain areas like DRAM [dynamic random-access memory]. They’re showing continued growth off of a higher base,” Hosseini told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday. “So memory prices going up, investment is very rational, any additional capacity is going to be very difficult. Demand is holding up too.”
Hosseini also said he expected the upside in semiconductors to continue in the fourth quarter and into the first quarter of 2018. He added that Samsung, which is a major parts supplier to Apple, could also benefit from the new iPhones launched this year.
Earlier this year, reports said Apple ordered 70 million OLED displaypanels from Samsung for its new line of iPhones. OLED offers brighter displays and better power efficiency over liquid crystal displays.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Samsung’s components division could make $110 from each of the “top-of-the-line, $1,000 iPhone X that Apple sells.”
“So semiconductor is doing great, mobile is going to surprise to the upside, and the display —they’re going to benefit from iPhone X. All looks good, at least for the next one or two quarters,” Hosseini concluded.