Samsung posts a record profit
Though it lost in court to Apple over a patent dispute, Samsung widened its lead in sales of mobile devices with a 93 percent increase in mobile earnings.
SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest maker of TVs and mobile phones, reported a record profit surpassing analysts’ estimates as the popularity of its Galaxy devices helped widen the sales lead over Apple’s iPhone.
Operating profit jumped 91 percent to $7.3 billion in the three months ended in September, Asia’s biggest consumer electronics company said in a statement Friday. The average of 32 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was $6.9 billion.
Earnings at the mobile-phone business surged 93 percent in the quarter with the May debut of the Galaxy S III and the Note, according to a Bloomberg News survey of six analysts, helping mask a slump in profit from selling computer-memory chips. TV sales also helped Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, which lost a California patent trial in August to rival and its biggest customer Apple.
“Sales have been very, very good around the world despite the best efforts of Apple to restrain them,” said Mark Newman, a Hong Kong-based senior analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein.
“There’s a lot of growth left in the company, and I would think that it can go a lot higher,” he said.
Samsung shares rose 0.2 percent to at the close of trading in Seoul. The stock has gained 29 percent this year, adding to three consecutive years of advances.
Samsung probably shipped 57.1 million smartphones in the third quarter, according to Seoul-based Daishin Securities’ estimate.
That would surpass the 50.5 million units Samsung shipped in the previous quarter, a record amount for a single vendor, according to estimates from industry researcher Strategy Analytics.
Sales of the Galaxy S III surpassed 20 million units in the 100 days after its May debut, Samsung said Sept. 6. The company also is marketing the Galaxy Note II phone, equipped with a pen and a larger screen than the S III, after the first version sold more than 10 million units.
Samsung shipped about 32.3 percent of all smartphones in the quarter ended in June, with Apple second at 16.7 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Apple, lagging behind only Samsung in the $219 billion global smartphone market, last month started selling the iPhone 5 with a bigger screen and a faster processor than previous models.
Apple reported debut weekend sales of more than 5 million units, falling short of some analysts’ estimates after supply constraints delayed shipments.
Samsung and Apple are also battling in court regarding patents protecting their devices, with each accusing the other of copying their intellectual property.