Handset sales let Samsung beat Street

Dylan Bushell-Embling
10 Oct 2011

Analysts estimate that Samsung made strong strides in the mobile market during the September quarter, contributing to an expectation-beating operating profit for the group.

The results of a Bloomberg poll of analysts indicate that the company's telecom unit grew profit by around 76% to 1.99 trillion won during the quarter. One analyst believes that the company shipped around 30 million smartphones over the period.

In July, Samsung had told local reporters that the company hopes to overtake Nokia as the world's top handset maker by shipments by as early as the end of the year. The vendor gave a sales target of 330 million phone shipments for the year, including 100 million smartphones.

Samsung is also widely expected to report smartphone sales numbers that put it ahead of Apple for the quarter. Smartphones now account for around a third of Samsung's handset range, Reuters said.

The assumed strength of the handset business during the quarter appears to have taken analysts by surprise, based on operating profit forecasts.

Samsung estimates it made an operating profit of between 4 trillion ($3.41 billion) and 4.4 trillion won in Q3.

Analysts had been on average expecting operating profit of 3.7 trillion won, according to a Bloomberg comparison, while a Reuters survey pegged the consensus forecast at just 3.4 trillion won.

But Samsung's group earnings forecast is still down on the company's operating profit of 4.86 billion won in the same quarter a year earlier, due to ongoing declines in display and semiconductor sales.

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