INTERNATIONAL - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd forecast a steep plunge in its second-quarter operating profit as the US-China trade war wreaks havoc in global chip and smartphone markets, although one-off gains helped it beat analyst expectations.
The South Korean tech giant is on track to post year-on-year profit declines for a third consecutive quarter as chip prices fell due to a supply glut and US sanctions on Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies, a key Samsung client.
Memory chipmakers like Samsung and South Korea’s SK Hynix are hurting as rising tariffs hit global demand for electronics. Seoul cut its annual economic growth target on Wednesday to a seven-year low as exports slump.
South Korea’s tech majors are also bearing the brunt of Japanese curbs on exports to South Korea of materials used in memory chips and smartphones, the latest flashpoint in a quarrel over Japan’s use of forced wartime labor.
“There’s not enough to say positive earnings momentum has come. Intensified US-China war, and Japanese export curbs and signs of trade conflicts widening globally are likely to delay recovery,” Lee Kyoung-min, analyst at Daishin Securities said.