Samsung Electronics Co, the world's biggest technology firm by revenue, estimated its July-September operating profit at a record 8.1 trillion Korean won (RM21.9 billion), driven by strong sales of its Galaxy smartphones.
The South Korean firm's guidance - ahead of full quarterly results by October 26 - was higher than an average forecast of 7.6 trillion won by 16 analysts polled by Reuters.
Samsung, valued at around US$197 billion, estimated its July-September sales at 52.0 trillion won, compared with a market forecast for 51.7 trillion won.
Samsung shares have risen 7.2 per cent since a US court ruled on August 24 that the Korean firm copied parts of rival Apple Inc's iPhone and awarded the California-based firm more than US$1 billion in damages. Apple is up less than one per cent.
Samsung Electronics reported a record quarterly profit of $8.3 billion and kept its 2013 investment plans at the previous year's level, defying expectations that it may reduce spending amid weaker demand for computer chips.
The South Korean firm said October-December operating profit increased 89 percent from a year ago to 8.84 trillion korean won ($8.3 billion), in line with its earlier estimate.
In a statement on Friday, Samsung said it would keep 2013 investment at a similar level to 2012, despite a bleak PC outlook and a move by rival Apple (AAPL) to diversify its supplier base.
Analysts had expected a 4-20 percent cut in Samsung's capital spending this year.
Samsung, the world's biggest smartphone maker and a key supplier of memory chips, flat screens and microprocessors for Apple's iPhone and iPad, has increased its capital spending every year except 2009 since 2004.
Reuters Report: Samsung Electronics Co turned cautious on spending for the first time since the global financial crisis, keeping its annual investment plan unchanged at 2012 levels, as demand for computer chips wanes and the smartphone market slows.
Samsung, one of the industry's most aggressive spenders, has ramped up capital expenditure every year since 2004 except 2009 to meet soaring demand for its array of mobile devices. It sold a record 700,000 smartphones a day in the last quarter.
But with the personal computer market shrinking for the first time in 11 years, the global smartphone market growing more slowly, and Apple Inc moving to buy fewer of Samsung's microprocessors used in the iPhone and iPad, the South Korean IT giant is now forced to keep a lid on spending.
Samsung, which posted a record October-December profit on Friday, said it would keep spending this year at a level similar to 2012, without giving details. The company said previously it planned to spend 25 trillion won ($23.39 billion) in 2012.
While the decision to keep spending unchanged defies analyst expectations of a 4-20 percent cut, rival Taiwan's TSMC by comparison is planning to raise its capital expenditure to $9 billion this year, aimed in part at winning Apple orders away from Samsung.
The South Korean company had poured money into factories to boost production of chips and panels used in Apple products and its Galaxy range products, pushing its operating profit to 8.84 trillion won in the last quarter. The 89 percent increase from a year earlier was in line with its earlier estimate.
Profit at its mobile devices division, which makes phones, tablets and cameras, more than doubled to 5.44 trillion won in the quarter from a year earlier, lifted by a broader offering of smartphones - from the very cheap to the very expensive. It is also seeing strong sales of its Note phablet, which analysts expect to help Samsung get through any seasonal weakness better than rivals.
Samsung, which doesn't provide a breakdown of smartphone sales, is estimated to have sold around 63 million smartphones in the last quarter, including 15 million Galaxy S IIIs and 7 million Note IIs.
SAMSUNG VS APPLE
Apple shipped 47.8 million iPhones in the December quarter, a record that nonetheless disappointed many analysts accustomed to years of outperformance.
Cupertino, California-based Apple missed Wall Street's revenue forecast for a third straight quarter on Wednesday as iPhone sales lagged expectations.
Apple shares have dropped by more than a third since mid-September as investors fret that its days of hyper growth are over and its devices are no longer as 'must-have' as they were.
By contrast, shares in Samsung have risen 12 percent in the same period as the company once seen as quick to copy others' ideas now sets the pace in innovation.
At the world's biggest electronics show in Las Vegas this month, Samsung unveiled a prototype phone with a flexible display that can be folded almost like paper, and a microchip with eight processing cores, creating a buzz that these may be used in the next Galaxy range.
"It's very probable to us that the Exynos 5 Octa (processor) will find its way into the Galaxy S4," UBS analyst Nicolas Gaudois wrote in a recent note.
"It also looked as if the curved display is close enough to finished product. We came away even more convinced that displays will provide significant differentiation to Samsung devices, and application processors will materially grow over time," Gaudois said. ($1 = 1066.2000 Korean won)
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Ryan Woo)
Samsung according to today's reports have broken its previous quarterly earnings when a report unleashed a profit of $6.6 billion in the last quarter of 2012. With Apple reeling at the moment, Samsung is making a steady progress. The evidence of this has been provided by the report defined above. Last quarter earnings of previous year gathered $6 billion for this tech-gaint, whereas, in 2012 it increased its earnings by 18 percent. But, a 62 percent of this earning came from telecom business which meant other Samsung product were low on sell. This really tells that everything doesn't turn out fine for Samsung.
The Wall street Journal reported that Samsung‘s handset profit margin fell down by 1.4 percent i.e. starting from 18.8 percent and ending at 17.4 percent at the end of the quarter. The growths of their revenue also fell down from 82 percent to 58 percent at the end of the quarter.