Samsung's preliminary 3Q earnings show sharp rise

The tech bellwether showed a sharp rise in sales and operating profit

Samsung Electronics, considered a technology industry bellwether for the number of mobile phones, memory chips, and LCD panels it sells, on Tuesday announced preliminary third quarter sales and operating profit sharply higher than the same quarter last year.

The world's largest memory chip and LCD panel maker said its consolidated sales in the third quarter were 36 trillion Korean won (US$30.8 billion) on a preliminary basis compared to 30.27 trillion in the same quarter last year, while its operating profit more than doubled to 4.1 trillion Korean won from 1.48 trillion.

Samsung will announce its final third quarter results later this month. The company did not comment on the figures. The company likely benefitted from increased prices for both memory chips and LCD screens, analysts say.

Prices of mainstream DRAM, 1GB DDR2 (double data rate, second generation) chips, rose nearly 90 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, according to a report by investment bank Credit Suisse.

The price of NAND Flash memory, used to store songs and photos in iPhones and other gadgets, has also been strong. Chip prices increased in the third quarter and market researcher Gartner forecasts a shortage of the chips in the first half of the fourth quarter ahead of end of the year holidays, followed by oversupply as demand slackens later in the quarter.

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