A pessimistic forecast was made that Samsung Electronics, which has maintained its No. 1 position in the operating profit rankings due to deteriorating business conditions in the global semiconductor industry, will fall to fifth place, and SK Hynix will record a loss. On the other hand, Hyundai Motor rose to the top spot thanks to an increase in sales.
According to FnGuide on March 27, Samsung Electronics’ operating profits in the first quarter is expected to drop by 88 percent year on year to 1.6414 trillion won (US$1.2649 billion). This is because the semiconductor-specialized DS Division’s operating profit plummeted as both semiconductor shipments and prices fell sharply mainly due to corporate customers’ inventory reductions. SK Hynix posted an operating profit of 2.8596 trillion won (US$2.2037 billion) last year, but is expected to suffer losses in the first quarter of this year.
Even compared to a month ago, stock market analysts’ forecasts slid significantly. Samsung Electronics’ operating profit was predicted to stand at 2.3727 trillion won (US$1.8283 billion), ranking second among KOSPI-listed companies, but the forecast dropped by 30 percent in one month. They raised SK Hynix’s expected deficit from 2.7022 trillion won (US$2.0822 billion) to 3.4864 trillion won (US$2.6864 billion).
On the other hand, carmakers’ operating profits soared. Hyundai Motor’s estimated operating profit in the first quarter was 2.5481 trillion won (US$1.9634 billion), the highest among KOSPI-listed companies. This represents a 32 percent increase compared to the same period of 2022. Kia Corp., which ranked 10th last year, jumped to second place with 2.0278 trillion won (US$1.5625 billion).