[THE INVESTOR] Tech giant Samsung Electronics opened up 1.72 percent at an all-time high of 1,894,000 won (US$1,580.06) on Jan. 11, on the back of the rosy outlook for its semiconductor business.
Since November last year, Samsung has set record-breaking highs thanks mainly to its robust chip business, which is expected to have earned the highest quarterly operating profit -- between 4.5 trillion won and 5 trillion won -- during the October-December period last year. The previous record operating income stood at 3.66 trillion won set in the third quarter of 2015.
The profit surge is attributable to the rising price of memory chips in recent months, according to market analysts.
Many investment firms forecast that Samsung’s stock price would readily surpass 2 million won in the coming months with some projecting a target price of 2.5 million won.
“Demand for semiconductors will increase at a dramatic pace with the beginning of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ fueled by the convergence of information and communications technologies, such as Internet of things and big data,” said Kim Young-woo, an analyst from SK Securities, predicting that the operating profit of the firm’s semiconductor business would exceed 25 trillion won this year.
Samsung’s record stock price on Jan. 11 came a couple of days after news surfaced that the tech giant aims to ship 60 million units of its upcoming flagship Galaxy S8 this year -- 12 million units more than the estimated shipments of the Galaxy S7 last year.
The Galaxy S8 is expected to hit the global market in mid-April after a small batch of the device is unveiled, presumably, at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February in Barcelona, or at a separate event in March in New York.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)