[THE INVESTOR] LG Display may switch to a loss in the first quarter of 2019 due mainly to falling LCD panel prices, industry sources said on Jan. 24.
The firm’s operating profit tumbled about 76 percent on-year to 140 billion won (US$124 million) in the third quarter of last year, though it was a turnaround from the previous quarter’s loss.
The company is slated to unveil its fourth-quarter results next week, with analysts predicting operating profit to reach the 120 billion-won range.
LG Display’s black ink in the two quarters comes after the company chalked up an operating loss of some 326 billion won in the first half of last year.
Should the latter half’s profit be below the first-half loss, LG Display would post a full-year operating loss for 2018 for the first time in seven years, analysts said.
Making matters worse, most securities companies predicted LG Display to lose money in the January-March period due to falling LCD prices and a seasonal drop in demand.
The company’s operating loss is estimated to reach up to the 200 billion-won range for the current quarter.
Some pessimists even projected LG Display to remain in the red till the third quarter of the year, citing LCD prices will likely drop gradually.
But there are expectations that LCD prices may stabilize in the second half of the year due to production cuts by Chinese and Taiwanese panel makers.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)