[THE INVESTOR] US chipmaker Intel will likely beat Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics in terms of sales in the October-December period, taking back its title as the largest global chip firm.
According to its earnings report released late last week, the US firm posted US$18.7 billion in revenue during the three-month period. Although the quarterly sales fell below market estimates of US$19.01 billion, the company’s revenue for the full fiscal year set a record of US$70.8 billion, up 13 percent on-year.
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Intel’s fourth-quarter sales are likely to surpass that of Samsung, which is expected to be lower than US$18 billion. The earnings of the Korean tech behemoth are scheduled to be announced on Jan. 31.
In the second quarter of 2016, Samsung was able to dethrone Intel for the first time as the world’s top chipmaker by sales, thanks to the booming memory chip market. Since then the Korean firm has outrun the US company in terms of sales.
Memory chips, such as DRAM and NAND flash, are the mainstays of Samsung’s chip business, while Intel has mainly focused on non-memory chips, including central processing unit chips for laptops and PCs.
Samsung’s entire revenue for 2018, which is forecast to come in at some US$77 billion, on the other hand, will likely be higher than Intel’s US$70.8 billion.
In the first half this year, the US firm will likely have an upper hand in competition for the crown in the global chip market as the ongoing downturn in the market is forecast to continue through the period, undermining Samsung’s profits.
“In the first quarter, Samsung is likely to increase its shipment volume of memory chips to prop up its market share, which will in turn will drag down the prices of memory chips,” said Lee Jae-yoon, a market analyst from Yuanta Securities.
Announcing an earnings guidance earlier this month, Samsung also said that the downward trend in the global memory chip segment will continue in the first three months.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)