Samsung's quarterly profit set to hit 6-year low

STORY: Samsung Electronics quarterly profit will likely plunge 58% to its lowest in six years as a global economic downturn saps demand for electronic devices.

That's according to analyst estimates.

The world's biggest maker of memory chips, smartphones and TVs is expected to announce preliminary results on Friday (January 6).

According to a Refinitiv poll of 21 analysts, its operating profit likely fell to about $4.6 billion in the October-December quarter.

That would be its lowest quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2016.

With consumers and businesses reducing spending in the face of high inflation and climbing interest rates, analysts say smartphone makers and other clients held back on memory chip orders.

They say phones also sold for less as demand suffered.

Samsung's chip business usually accounts for about half of the tech giant's profits, and profit there is estimated to have tumbled by 78%.

However, industry watchers say the firm can use its deep pockets during this downturn to maintain its investment plans and expand market share.

That may leave it well placed to take advantage when the memory chip market eventually rebounds.

Rivals including SK Hynix and Micron Technology have sharply cut investment due to the market downturn.