Samsung's Profits Overtake Apple's
Venice Kim, July 10, 2017, 9:28 a.m.
Samsung Electronics' profits overtook Apple's for the first time in the second half of this year.
Samsung announced tentative second-quarter earnings on Friday with sales of W60 trillion and operating profit of W14 trillion (US$1=W1,155). Both were record amounts.
Apple had been the most profitable company in the world for eight years, but now analysts estimate Apple's second-quarter sales at US$45 billion and operating profit at $10.5 billion. Next-ranked Walmart and Toyota's operating profits amount to less than half of Samsung's.
Samsung has also probably dethroned Intel as the world's most profitable chipmaker after 24 years at the top. Samsung's revenues from semiconductor sales in the second quarter alone reached W18 trillion, resulting in an operating profit of W8 trillion.
In the smartphone business, Samsung is estimated to have achieved an operating profit in the upper W3 trillion range, recovering from the combustible Galaxy Note 7 last year.
Samsung's stellar earnings are expected to continue into the second half. Chip prices are expected to continue strong, and the Galaxy Note 8 to be unveiled in September will give phone sales another fillip.
Kim Chang-kyung at Hanyang University said, "Samsung is the only company in the world that makes both components and finished semiconductors, displays, TV sets and smartphones and ranks at the top in all of those product areas."
But internally Samsung executives appear wary. A Samsung staffer said Sunday de facto Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong "remains in jail, and key executives who used to lead the conglomerate have resigned, so we're in no mood to pop the champagne." The staffer said there is "considerable anxiety" over how the leadership vacuum is to be filled.
Lee is in on trial for bribing ex-President Park Geun-hye.