SK Hynix Q4 profit dips from record Q3 as DRAM rally eases

SEOUL Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:23pm EST

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SEOUL Jan 28 (Reuters) - South Korea's SK Hynix Inc ended its two consecutive quarters of record high earnings on Tuesday, as a rally in computer memory chip prices have started to ease and production remained tight following a fire at its plant in China.

The world's second-biggest memory chipmaker reported 785 billion won ($724 million) in October-December operating profit, broadly in line with analysts' consensus forecast of 780 billion expected by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The result compares with a 55 billion won profit a year ago and a record 1.16 trillion won profit in the previous quarter.

Contract prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips dropped 3 percent in the first half of January, according to price tracker DRAMeXchange.com.

Hynix is hoping a gradual recovery in production from the damaged Chinese plant, which manufactured 15 percent of global DRAM chips before the blaze in September, will help cushion the impact of weakening chip prices and win back market share from rivals.

The Apple Inc supplier competes with market leader Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Japan's Toshiba Corp and U.S.-based Micron Technology Inc. ($1 = 1083.7000 Korean won) (Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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