SEOUL Jan 30 South Korean memory chipmaker SK
Hynix Inc returned to a quarterly operating profit
on Wednesday, helped by solid mobile component sales to Apple
Inc and Chinese customers.
Hynix, which competes with bigger rival Samsung Electronics
, Japan's Toshiba Corp and U.S.-based Micron
Technology, reported 55 billion won ($50 million) in
October-December operating profit, versus a 106 billion won loss
a year ago.
The result, which comes after a small loss in the previous
quarter, missed an average forecast of 123 billion won profit
from 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, as weak
sales of computer memory chips outweighed strong demand from
mobile device makers.
It was also below a 93 billion won profit forecast by
Thomson Reuters StarMine's SmartEstimate, which places more
emphasis on timely projections from the most accurate analysts.
Recent strength in the South Korean currency and disappointing
sales of Apple's iPhone during the year-end holiday season were
behind the lower forecasts in the SmartEstimate.
Apple became Hynix's largest customer last year and
generates around 30 percent of the South Korean firm's revenue,
according to analysts. The Cupertino California-based firm has
widened its supplier base and moved away from its key supplier
and rival Samsung.