* Apr-June op profit up 57 pct at Q1 record, below estimates
* Low-priced China smartphones pressure some component
* Murata Mfg on track with profit rise, Q1 up 48 percent
(Recasts with price pressure on components, adds Murata
By Teppei Kasai and Yoshiyasu Shida
TOKYO, July 31 Japanese electronics conglomerate
Toshiba Corp, the world's No.2 maker of NAND memory
chips for smartphones, fell short of quarterly profit estimates
as the rise of Chinese makers of lower-priced smartphones
squeezed prices and profits.
Japanese smartphone display makers have also seen prices and
margins pressured as price-conscious Chinese manufacturers gain
influence in the industry, although some component makers like
Murata Manufacturing Co with differentiated products
and high market share remain buoyant.
Toshiba's April-June profit rose 57 percent to 39.5 billion
yen ($384.32 million), its highest ever for its fiscal first
quarter, although that fell short of the 44.9 billion yen
average expectation by seven analysts, according to Thomson
Profit in Toshiba's electronic devices division, dominated
by NAND flash memory used to store data in smartphones and
tablets, fell 27 percent to 36.6 billion yen in the latest
Toshiba competes in NAND chips with top producer Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd, which on Thursday posted its
worst quarterly profit in two years while warning of uncertain
earnings prospects in its handset business.
Toshiba Executive Vice President Keizo Maeda told an
earnings briefing that memory-chip prices had stabilised,
however, and that the market was tightening.
The conglomerate was able to offset the decline in profit in
semiconductors with strength in its power generation and
infrastructure division, while sharply reducing losses on
consumer products like TVs, where it announced a further
restructuring including at least 300 job cuts.
The company kept its operating profit target for the year to
March 2015 unchanged at a record 330 billion yen.
Murata, which makes tiny electronic parts such as SAW
filters and ceramic capacitors and is a supplier for Apple Inc's
iPhone, on Thursday posted a 48 percent rise in
first-quarter operating profit to 36.9 billion yen, exceeding
the average 32.75 billion yen estimate of six analysts. It said
it was on track to meet its full-year 144 billion yen profit
"Just because we're selling to China doesn't mean we're
selling cheaply," Murata Executive Deputy President Yoshitaka
Fujita told an earnings briefing.
Toshiba's shares ended 1.2 percent higher before the
earnings announcement while Murata finished up 0.7 percent,
while Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei average dipped 0.2
percent. For the year to date, Toshiba is up 5 percent and
Murata is up 6 percent, outperforming the Nikkei's 4 percent
($1 = 102.78 Japanese yen)
(Additional reporting by Yoshiyuki Osada in Osaka; Editing by
Edmund Klamann and Matt Driskill)