April 24, 2009 / 1:07 AM / 9 years ago

INSTANT VIEW: Samsung Q1 profit beats forecasts, down 72 pct

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), the world’s top maker of memory chips and LCD screens, reported on Friday a 72 percent drop in quarterly net profit on weak chip prices, but the result vastly exceeded forecasts thanks to strong handsets.

January-March net profit fell to 619 billion won ($458.1 million) from 2.19 trillion won a year ago, soundly beating an average forecast for a 149 billion won net profit in a Reuters poll of 12 analysts.

Following are some reactions from fund managers and analysts:

JEONG EUI-SUCK, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, GOODMORNING SHINHAN SECURITIES

“The numbers came out surprisingly strong, thanks to robust earnings from handsets. But expectations of such a surprise were ripe for days.”

“Overall DRAM prices and industry conditions should continue to improve, but one of the key risks would be the won/US dollar exchange rate. In the first quarter, relative weakness in the won helped, but that may not be the case from the second quarter on. Also, a drastic pickup in global demand for memory chips is not likely in the near future.”

Reporting by Jungyoun Park; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner

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