Some 80 percent of firms listed on the local stock market expect their earnings to improve in the current quarter compared to a year, data showed on Dec. 10.
According to the data compiled by market tracker FnGuide, combined operating profit of the 217 companies listed on the main bourse was estimated at 27.9 trillion won ($23.4 billion) on a consolidated basis, down 0.3 percent from a year ago.
But about 78.3 percent of the surveyed firms are expecting to see improved earnings in the October-December period compared to a year earlier, the data showed.
The 0.3 percent on-year fall estimate was largely attributable to still weak performances of market heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics and SK hynix. Their earnings during the July-September period sank due to a sharp decline in chip prices, denting the overall earnings of local companies.
The October-December operating profit for Samsung Electronics, South Korea’s largest chipmaker, is estimated to drop 38.8 percent on-year to 6.6 trillion won compared with last year‘s 10.9 trillion won.
Over the same period, SK hynix, the country’s second-largest chipmaker, is expected to post a whopping 90.1 percent fall to 440 billion won compared with last year‘s 4.4 trillion won.
During the third quarter of the year, Korean listed companies’ operating and net profit contracted 39 percent and 45 percent on-year, respectively, amid weak global demand and the protracted Sino-American trade war.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)