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Samsung projects record $14.1B profit in fourth quarter

The electronics giant expects operating profit to increase 63 percent on strong demand for chips and other components.

Jung Yeon-je / AFP/Getty Images

Samsung forecast another record quarterly profit for the fourth quarter amid continued strong demand for its memory chips and other smartphone components.

The Korean electronics giant said Monday it expects to record an operating profit of 15.1 trillion won ($14.1 billion) for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, a 63 percent year-over-year increase. The projection falls short of analyst expectations of an average forecast of 15.9 trillion won from a Thomson Reuters.

The projection also marks Samsung's third record quarterly operating profit in a row. The company reported a record profit of 14.53 trillion won in the third quarter of 2017, edging the record of 14.07 trillion won it set the previous quarter.

Samsung is also expecting revenue of 66 trillion won ($62 billion) for the quarter, an increase of 24 percent from a year earlier. The guidance, released Monday ahead of full earnings later this month, didn't provide specific divisional results.

Samsung's projections come on the heels of tough times for the tech giant. It sells more smartphones and TVs than any other manufacturer in the world, but it's had quality issues with some of its most popular devices. The most notable problem was the Note 7, its much-applauded phone that literally went up in flames. Samsung was forced to recall the Note 7 after a battery flaw caused dozens of the phones to explode or catch fire, costing the company upwards of $5 billion in lost sales and other expenses.

Samsung is also facing uncertainty in its top ranks. Jay Y. Lee, its co-vice chairman and heir apparent, has been sentenced to five years in prison. Kwon Oh-hyun, its other co-vice chairman and the head of its chip business, said last year he would retire after three decades at the company. And Samsung's chairman, Lee Kun-hee, has been in a coma since a 2014 heart attack.

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