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Samsung expects Q1 operating profit of $8B, down 4.3 percent

South Korean electronics giant's guidance is largely in line with analyst predictions.

Samsung Galaxy S4
CBS Interactive

Samsung said Monday it expects to post a decline in first-quarter profit, on slackening demand for its high-end smartphones.

The South Korean electronics giant expects to record an operating profit of about 8.4 trillion won ($8 billion) for the three months ended March 31, a 4.3 percent decline year over year. The company expects sales to come in at 53 trillion won, largely flat from the year-ago period.

Samsung's guidance, released ahead of full earnings later this month, did not provide details of divisional earnings but was largely in line with analyst expectations. Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected an operating profit of 8.3 trillion won, while Thompson Reuters analysts had predicted an 8.5 trillion won operating profit.

Samsung's current flagship handset -- the Galaxy S4 -- wasn't considered a major leap over its predecessor, and many gravitated toward the discounted, but still popular, Galaxy S3. While sales of the Galaxy S4 popped immediately, it struggled to maintain that momentum.

In recent quarters, profits from Samsung's mobile division, which typically accounts for two-thirds of its revenue, have been buoyed by sales of cheaper handsets in emerging markets such as China, South America, and Eastern Europe.

The Galaxy S5, the successor to the S4, will be released to consumers Friday.