* Estimates Q3 operating profit at 10.1 trln won
* Q3 smartphone sales seen at 86-88 mln units-analysts
* Chip division profit seen at highest level in three years
SEOUL, Oct 4 Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
estimated its July-September earnings rose 25
percent to a record $9.4 billion as a strong recovery in memory
chip prices helped counter a slowdown in the South Korean
company's smartphone business.
The maker of the Galaxy S4 said its third-quarter operating
profit likely increased to 10.1 trillion won ($9.4 billion). The
guidance, released ahead of full quarterly results due out by
Oct. 25, was better than the average forecast of 9.96 trillion
won in a poll of 34 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The South Korean firm estimated its third-quarter sales rose
to 59 trillion won, versus a market forecast of 60 trillion won.
Samsung, which has reported record earnings every quarter
since 2012 except the first three months of 2013, is expected to
post another round of record earnings in the current quarter as
chip prices extend their gains.
The global memory chip market has rallied since late 2012
due to a supply crunch caused by years of cautious investment to
support prices, and conversion of factory capacity to produce
more profitable chips used in smartphones and tablets.
The semiconductor market further tightened after a fire in
early September at a China plant owned by the world's No.2
memory chipmaker SK Hynix.
"The semiconductor and mobile divisions may have performed
better than expected in the third quarter, helping Samsung post
better-than-expected earnings," said Choi Do-yeon, an analyst at
"We expect earnings to improve to 10.7 trillion won in the
current quarter, as computer memory chip prices are rising
thanks to the fire at the Hynix plant."
Samsung's mobile devices business, which accounts for around
two-thirds of the company's total profit, is struggling with
weakening growth as the high-end segment of the smartphone
market saturates, pushing sales of its flagship Galaxy S4 lower.
Analysts estimate S4 sales dropped to around 16 million sets
in the third quarter from some 20 million in the two months
following the smartphone's late April launch.
Profits at the mobile division may face further pressure in
the current quarter as the company increases marketing expenses
in the run-up to the year-end holiday shopping season, analysts