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SEOUL, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd estimated its October-December operating profit fell 18 percent to 8.3 trillion won ($7.8 billion) from the prior quarter's record earnings due to a one-off special bonus and heightened competition with Apple Inc.
The guidance, released on Tuesday ahead of full quarterly results scheduled for Jan. 24, was lower than a 9.75 trillion won Thomson Reuters' Starmine SmartEstimate of 23 analysts, which gives greater weighting to the more accurate analysts.
The South Korean company estimated fourth-quarter sales of 59.0 trillion won, versus a market estimate of 61 trillion won. ($1 = 1065.5000 Korean won) (Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Christopher Cushing)