Samsung Boosts Chip Investment

After a long time, Intel Corp is shattered from their number one position in the memory chip sales by Asia's third largest electronic company, Samsung. The firm said sales rose to an estimated 60 trillion won (about $52 million), an increase of 18 percent compared with the year ago period. The company announced plans to invest $18.6 billion to extend its lead in memory chips and next-generation displays. Apple is expected to report revenue of $44.9 billion and an operating profit of $10.49 billion.

The company is set to release its finalized earnings report later this month. The company's stock is up more than 30 percent this year and hovering near all-time highs.

Brisk sales of its new flagship Galaxy S8 smartphones, rising demand for flexible OLED products, as well as soaring LCD panel prices also drove its earnings, analysts said. The figure also topped market expectations of about 13.2 trillion won.

Samsung is preparing to unveil its Galaxy Note 8 handset in August.

However, "all the three sectors - semiconductor business, display and smartphone business - are all believed to have performed well", HMC Investment Securities Co analyst Greg Roh said.

The clearest factor behind Samsung's strong showing is the uptick in semiconductor prices amid brisk demand for smartphone and server chips. The experts say that non-IT businesses' achievements can not be properly reflected in their stock prices when their performance fails to prop up Samsung Electronics.

Samsung shares are trading at a near-record high of 2.35 million won each as of Tuesday. The Vice Chairman is now on trial over allegedly bribing the ex-president of South Korea Park Geun-hye for political favors. The merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries was a major step for him to tighten his control of Samsung Electronics, in which he holds only 1 percent of shares.

Vanessa Coleman