By Elizabeth Koh 

Samsung Electronics Co. provided some hope that the business slowdown spurred by the new coronavirus pandemic might only moderately dent one of the world's largest technology companies, delivering a profit forecast above analysts' expectations Tuesday.

The South Korean giant's projected 2.7% rise in first-quarter operating profits provides one of the first corporate indicators of how large an impact the coronavirus will have both on the global technology market and the broader economy. The global shift to remote working lifted demand for Samsung-made memory chips that power data centers and cloud computing, analysts say.

Samsung, the world's largest smartphone and memory-chip maker, acts as an industry bellwether because it is intricately knitted into the global marketplace as both manufacturer and supplier. The company reports full results later this month.

On Tuesday, Samsung estimated an operating profit of 6.4 trillion South Korean won ($5.2 billion), compared with 6.23 trillion won at the same time last year. The South Korean electronics giant also said it expects to report 55 trillion won in revenue compared with 52.39 trillion won for the prior year's quarter.

Analysts had forecast about 6.2 trillion won in operating profit and 55.6 trillion won in revenue, according to estimates gathered by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The company's expected dip in smartphone sales was padded somewhat by an expected resurgence in memory-chip demand, which had been expected to rally after a slump throughout 2019.

Write to Elizabeth Koh at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 06, 2020 20:29 ET (00:29 GMT)

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