Samsung is in a tough spot: although it continues to sell more phones than any other vendor, low-end devices are dominating the charts, displacing high-margin smartphones and tablets. According to Barrons, Jefferies & Co. analyst Hyunwoo Doh has lowered his operating profit estimate for Samsung in Q4 2013 “to reflect higher bonus payouts, adjustments to the company’s manufacturing of display panels, and the decline of the U.S. dollar against the Korean Won.” Although Doh believes that Samsung’s consumer electronics division likely performed commendably, his hopes aren’t quite as high for the mobile division.
“[T]he [IT & Mobile Communications] division should see a decrease in earnings, due to slower high-end smartphone sales and inventory destocking,” says Doh. “As such, its share price momentum should weaken until an earnings recovery is seen.”
Doh expects Samsung to recover, but the electronics giant will have to make it through a rocky Q1 2014 first.