LG Electronics first-quarter profit likely down 19 percent, beating estimates

FILE PHOTO: An LG Electronics logo is pictured on a TV displayed at a shop in Seoul, South Korea, April 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc said on Friday its operating profit for the three months ended March likely fell 19 percent from a year earlier, indicating a narrower drop than what analysts were expecting.

The second-biggest television set maker in the world, after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, estimated an operating profit of 899.6 billion won ($792.77 million) for the quarter, versus 1.1 trillion won a year earlier.

That compares with an average estimate of 808 billion won from 21 analysts polled by Refinitiv I/B/E/S.

Revenue likely fell 1.4 percent to 14.9 trillion won, LG said, versus a 15.3 trillion won consensus.

LG did not disclose further details of first-quarter operations and will announce full results in late April.

Analysts said LG’s longtime loss-generating smartphone business and intensifying price competition in the global TV market likely weighed on earnings.

LG held 3 percent of the global smartphone market in terms of shipment last year, according to a report from market tracker Counterpoint Research.

Earlier on Friday, Samsung said it was heading for its lowest quarterly profit in more than two years as a glut in memory chips, slowing panel sales and rising competition in smartphones hit margins.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Himani Sarkar