Samsung profits nearly double despite weak U.S. & European demand


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Samsung has announced that its profits nearly doubled to $5.1 billion during the first quarter of 2012, as the world's largest smart phone manufacturer saw its sales climb. The news comes despite slowing demand from the U.S. and continued concern about an economic recovery in Europe.

Stocks across Asia were mixed on Good Friday as investors digested a disappointing bond sale yesterday in Spain, whose economy is struggling with massive debt. Markets in Europe were closed for the Easter holiday.

Overnight, Seoul's KOSPI ( EWY , quote ) edged up 0.01%. Samsung shares rose 0.15% on the back of strong first quarter profits widely attributed to the success of its Galaxy model.

"There was a big surprise in profit," Choi D-Yeon of LIG Investment & Securities told the BBC. "Revenue was in line, which suggests a stronger-than-expected profit margin from the handset division thanks to robust sales of high-end models like the Galaxy S and Note."

The Shanghai Composite ( YAO , quote ) got a bump of 0.19%, while the Taiwan Weighted climbed 0.87%. Taiwan's Hon Hai, the parent company of Foxconn which manufactures products for Apple in China, announced that it would raise the salaries of its staff in Taiwan in the face of the rising cost of living.

The move comes after Foxconn, which has been a media focal point for working conditions in Chinese factories, increased the wages of its Chinese employees by as much as 25%.

Meanwhile in Tokyo, the Nikkei ( EWJ , quote ) dropped 0.81%.

The Chinese yuan slipped 0.11% to 6.3052 to the dollar, while the Japanese yen appreciated 0.07% to 82.41 against the greenback.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

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