Higher bonus payouts are also expected to put a dent in operating earnings for the three months. The company needed to spend 400 billion Korean Won ($380 million) to pay some workers a bonus for the 20th anniversary of Samsung's "new management initiative." Doh has cut his own estimate for Q4 operating earnings from 9.9 trillion Korean Won ($9.4 billion USD) to 9.3 trillion Korean Won ($8.82 billion USD).
The analyst expects things to turn around after the first quarter and the Korean based OEM does have some big products on the horizon, including the eagerly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S5. The newest Android flagship is expected to carry a larger 5.25 inch QHD AMOLED screen as Samsung tries to shake things up to reinvigorate its high-end line. Sales of the Galaxy S4 slowed down sharply after a terrific start. Samsung is also expected to reveal a sequel to the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch at CES next week, along with some new Exynos chips.
"The semiconductor division should see an improvement in earnings, backed by the DRAM market upswing, while the CE division should also post strong earnings growth on seasonally strong demand. However, the IM division should see a decrease in earnings, due to slower high-end smartphone sales and inventory destocking, while the DP division should also post poor earnings, due to ASP drop and lower AMOLED capacity utilization."-Hyunwoo Doh, analyst, Samsung
source: Barron's via BGR