Samsung posts record fourth-quarter profit

Samsung posts record fourth-quarter profit

Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday that it has chose to dramatically lower the face value of it stocks, as it posted record highs in sales and operating profits in the fourth quarter on rising chip demand.

Samsung claimed in its press release that the stock split would make it more accessible and "provide dividends to a wider range of investors".

The upbeat outlook from the world's biggest maker of memory chips comes as investors look for signs of an end to the massive expansion in the global semiconductor business that has driven profits at chipmakers in recent years.

The decision "would have an effect of increasing liquidity and contribute to revitalized transactions of stocks, which in turn could help boost corporate value in the long term", Samsung Electronics said. The semiconductor business recorded an operating profit of almost 11 trillion won for the quarter.

Fourth quarter earnings were driven by the components business, with the largest contribution coming from the memory business that manufactures DRAM and NAND chips, the company said.

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For the full year, net profit was also a record at 42.19 trillion won, up 85.6% on 2016, on sales of 239.58 trillion won.

Earnings in the mobile business declined due to a hike in marketing costs, Samsung said.

Samsung's display business reported a 1.4 trillion won profit in the fourth quarter, up from 1.3 trillion won in the same period previous year. Sales were up 23.7% to 66 trillion won.

The tech giant said that the IT and Mobile Communications division, which covers smartphones, posted an operating profit of 11.83 trillion won in 2017, the highest since 2014, when the comparable figures came to 14.56 trillion won.

To bring greater clarity and predictability to its shareholder returns, the Company in October 2017 announced a three-year shareholder return policy for 2018-2020 that includes yearly dividends of KRW 9.6 trillion.

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