SEOUL, Apr. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean brokerages have cut their forecasts for the first-quarter operating profits of major listed firms by 33 percent since earlier this year, as the companies are expected to feel the pinch of slowing global demand and the U.S.-China trade dispute, a market researcher said Wednesday.
Brokerages expected 136 listed firms to report a combined operating profit of 23.7 trillion won (US$20.7 billion) in the January-March period, according to the market research company FnGuide.
The latest projection is down 33.1 percent from a market consensus released earlier this year, it said.
Compared with their combined operating profit for the first quarter of last year, the forecast is also down 36.4 percent.
Their first-quarter sales estimate is estimated at 348 trillion won for the January-March period, down 4.8 percent over the cited period, FnGuide said.
Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory chipmaker, has issued a profit warning as prices of semiconductors have slumped.
Last month, Samsung Electronics said its first-quarter operating profit is likely to plunge 60.4 percent on-year to 6.2 trillion won.
SK hynix Inc., the world’s No. 2 maker of memory chips, is expected to report a 65.9 percent dive in its first-quarter operating profit, according to FnGuide.
Hyundai Motor Co., the leading automaker here, will likely report a first-quarter operating profit of 770.2 billion won, down 15 percent from an estimate released earlier this year.
Kim Kwang-hyun, a researcher at Yuanta Securities, said analysts have trimmed local firms’ first-quarter earnings as they are feeling more pessimistic about the global economy.