SEOUL, Aug. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – Market players in South Korea have placed mixed bets on shares of Samsung Electronics Co. this month, with foreigners remaining a net seller of the stock while local institutional investors keep buying it.
Shares of Samsung hit an all-time closing high of 1,675,000 won (US$1,492) last Friday. The stock continued its rally early Monday and traded as high as 1,692,000 won.
According to the Korea Exchange, local institutional investors had snapped up Samsung stocks worth 256.3 billion won for a ninth consecutive session until last Thursday.
In contrast, foreign investors were net seller of the Samsung stocks worth 4,467 billion won this month.
Yang Hae-jeong, an analyst at eBEST Investment & Securities, said, “It would be difficult for Samsung Electronics to show off higher growth as it did in the past.
“For investors who place bets on growth, it is difficult for them to actively buy shares of Samsung Electronics,” Yang said.
Lee Seung-woo, analyst with IBK Investment & Securities, said local institutional investors may begin unloading Samsung stocks unless the company experiences a continued earnings recovery.
“In the first-half of 2013, when shares of Samsung reached a new high, local institutional investors were net buyers of the stock,” Lee said. “After that, the stock price began falling as there was no further earnings improvement.”
However, there have been some predictions that shares of Samsung may reach 2 million won per share.
In the second-quarter of this year, Samsung reported its biggest quarterly operating profit in more than two years and there were hopes of earnings recovery in its semiconductor and display businesses for the second-half of this year.
Expectations over a change in the governance of Samsung Group have been also one of factors that propelled up shares of Samsung Electronics.
Choi Do-yeon, an analyst at Kyobo Securities, said, “Samsung Electronics secured earnings stability with its unique competitiveness in its components business and there are expectations over a change in Samsung Group’s governance.”
Choi expected Samsung to post an operating profit of 8.09 trillion won and sales of 50.5 trillion won for the third quarter, raising the target price of Samsung to 2 million won per share from 1,700,000 won.