Seoul: SK Hynix on Tuesday forecast a steady increase in demand for memory chips as it posted its highest quarterly operating profit since 2018 due to rising prices, slowing sales of personal computers as the COVID-19 spread. The lockdown has been relaxed.
“Despite concerns over recent global supply chain disruptions,” SK Hynix CFO Kevin Noah said in a statement, “the chipmaker’s third-quarter performance indicates that the semiconductor memory industry is continuing its growth momentum.”
The world’s second-largest memory chipmaker, which serves customers including Apple Inc., said operating profit rose to 4.2 trillion won ($3.6 billion) in the July-September quarter, up from 1.3 trillion won a year earlier.
That was its highest quarterly profit since the fourth quarter of 2018, and slightly beat Refinitiv Smartestim’s 4.1 trillion wins, based on a poll of 18 analysts. Smartestimate consistently gives more importance to accurate analysts.
Third quarter revenue increased 45% annually to a record 11.8 trillion won.
Shares of SK Hynix fell as much as 24% between the end of 2020 and mid-October as memory chip prices were expected to peak. The share price has corrected slightly in recent days.
“There was a rush among investors to reduce the share of memory chip makers due to the cyclical slowdown experienced after 2018,” said Greg Roh, head of research at Hyundai Motor Securities.
($1 = 1,177.2300 won)