Samsung Electronics has reported a record quarterly profit in the first three months of 2013, boosted mainly by growing sales of its smartphones.
The South Korean company made a net profit of 7.15 trillion won ($6.4 billion) during the period, up from 5.05 trillion won a year ago. Profits also rose from the previous quarter.
Samsung’s results are in sharp contrast with rival Apple, which this week reported a drop in quarterly profits for the first time in a decade.
Samsung displaced Apple as the world’s biggest smartphone maker last year.
Bryan Ma of research firm IDC said that Samsung was doing “very very well right now”.
Samsung Electronics has reported a record quarterly profit in the first three months of 2013, boosted mainly by growing sales of its smartphones
“They have a lot of momentum behind what they are doing around phones, and clearly from a consumer perspective, they have a lot of excitement around their devices.
“They have a lot of their competitors wondering what they are going to do.”
Samsung has enjoyed great success with its smartphone division.
According to the latest figures, profits there rose more than 55% to 6.51 trillion won during q1 2013, from a year earlier.
Analysts said that a key factor behind Samsung’s success is that it offers a much broader range of models than its rival, Apple, which sells only the iPhone.
“It has a great strategy of targeting its devices to multiple consumer at multiple price points,” said Andrew Milroy of Frost & Sullivan.
Andrew Milroy explained that by offering a cheaper range of smartphones Samsung had been able to tap into a bigger share of consumers, especially in the emerging markets.
“The hardware Samsung is offering is as good as Apple in the eyes of many,” he said.
However, Samsung warned that growth in the lower-end smartphone market may slow in the coming months, not least because other manufacturers are also looking to enter the sector.
“We may experience stiffer competition in the mobile business due to expansion of the mid-to-low end smartphone market,” said Robert Yi, head of investor relations at Samsung Electronics.
Samsung’s latest smartphone offering, the Galaxy S4, is set to hit the stores on Saturday, April 27.
Launched earlier this year, Galaxy S4 allows users to control its screen using only their eyes and has the ability to take two different pictures at once.
Despite mixed reviews from critics, analysts expect it to generate robust sales. Some have even forecast sales of almost 22 million units in just the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s biggest rival, Apple, is not expected to introduce a new iPhone model at least till the latter half of the year.
Many analysts have said that should give Samsung an opportunity to further consolidate its position in the sector.
Google shares’ trading was suspended for two-and-a-half hours after the internet giant released its third-quarter results early by mistake.
Its quarterly profits fell 20% from a year earlier to $2.18 billion – below analysts’ expectations.
Google blamed financial printing firm RR Donnelley for filing an early draft of the results, which had been expected after the closing bell.
Shares in Google were down 9% when trading in the stock was suspended.
When trading resumed, the shares recovered slightly to end the day 8% lower.
Google chief executive Larry Page apologized to analysts on a conference call after the market closed.
“I’m sorry for the scramble earlier today,” he said, adding that the company had had a strong quarter.
In a statement after the inadvertent release, Google said: “Earlier this morning RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorization.
“We have ceased trading on Nasdaq while we work to finalize the document. Once it’s finalized we will release our earnings, resume trading on Nasdaq and hold our earnings call as normal at 1:30 PST.”
Google chief executive Larry Page apologized to analysts on a conference call after the market closed
The company’s draft results statement, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, was published at 09:30 Pacific time (16:30 GMT), three-and-a-half hours ahead of schedule.
It says “PENDING LARRY QUOTE” at the beginning, referring to chief executive Larry Page and indicating that it was not ready for publication.
Its final results statement, published at 12:00 Pacific time (19:00 GMT), included the following quotation from Larry Page: “We had a strong quarter. Revenue was up 45% year-on-year, and, at just fourteen years old, we cleared our first $14 billion revenue quarter.
“I am also really excited about the progress we’re making creating a beautifully simple, intuitive Google experience across all devices.”
Net revenue rose to $11.3 billion from $7.5 billion, but was still below forecasts.
Including websites that generate traffic for Google’s ads, revenue rose 45% to $14.1 billion.
The slide in Google’s share price took the company’s market value back down below that of Microsoft, which it had overtaken earlier this month.
Joe Saluzzi from Themis Trading said: “You can’t make those mistakes any more.”
He added: “Mistake or not, the earnings are earnings. The problem is when this happens in the middle of the day, there is no time for a conference call to massage it, there is no time for analysts’ questions and for an evaluation.”
Google completed the purchase of the loss-making mobile phone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion earlier this year and has been struggling to turn the firm around.
Costs related to the acquisition – for employee stock compensation and restructuring charges – knocked Google’s overall results, as did the strong dollar.
The company said that if foreign exchange rates had been unchanged, its revenue would have been $136 million higher.