Toshiba Posts Profit on Chip Demand, Beating Analyst Estimates

Toshiba Corp., the world’s second-biggest maker of flash memory, posted its second straight quarterly profit on rising chip demand, beating analyst estimates for a loss.

Net income at the maker of chips, consumer electronics and nuclear power plants was 466 million yen ($5.34 million) in the three months ended June 30, compared with a loss of 57.8 billion yen a year earlier, Tokyo-based Toshiba said in a statement today. The average estimate of four analysts compiled by Bloomberg was for a net loss of 2.65 billion yen.

Toshiba is benefiting from a surge in chip demand from hit products such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone, which also helped rival Samsung Electronics Co. post record profit last quarter. Global sales of NAND, memory chips used to store photos and songs on portable devices, will rise by 32 percent to a record $17.9 billion this year, according to El Segundo, California-based research firm ISuppli.

Operating profit at Toshiba’s chip semiconductor business was 22.2 billion yen in the three months through June, the company said. Toshiba plans to start production at a fifth semiconductor plant in central Japan in the second half of next year in order to meet rising demand for flash memory.

Shares of Toshiba fell 1 yen to close at 462 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, prior to the announcement. The stock has dropped 9.6 percent this year compared with an 8 percent decline in the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of NAND memory, said operating income in the three months ended June 30 jumped 87 percent to about 5 trillion won ($4.21 billion), the Suwon, South Korea-based company said this month.

Toshiba’s social infrastructure business, which makes power-plant equipment, trains, and elevators, had an operating loss of 1.1 billion yen, the company said. Profit at the digital products division, which makes televisions, notebook computers and servers, was 6.5 billion yen, Toshiba said.

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