Samsung, Hynix Slump After Report on Apple’s Elpida Order

Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc., the top two makers of computer memory chips, slumped in Seoul trading after a Digitimes report that Apple Inc. increased semiconductor purchases from their competitor.

Samsung fell 6.2 percent, the most since October 2008, to 1,230,000 won at the close in Seoul. The stock was the biggest contributor to the benchmark Kospi index’s 3.1 percent decline, while Hynix lost 8.9 percent to 23,050 won, the biggest drop since Aug. 19.

Apple placed orders with Elpida Memory Inc. to buy mobile DRAM chips amounting to about half the volume produced at the Japanese company’s Hiroshima factory, Digitimes reported yesterday, citing unidentified industry officials. Samsung and Hynix, the world’s two largest makers of such chips used to hold data in mobile devices, both supply Apple.

“Investors appear to be using the report as an opportunity to take some profits after the stocks outperformed the market earlier this year,” said Im Jeong Jae, a Seoul-based fund manager at Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management Co., which oversees about $27 billion.

Samsung advanced 24 percent this year as of yesterday’s close and Hynix had risen 15 percent, compared with a 4 percent gain in the Kospi. Samsung climbed to a record high of 1,410,000 won on May 2.

Hynix is getting more orders for mobile DRAM chips from its customers amid industrywide demand growth, Park Seong Ae, a Seoul-based spokeswoman for the chipmaker, said by phone.

An Elpida spokesman, who wouldn’t be named because of company policy, declined to comment on the report, as did Steve Park, a Seoul-based Apple spokesman. James Chung, a Seoul-based spokesman for Samsung, wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Samsung, which also supplies displays for Apple, gets 7.6 percent of its revenue from the U.S. company, while the portion for Hynix is 7.8 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Elpida filed for bankruptcy protection on Feb. 27 after losing money for five quarters. Micron Technology Inc. said this month it’s in talks to buy the Japanese competitor.

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