SK Hynix Gains Most in 3 Weeks on Earnings Outlook: Seoul Mover

SK Hynix Inc., the world’s second-largest maker of computer memory chips, jumped the most in more than three weeks in Seoul trading on speculation quarterly earnings will exceed analysts’ estimates.

The stock climbed 4.2 percent to close at 25,900 won on the Korea Exchange, its steepest gain since Nov. 14. The benchmark Kospi index added 0.4 percent.

Fourth-quarter operating profit may be 202 billion won ($186 million), compared with a consensus estimate of 147 billion won, Taurus Investment & Securities Co. said. The company posted an operating loss of 15 billion won in the third quarter.

“Profitability will significantly improve,” helped by prices of NAND flash chips for mobile devices and cost reductions, Kim Hyung Sik, a Seoul-based analyst at Taurus Investment, wrote in a report today. He raised the share-price estimate by 6.5 percent to 33,000 won and maintained a buy recommendation.

SK Hynix is also befitting as bigger competitor Samsung Electronics Co. is engaged in a prolonged legal battle, the analyst said.

Samsung and Apple Inc. are in the midst of patent-infringement lawsuits around the world. Samsung is one of Apple’s biggest component suppliers and its chief rival in the smartphone and tablet markets.

SK Hynix also advanced after the price of the benchmark dynamic random access memory chips rallied 7 percent yesterday.

Today’s climb boosted Hynix’s gain this year to 18 percent, compared with a 7.2 percent advance for the benchmark Kospi index. Samsung has surged 40 percent in the same period.

-- With assistance from Shinhye Kang in Seoul. Editors: Garry Smith, Frank Longid

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