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SK Hynix Net Income Beats Estimates as Chip Prices Rebound

SK Hynix Inc., the world’s second-largest maker of computer-memory chips, posted profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates buoyed by a rise in prices of semiconductors used for personal computers and mobile devices.

Net income, excluding minority interest, rose to 946.8 billion won ($851 million) in the three months ended June from a loss of 53 billion won a year earlier, Icheon, South Korea-based SK Hynix said in a filing today. That compares with the 769 billion won average of 18 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

SK Hynix, which makes memory chips for global smartphone manufacturers including Apple Inc., may benefit from orders from rival Samsung Electronics Co. whose semiconductor unit has struggled to meet soaring demand. Global shipments of the handsets are expected to rise about 32 percent to 928 million units this year, market research firm TrendForce said in a July 23 report.

“The earnings recovery will continue well into the second half of the year,” Doh Hyun Woo, a Seoul-based Mirae Asset Securities Co. said before the earnings release. “Despite recent concerns over declining demand for high-end smartphones, we believe rising demand for low-end smartphones in China will offset any decline.”

Hynix shares rose 0.5 percent to 28,700 won at 10:11 a.m. in Seoul, extending this year’s gain to 12 percent. The benchmark Kospi index has dropped 4.5 percent in 2013.

Operating profit, or sales excluding the cost of goods sold and administrative costs, rose to 1.11 trillion won on sales of 3.93 trillion won.

Lower-end smartphones will drive demand for dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM, chips in the second half, SK Hynix said in an e-mailed statement. There is limited second half supply growth for memory chips, according to the company.

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