SK Hynix Profit Beats Analyst Estimates on Mobile Demand

SK Hynix Inc., the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips and a supplier to Apple Inc., posted record third-quarter profit on demand for semiconductors used in smartphones and personal computers.

Net income, excluding minority interest, was 1.1 trillion won ($1 billion) in the three months ended September, Icheon, South Korea-based SK Hynix said today. That compares with the 1 trillion-won average of 23 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Stable semiconductor prices and rising demand helped the company boost its profit margins, which measure earnings as a proportion of sales. SK Hynix is increasing spending on its Icheon factory to 2.1 trillion won, from 1.8 trillion won planned earlier, after larger rival Samsung Electronics Co. announced plans to invest about $15 billion in a chip plant.

Demand for so-called NAND flash memory, chips that act as storage for data in phones, tablets and some personal computers, will remain intact after a 26 percent surge in shipments during the third quarter, the company said today.

Shares of SK Hynix fell 1.7 percent to 45,500 won in Seoul trading today. The stock has gained 24 percent this year compared with a 4 percent drop in the benchmark Kospi index.

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