Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

SK Hynix Profit Beats Estimates on Chip Sales for Apple

SK Hynix Inc., a supplier of memory chips to Apple Inc., posted record fourth-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates on sales of semiconductors for iPhones and high-margin servers.

Net income, excluding minority interest, was 1.62 trillion won ($1.5 billion) in the three months ended December, Icheon, South Korea-based SK Hynix said Wednesday. That compares with the 1.27 trillion-won average of 21 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Soaring demand for Apple products, including large-screen iPhones and refreshed Macs, and stable component prices helped boost earnings at the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips. SK Hynix was probably one of the biggest beneficiaries when U.S. competitor Micron Technology Inc.’s second-quarter sales forecast fell short of analysts’ estimates, according to a Jan. 15 report from Shinhan Investment Corp.

Apple reported Tuesday that sales of iPhones in the December quarter rose 46 percent to 74.5 million units, topping analysts’ estimates of 64.9 million.

Apple is SK Hynix’s second-largest customer, providing about 9 percent of its sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares of SK Hynix rose 0.1 percent to 49,200 won in Seoul trading today before the earnings were announced. The stock gained 30 percent in 2014, compared with a 4.8 percent drop in the benchmark Kospi index.

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