Samsung thanks the memories for a massive jump in profit

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has issued its earnings guidance for the first quarter of this year, which anticipates ten times the operating profit as the year-ago quarter.

Scott Bicheno

April 5, 2024

2 Min Read

Samsung Electronics reckons it will bank around 71 trillion Korean won in sales for the quarter, up from 63.75 trillion a year ago. But the real jump is in operating profit, which is expected to be around 6.6 trillion Korean won, a massive improvement on 0.64 trillion in Q1 2023. Samsung doesn’t offer any commentary in its earnings guidance bulletins, but the general consensus is that it has a significant upturn in the memory market to thank.

“It looks almost certain that the main driver here is the semiconductor business and, taking the read from Micron, it is the memory business that has seen the most improvement,” wrote Radio Free Mobile. It goes on to note that while memory prices have increased and that the consumer electronics market shows signs of picking up, the AI boom is likely benefitting all parts of the semiconductor food chain.

RFM goes on to flag up “High bandwidth memory (HBM) which is predominantly used in the data centre and is an essential component of the AI training and inference systems built by Nvidia and others," adding that "Samsung’s efforts to address this segment have been rewarded with qualification as a supplier to Nvidia as well as rapid growth in revenues.”

It seems Samsung was a bit slow to get the memo about HBM but, as it tends to do, made up ground once it was prioritised. “Samsung is making progress in the HBM business, which has been seen as its Achilles heel,” Lee Seung-woo, an Analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities, told the FT. The same piece reports that analyst expectations for Samsung’s Q1 24 profits had been around 6.6 trillion Korean won, so that’s a significant beat.

Those expectations must have been a bit old, however, as Samsung’s share price was unmoved by the earnings guidance. It's up 16% in the past few weeks, however, indicating this memory-driven upturn has been priced into Samsung's shares for some time. Lastly, Samsung seems to have benefited from AI on multiple fronts, with strong sales of its latest flagship phone presumably boosted by early access to Google’s latest AI wizardry.


About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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