An Abbreviated History of Samsung Electronics’ Recent Financial Results

Revenues and operating profit (which both the financial press and Samsung use), in trillions of won (basically “billions of USD” at today’s exchange rates).

“IM” is Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications division, which includes smartphones and tablets.

(Historical data source: Samsung Investor Relations website; IM data from quarterly PDF presentation files, Samsung IR Calendar. Guidance source: MarketWatch/WSJ; UPDATEDSamsung IR Q2 guidance news release)

Calendar Q2 2013:

Revs: 57.5T won (+20.7% year-over-year)
Operating Profit: 9.5T won (+46.2% YOY)
IM Revs: 35.5T won (+47.8% YOY)
IM operating profit: 6.28T won (+49.9% YOY)

Calendar Q3 2013:

Revs: 59.1T won (+13.2% YOY)
Operating Profit: 10.2T won (+25.9% YOY)
IM Revs: 36.57T won (+22.2% YOY)
IM operating profit: 6.7T won (+19% YOY)

Calendar Q4 2013:

Revs: 59.3T won (+5.7% YOY)
Operating Profit: 8.3T won (-5.7% YOY)
IM Revs: 33.89T won (+8.2% YOY)
IM operating profit: 5.47T won (+0.6% YOY)

Calendar Q1 2014:

Revs: 53.7T won (+1.5% YOY)
Operating Profit: 8.5T won (-3.4% YOY)
IM Revs: 32.44T won (+2.1% YOY)
IM operating profit: 6.43T (-1.2% YOY)

Calendar Q2 2014 (based on guidance):
Revs: 52T won (midpoint guidance) (-9.6% YOY)
Operating Profit: 7.2T won (midpoint guidance) (-24.2% YOY)

Kind of a reversal of fortune there, isn’t it.

IM Revs/Operating Profit will be provided when Samsung’s actual results are released, probably later in the month. But given the guidance and the trends, I don’t think it takes too much effort to guess the general trajectory of the IM division on a year-over-year basis.

Is Apple really fighting a losing battle, so to speak? Sure, competition from all sides (not just Apple) and currency (which a megacorporation should be able to hedge to some degree) are definite contributing factors in Samsung’s not-so-great quarter.

But my tinfoil theory: Apple’s lawsuits have affected Samsung’s product planning as well, which in turn have had some (albeit unquantifable/unprovable) impact on Samsung’s products.

Apple faces competitive threats from many other players besides Samsung – in theory, its premium positioning makes it at least as “vulnerable” if not moreso – and so far, so good pretty decent. Will this relative performance divergence continue in the quarters ahead?

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