By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung SDI is expected to post a quarterly profit for the first time in nearly two years driven by impressive performance in its rechargeable battery and big-slim cathode-ray tube TV (CRT) units, and smaller losses in its plasma display panel division.
"The company is forecast to post some 3.1 billion won in operating profits in the second quarter which is against a market consensus of some 31 billion won in losses," Kim Dong-won, an analyst at Hyundai Securities said Friday.
"Samsung SDI is shifting to promising business sectors such as secondary cells, while slashing unprofitable units. That's why I am positive about the company’s second quarter earnings," Kim added.
Samsung SDI plunged into an operating loss in the first quarter of 2005 after ending an industry boom on plasma TVs, and has been in the red for six straight quarters since the last quarter of 2006.
For the whole of last year, the company posted an operating loss of 567 billion won after its bulky CRT modules and new display product of plasma panels lost market position due to popularity of liquid crystal displays.
Analysts say the third quarter may look better, with SDI’s business structure expected to be simplified capitalizing on a highly-profitable secondary cell segment.
Recently, Samsung Electronics and SDI confirmed that the companies will set up a 50:50 joint venture to get a bigger stake in the growing active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes (AM OLED) sector. AM OLED is widely regarded as the next "golden egg" in the global display sector _ Sony, Toshiba, Samsung and even Taiwanese players have been increasing their investments in it.