Hynix posts loss for 2 quarters in row
Hynix Semiconductor posted an operating loss of 167 billion won in the fourth quarter last year, the company said Thursday.
Its second-consecutive loss, however, is not seen as bad as its Taiwanese competitors. Hynix is in the process being taken over by SK Telecom, raising hopes for a synergy effect that will boost both firms.
The chipmaker believes that its performance will be better in the coming quarters.
For the fourth quarter, the net loss amounted to 240 billion won, while revenue increased by a quarter-to-quarter 11 percent to reach at 2.55 trillion won, the company said in a regulatory filing to the Korea Exchange (KRX).
For the entire last year, Hynix earned 10.4 trillion won in revenue, while the combined operating profit amounted to 325 billion won.
Prices for computer memory chips fell in 2011 for a variety of reasons.
Hynix’s chief financial officer Kim Min-chul said the firm sees weak chip demand in the first quarter due to hard disk drive supply constraints and seasonal factors.
However, there is a reduction in supplies that may offset those factors, Kim told analysts and institutional investors during a conference call on its earnings.
Hynix plans to increase its spending on facilities by 20 percent to 4.2 trillion won.
It will invest over 2.1 trillion won for NAND-type flash memory chips, components used in tablets and smartphones, up from 850 billion won last year.
``That’s because of the higher demand for NAND flash chips thanks to the rising appetites for NAND-consuming products such as smartphones,’’ said Kim Jung-soo, chief of Hynix’s public relations team.
``NAND flash is more profitable than DRAM chips. There are only four companies in the world manufacturing them,’’ said Kim Hyung-sik, an analyst at Taurus Investment, who expects Hynix to aggressively invest in NAND going forward.
The chipmaker supplies its DRAM and NAND chips to Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, among others.
Meanwhile, SK Group Chey Tae-won decided current Hynix CEO Kwon Oh-chul to keep continue in the top job, while SK Telecom’s corporate center chief Kim Joon-ho will handle Hynix’s overall management at a senior executive level, officials from SK said.