Samsung Electronics shares drop after Morgan Stanley cuts view, sees chip boom peaking

| Updated: November 28, 2017 14:53:47

Reuters file photo used for representation. Reuters file photo used for representation.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s shares fell more than 4 per cent to a one-month low on Monday after Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation on the South Korean tech giant, citing concerns that a boom in memory chips is likely to peak soon.

A so-called memory chip “super-cycle” of increased prices due to demand for more firepower in servers and smartphones was the major driver of Samsung’s record third-quarter profit of 14.5 trillion won ($12.91 billion) announced in October, with investors focussed on how long it will last, Reuters news agency reported.

A Morgan Stanley research report issued on Sunday downgraded its view of Samsung to “equal weight” from “overweight” and trimmed its price target on the stock by 3.4 per cent to 2.8 million won, saying its earnings in the memory segment are not seen growing materially next year.

“We see downside risk as NAND prices have started to reverse in 4Q17. Meanwhile, visibility on DRAM supply-demand dynamics has reduced beyond 1Q18,” the report said.

Samsung Electronics shares were down 4.2 per cent by 0347 GMT on Monday at 2.66 million won, their biggest intra-day percentage loss in more than a year. Still, the shares are up more than 47 per cent this year, giving it a market value of around $353 billion.

Some analysts said Samsung Electronics is less likely to be affected by the predicted trends in chip prices than competitors like SK Hynix Inc, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips after Samsung.

Shares of SK Hynix fell as much as 3.6 per cent, the biggest intra-day drop since late October.

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