Samsung SDI posts loss on falling PDP prices

July 21, 2007 - 0:0

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung SDI Co., the world's third-largest plasma display panel (PDP) maker, posted a worse-than-expected quarterly net loss on Friday, hurt by tumbling prices of its television screens.

Results at the South Korean firm, which sells both PDP screens and traditional cathode-ray tubes (CRT) for TVs, are unlikely to improve significantly soon as the sectors will continue to see weak pricing and margins. Samsung SDI posted April-June net loss of 138.1 billion won (150.9 million dollars), missing a consensus forecast for a 48.5 billion won loss by nine analysts polled by Reuters Estimates. The figure compares with a 30.3 billion won net profit in the second quarter of last year and with the previous quarter's 77.2 billion won net loss. Sales came in at 861.7 billion won, lower than a forecast for 935.5 billion won and against 1.23 trillion won a year earlier. Samsung SDI posted an operating loss of 133.1 billion won, against expectations for a 60.7 billion won loss. It said operating loss margin widened to 15.4 percent from a 12.6 percent loss in the first quarter. Its PDP shipments rose 15 percent from the first quarter but losses from the division widened due to falling prices, Samsung SDI said. It expected a slower fall in plasma screen prices in the second half. Samsung SDI was the world's top producer of PDPs in 2005, but has been overtaken by Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and home rival LG Electronics Inc. last year as it grappled with reduction problems and declining sales. PDPs have essentially lost a bruising price battle with LCD screens in the 40-inch-and-larger flat-screen category, and their only hope hinges on a quick shift of consumer preferences for the 50-inch and larger TV category. On Thursday, LG Electronics said it recorded a 24.2 percent second-quarter operating loss margin in its display division, wider than a 16 percent loss in the previous period, as plasma panel prices continued to plummet. Samsung SDI said its shipments of CRT grew 6 percent while mobile display shipments fell 8 percent as global handset makers increasingly focus on low-cost phones. Shares of Samsung SDI, which has a market value of 3.3 billion dollars, rose 1.19 percent to 68,000 won at 0455 GMT, compared with a 1.52 percent gain in the main KOSPI index. The stock fell 1.7 percent in the second quarter while the KOSPI rose 20 percent