Korean Inc. who fared better than expected in the third quarter are projected to keep up their profit streak in the fourth quarter, led by bio and technology companies, and end the year with a positive growth regardless of unprecedented pandemic crisis.
According to Seoul-based market researcher FnGuide on Wednesday, fourth-quarter earnings estimates for 259 listed companies came to 36.2 trillion won ($32.4 billion), which would be 61 percent higher from the same period a year ago. Their sales are also expected to grow 1.1 percent year on year to 468.15 trillion won.
Lee Kyung-soo, head of the research center at Meritz Securities, predicted that chipmakers would contribute large to the headline number of Korean Inc. amid cyclical turnaround from inventory decrease.
Korean listed companies are on track to end the year in positive growth.
Compiling by FnGuide showed they would earn a total of 130.6 trillion won in operating profit this year, up 7 percent from 122.6 trillion won in 2019. Despite the Covid-19 shock, market experts also see that their combined net profit to grow to 90.12 trillion won from last year’s 71.14 trillion won.
Market watchers forecast 190 out of 287 listed firms, 66 percent, would see an increase in their operating profit this year compared to last year, while just 97 percent would post profit contraction.
Bio companies are expected to lead the gain. Covid-19 test kit maker Seegene is forecast to record a staggering 2,682 percent on-year surge in operating profit to 623.9 billion won this year. Samsung Biologics would also see a 193 percent jump in operating profit to 268.9 billion won, with Yuhan Corp. expected to grow 571 percent, Celltrion Healthcare 305 percent and Green Cross 105 percent.
Market experts also believe the operating profit of the top market cap Samsung Electronics would rise 34 percent and tech giant Kakao 117 percent.
By Kim Jung-beom and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]