Samsung released a dismal preliminary earnings report Thursday night, which market-watchers are blaming on both U.S.-China trade tensions and internal missteps.
The South Korean company reports that profits are likely down more than half of what they were at the same time last year, with an anticipated operating profit now ranging between 6.4 and 6.6 trillion KRW ($5.5 to 5.6 billion USD).
While the Trump administration’s effective ban on telecom giant Huawei left the company’s chip supply business struggling, Samsung is also wrestling with issues in its smartphone division.
The rollout of the Galaxy Fold, the new smartphone in its flagship line, was less than stellar. After reviewers reported severe flaws with the near-$2,000 device, Samsung was forced to redesign the phone and delay its launch.
"That was expensive to innovate, and it didn’t work," John Jannarone, the editor-in-chief of IPO Edge, told Cheddar.
While the company has diversified across a wide range of electronic devices and hardware, Jannarone says he has particular concerns about Samsung’s deep investments in smartphones. "Unless you're Apple, these phones are all basically interchangeable. There’s a huge glut of supply."
One bright spot in Samsung’s mobile business is that Huawei’s exclusion from the American mobile phone market could make more room for Samsung’s products.
More welcome news in early reports is an $800 million reimbursement from Apple ($AAPL), after the Cupertino-based tech giant missed previously agreed-upon sales target, according to analysts that spoke to Reuters.
In the immediate fallout from the report, Samsung share prices were trading down nearly a percent on the Korea Futures Exchange.