Tokyo: Japan’s Toshiba Corp stuck to its full-year operating profit forecast, keeping it below market expectations, citing concerns about an increasingly murky economic outlook, despite brisk chip sales.
Growing sales of smartphones such as Apple Inc’s iPhone, and the hot tablet PC market led by the iPad are boosting demand for NAND flash chips, also used in digital cameras and music players.
Toshiba, the world’s No. 2 NAND chipmaker after Samsung Electronics, left its full-year operating profit forecast of ¥250 billion ($3.1 billion) unchanged versus a consensus of ¥261.9 billion in a poll of 17 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Its quarterly profit came to ¥71.02 billion in July-September, almost double that of the same period last year.
Last month, Toshiba, whose businesses also include nuclear power plants, PCs, TVs and home appliances, raised its half-year operating profit forecast by 49% on strong chip sales.
The company began to build a new chip plant in Japan this year to meet growing demand. The factory in Yokkaichi, western Japan, will be jointly operated with its production partner SanDisk Corp.
Archrival Samsung, also No. 1 player in the DRAM (dynamic random access memory) sector, is facing slumping demand and prices of the DRAM chips, mainly used in PCs.
Toshiba shares have dropped more than 17% so far this year, underperforming a nearly 8% fall in the benchmark Nikkei average.
The stock closed up 1.4% at ¥428 before the results, against the Nikkei’s 0.4% fall.