Samsung’s $11 Billion Month

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Samsung Electronics Co., struggling to
retain its place as the world’s largest smartphone maker, just
had an $11 billion month.

That’s how much the South Korean company has added in
market value since the March 1 introduction of its Galaxy S6 and
S6 Edge, the smartphones that will compete against Apple Inc.’s
new iPhones. The shares have climbed 6.2 percent since the
announcement for their best month since May 2014.

Samsung is counting on new payment software and a three-sided display on the S6 Edge to boost sales after slipping into
a tie with Apple last quarter as the world’s biggest smartphone
vendor. The Suwon-based company is being pressured at the high
end by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and in the mid-range by Chinese
manufacturers, including Xiaomi Corp. with its Redmi 2.

“There’s a lot of buzz about the new S6 phones and
consumer demand,” said Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK
Securities Co. in Seoul. “The pre-order demand for S6 devices
is a lot higher than its predecessor S5, and the phone will win
back many consumers.”

Lee raised his target price for the company’s shares to 1.8
million won, from 1.7 million won. The shares fell 1 percent to
1.426 million won as of 9:10 a.m. in Seoul.

Samsung’s market value reached 212.26 trillion won ($191.19
billion), at the close of trading in Seoul on Tuesday, or about
12.37 trillion won more than on March 1. Apple was worth about
$725 billion as of the close in New York, a $23 billion decline
during the period.

Samsung was little changed in the same month a year
earlier, when the S5 it unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in
Barcelona received a tepid reaction.

Xiaomi, Lenovo

In the year that followed, models from Lenovo Group Ltd.
and Xiaomi eroded Samsung’s market share in emerging markets
including China and India, and Apple’s iPhone 6 lured away
customers willing to pay more for the latest features.

The S6 phones have metal bodies and a fingerprint reader
that works with the device’s payment software for added
security. They will be released initially in 20 countries.

The phones won early praise from reviewers, with Forbes
saying the use of glass and metal represents “great gains in
terms of style.” The BGR website called the S6 and the S6 Edge
“truly fantastic smartphones.” The New York Times said the S6
was “a flagship phone that finally feels like a flagship.”

Operating profit will probably slump 36 percent to 5.4
trillion won in the quarter ending March 31, according to the
average of 35 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The next
quarter, which would include S6 sales, will generate about 6.7
trillion won, the estimates show.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Jungah Lee in Seoul at
jlee1361@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Michael Tighe at
mtighe4@bloomberg.net
Dave McCombs