Samsung predicts 9.5 trillion won ($8.3bn) in operating profit for Q2 2013, a rise of 47-percent year-on-year, but still not enough to placate antsy investors concerned the South Korean company has peaked. Released ahead of full financial results due July 26, Reuters reports, the profit guidance comes alongside word that Samsung’s marketing spend has increased in 2013 significantly. In fact, the company spent more on marketing than it did on R&D, for the first time in at least three years.
That focus on promotion rather than product development is what has some investors and analysts cautious. In fact, Samsung shares already dropped by more than 3-percent today based on the guidance, which fell short of predictions of profits more in the region of 10.16 trillion won.
Samsung’s mobile business, buoyed by the Galaxy S 4 and its various variants, continues to grow, though shipments for the quarter are expected to rise just 4-percent – to 8-percent – versus Q1 2013. That slowing in demand has led to suggestions that Samsung might be losing its edge in mobile, and it’s unclear to investors whether the division – and the also profitable flash memory arm – will be able to continue to prop up profits overall.
Wearables, along with more low-cost devices to further attack developing markets where Huawei and ZTE are focusing, are seen as being Samsung’s next step. Samsung is believed to be working on a smartwatch potentially called the Samsung GEAR, alongside companion rumors that have arch-rival working on an “iWatch” wearable of its own.
Nonetheless, despite the market pessimism, Samsung’s overall numbers are strong. Based on the estimates for Q2, Samsung should have comfortably exceeded the $6.4bn it made in Q1.
That will have been helped by a supposed 20m shipments of the Galaxy S 4, which Samsung execs in Korea confirmed earlier this week. However, on the flip side, there are suggestions that the company is not doing enough to ensure existing owners of Samsung devices choose the brand again when they upgrade.
Recent research indicated that Sony’s Xperia Z had been the surprise beneficiary of subscribers upgrading from the Galaxy S II, picking another Android device but feeling no great loyalty to Samsung as a brand.