Samsung is continuing to bleed cash, but the worst might be over

A view of the Samsung Experience Store in Long Island, from the outside looking in. The Samsung logo is above the entry.

At some point soon, we expect to see the official Samsung earnings report detailing the company’s finances for the third quarter of 2019. In preparation for that report, the company released an official forecast for investors that gives us a little bit of an idea of what to expect.

In a word, the forecast looks bad. Year-over-year, we expect Samsung to post revenue that’s literally half as good as it was in the same quarter of 2018. That Q3 2018 number was also slightly down from Q3 2017. Ouch.

The official Samsung earnings forecast sheet says the company expects to post an operating profit of about 7.7 trillion Korean won (~$6.44 billion) for Q3 2019. That’s 56% less than it made in Q3 2018 when it made 17.57 trillion Korean won (~$14.7 billion).

However, those two numbers don’t tell the whole story. For example, the expected Q3 2019 profits will be higher than what the company made in Q2 2019, which was 6.6 trillion Korean won (~$5.5 billion). That’s a nice silver lining.

Related: Uh oh: Samsung issues a first-ever preemptive warning for its scary Q1 earnings

Just looking at the numbers also wouldn’t tell you that Samsung is slumping in the same ways that its competitors are slumping. Samsung’s primary money-maker over the past few years has been chips, but that entire industry is in a downturn. According to industry analysts speaking with The Korea Herald, Samsung is actually doing remarkably well considering how poor the demand is for chips universally.

Of course, the big question hanging over this forthcoming Samsung earnings report is how mobile sales are doing. The forecast report doesn’t mention anything about sales of the company’s latest flagship, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, or any mobile devices, for that matter. It will be interesting to see how Samsung’s big gamble of switching to a two-device strategy with the Note 10 line — and removing the headphone jack — fares with consumers from a sales perspective.

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