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LG shares up 11%, analysts believe LG G3 may bring handset division out of the red

With LG shares up 11% in Korea since the launch of the LG G3, analysts believe the company's handset division could see an operating profit for the first time in a year.
June 11, 2014
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When the Samsung Galaxy S5 was first announced at MWC it was immediately met with mixed reception, particularly among consumers who felt it was time for Samsung to make more dramatic changes. Despite this, sales have actually been reasonably smooth for Samsung.

Meanwhile, LG has since announced the LG G3, receiving almost completely positive reception all across the board. As for the actual sales? While it’s too early to say for sure with the handset only fully launched in South Korea, we recently learned that the device was outselling the GS5 in Korea by a factor of more than 3-to-1. It seems that these brisk sales have also had a positive effect on the company’s shares as well.

On May 27th, a day ahead of the G3’s launch, LG closed its shares at 70,300 won ($69.14). Today that price value is at around 78,600 won ($77.31), representing an 11.8% increase in just a little over a week’s worth of trading days. LG currently finds itself at a 52-week high, not bad at all.

the arrival of the LG G3 could signal a move into the black and out of the red for the company

With shares heading in the right direction, at least two different analyst groups believe that LG’s handset business could find itself turning a profit in Q2 2014, the first time they’ve done so in a year. It remains unknown how well LG’s mobile division will actually do, though Korea Investment & Securities’ Lee Seung-hyuk estimates an operating profit of 206 billion won ($20.2 million). Shinhan Investment & Securities’ Soh Hyun-chul has a slightly more conservative figure in mind at 11 billion won ($10.8 million).

Regardless of where LG ends up, the big takeaway is that the arrival of the LG G3 could signal a move into the black and out of the red for the company. We imagine that things could be even better for LG in Q3, when the G3 rolls out globally. With Samsung and Apple controlling 106% of operating profits in the smartphone world, LG may be a long ways from being a real threat to either of these giants, but it’s still hard to not be at least a little impressed with how far LG has come in the last few years.

What do you think of the LG G3 and LG’s recent direction in general? Let us know in the comments.