SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday its third-quarter profit likely surged nearly three-fold over a year earlier to a new record, putting it on track to report its best annual results at a time when its leader and former executives are fighting corruption convictions.
In its earnings preview, Samsung put its July-September operating profit at 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion), compared with 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion) a year earlier. Sales jumped 30 percent to 62 trillion won ($54.7 billion).
The operating profit was broadly in line with market consensus. Analysts estimated 14.3 trillion won in operating profit, according to financial data provider FactSet.
Analysts forecast Samsung's 2017 net income nearly doubled from 2016 and say the best is yet to come.
They expect Samsung to outdo its annual financial results for the next few years, thanks to its position as the world's largest maker of the semiconductor group known as memory chips that are used for mobile devices and computer servers.
Prices of memory chips have skyrocketed globally due to the growing use of social media, mobile data, cloud computing and the emerging internet of things, combined with a tight supply situation. The boom allowed Samsung to dethrone Intel Corp., the long-time global chip leader, in the second quarter and has helped its smaller chip rivals such as SK Hynix to report its record earnings as well.
Samsung's stellar financial performance has coincided with an unprecedented crisis in the South Korean company's leadership.
Its de facto chief, Lee Jae-yong, a vice chairman at the company and the only son of its ailing chairman, was convicted in August and sentenced to five years in prison for crimes related to the corruption scandal that took down South Korea's president. The appeals cases of Lee and four other convicted Samsung executives began Thursday.
Samsung did not give its forecast on its net profit. The company is due to announce its net profit and breakdown figures among its business divisions at the end of this month.