SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's listed firms are expected to post better earnings in the fourth quarter compared with a year ago, thanks to the favorable currency exchange rate and a low base effect, a report showed Sunday.
A total of 219 listed firms were predicted to generate a combined 28.9 trillion won (US$24.1 billion) in operating profit in the October-December period, up 5.6 percent from a year earlier, according to Seoul-based financial data provider FnGuide.
If realized, it would be a turnaround from the fourth quarter of 2018, when the listed companies' operating profits tumbled 23.4 percent on-year.
Among the 219 companies with earnings outlooks from at least three brokerage houses, 195 were predicted to swing to the black or cut their losses in the last three months of this year, and 24 were expected to post decreased earnings or go into the red, FnGuide said.
LG Electronics Inc. was anticipated to see a 320.8 percent on-year jump in its operating profit in the last quarter, and Hyundai Motor Co. was predicted to post a gain of over 132.5 percent in the same period.
In contrast, South Korea's two major chipmakers, Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc., were expected to suffer lackluster earnings in the upcoming quarter due to a sharp cut in memory chip prices and weak global demand.
"Major exporters are expected to post better earnings in the fourth quarter on the back of the low base effect and favorable foreign exchange rate," said Jung Yong-taek, a researcher center chief at IBK Securities. "Corporate earnings were estimated to have bottomed out between the late second quarter and the early third quarter."
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