By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday its operating earnings plunged 56 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, mainly hit by continuing falls in chip prices, but the performance was better than expected.
The operating profit was estimated at 7.7 trillion won (US$6.4 billion) in the July-Sept. period, according to its earnings guidance.
The figures were above market expectations of 6.99 trillion won, according to the report by Seoul-based financial market tracker FnGuide.
The South Korean tech giant expected its overall sales to have fallen 5.3 percent on-year to 62 trillion won in the three-month period. The sales estimate stood at 60.6 trillion won on average.
The company logged a quarterly high record during the third quarter of last year.
Since late last year, Samsung has been grappling with the semiconductor industry's downturn amid slowing demand for smartphones and other electronic gadgets.
Samsung did not break down performances of its respective business divisions, saying it will announce the detailed earnings later this month.
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