Samsung may become the world's largest chip maker

Samsung to invest $18 billion in memory chip business

The clearest factor behind Samsung's strong showing is the uptick in semiconductor prices amid brisk demand for smartphone and server chips. Samsung Electronics has jumped 64% over the past year, and Thursday's close at 2,403,000 won falls just short of last week's fresh record high.

The step will reportedly propel Samsung to record profit this year with the company pledging to create almost half a million jobs in four years. Revenue rose to 60 trillion won, compared with the 58.4 trillion won projected. Unless it stuns the market, Samsung Electronics would have performed better than the world's top technology company in terms of market cap.

The factory in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometres (44 miles) south of Seoul, is the world's biggest and has recently started production after Samsung Electronics spent 15.6 trillion won over the past two years to build it.

The spike has largely been driven by the company's chip-making business, analysts say, rather than its more well-known smartphone division. The figure is up 4.28 trillion won (US$3.71 billion) from 38.89 trillion won (US$33.69 billion) of the KOSPI-listed firms' overall operating profits announced by the Korea Exchange in May.

According to their guidance, Samsung expects to net about 13.29 trillion Korean won (about $11.5 billion) profit out of 58.79 trillion Korean won (roughly $50.95 billion) in revenue.

Underscoring its dominant position, Samsung said on Tuesday it plans to invest some $18.6 billion in South Korea as it seeks to extend its lead in memory chips and next-generation displays for smartphones.

After the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco past year, Samsung has been extra careful in launching a phone globally.

Executives were quoted in news reports as crediting the profits to bold investments made three to five years ago by members of the owner family through the now defunct Corporate Strategic Office, a former control tower of Samsung companies.

The issues with the Galaxy Note 7 wiped out Samsung's third-quarter profit past year.

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