Many of us are quite familiar with the consumer electronics brand known as Samsung (OTC:SSNLF), the world's largest producers of televisions and second largest cell-phone manufacturer behind Nokia (NOK). This company, despite its enormous size and impact on the Korean economy, is not listed in America, and generally unavailable for trading in the states.
Regardless, what it posted yesterday caught my attention. Samsung Electronics (only one of many arms of the conglomerate) posted a quarterly revenue of $20.9bn with profits of $3.14bn amid a weak local currency and strong growth across all sectors.
Just for comparison's sake:
- Samsung Electronics alone is by far the largest listed corporation on the Korean stock exchange, with a 16.27% weighting on the KOSPI 200, (equivalent to our S&P 500), more than twice the size of second-place POSCO and nearly 8 times the size of the state-run utility monopoly KEPCO (both listed as ADRs in America).
- It is #40 in the Fortune 500 list of largest corporations in the world (#39 is Citigroup (C), and #41 is Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)).
- Its market cap of 79tr won (around $64bn) makes it nearly three times the size of Sony (SNE) (a fact that I'm sure would make many Koreans beam with pride).
Sales at South Korea’s major department stores rose in September for a seventh straight month...
South Korea’s exports gained 5.1 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months, when they rose 14.7 percent, today’s report showed. Corporate investment in factories and equipment climbed 8.9 percent, compared with a 10.1 percent in the second quarter.
Confidence at South Korean manufacturers rose to a seven-year high in October, the central bank said Thursday, the latest in a series of figures that highlight an improving economy.
The consumer confidence figure for October, announced Tuesday, also came in at the highest in more than seven years.
Besides the confidence figures, South Korea's unemployment rate fell in September to a nine-month low of 3.4 percent and the current account - the country's broadest measure of trade - is firmly back in surplus after a deficit last year for the first time since 1997.
And you wonder why the smart money is in Asia.
Disclosure - No positions.