Hynix posts loss in Q4 as reflection of slumping PC sales

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Hynix posts loss in Q4 as reflection of slumping PC sales

Hynix Semiconductor, the world’s second-largest maker of computer memory chips, said yesterday that it swung to the red in the fourth quarter as memory chip prices fell on slowing demand for computers.

Its net loss amounted to 239.9 billion won ($214 million) in the October-December period, a turnaround from a net profit of 30 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing. The fourth-quarter reading marked the second consecutive quarterly net loss.

Sales inched down 7.2 percent on-year to 2.55 trillion won in the fourth quarter, when the company posted an operating loss of 167.5 billion won.

For 2011, its net loss reached 56 billion won, compared with a net profit of 2.6 trillion won the previous year. Sales declined 14.1 percent on-year to 10.4 trillion won and operating profit tumbled 89.1 percent to 325.5 billion won.

“Last year, global economic uncertainty and natural disasters in Japan and Thailand undercut demand for tech products,” the company said in a statement.

Hynix vies with bigger rival Samsung Electronics in the dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chip market and with Japan-based Toshiba in the NAND flash memory market.

Prices of DRAM chips, which are used in personal computers, have fallen since September 2010. Damage wrought by flooding in Thailand, the world’s leading maker of computer drives, weighed on global computer markets.

According to the company, DRAM prices fell by an average of 19 percent in the fourth quarter, and prices of NAND flash chips shed 17 percent.

The company said it will spend a combined 4.2 trillion won on facility investment this year. Yonhap

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