SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Samsung Electronics Co. reported Friday forecast-beating results for the fourth quarter of 2012 as profit from its mobile business more than doubled from a year earlier.
Samsung's October-December net income reached 7.04 trillion won ($6.58 billion), a 76 percent surge of 4.01 trillion won a year earlier. Analysts expected 6.95 trillion won in income according to FactSet.
Sales and operating income were slightly higher than its earlier preview. Sales rose 19 percent over a year earlier to 56.06 trillion won and operating income jumped 89 percent to 8.84 trillion won.
Increased sales of smartphones were the key source of its stellar profit. Samsung, which overtook Apple Inc. as the top smartphone maker last year, said its operating profit from the division that makes and sells smartphones and tablets more than doubled to 5.44 trillion won in the fourth quarter, from 2.56 trillion won a year earlier.
Analysts said Samsung will likely to see a continued rise in smartphone sales this year, especially in low- and mid-priced smartphones, while Apple sees iPhone sales plateau.
Bullish analysts forecast Samsung smartphone shipments to rise as much as 50 percent this year from 2012.