Samsung shares drop $12 billion after Apple's court victory
By Miyoung Kim
SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics shares slumped 7.5 percent on Monday, wiping more than $12 billion off the South Korean giant's market value, as a sweeping victory for Apple Inc in a U.S. patent lawsuit raised concerns about its smartphone business - its biggest cash cow.
Samsung, which says it will contest the verdict, was ordered to pay $1.05 billion in damages after a California jury found it had copied critical features of the hugely popular iPhone and iPad and could face an outright sales ban on key products.
"There are still too many variables including the final ruling to come at least a month from the recent verdict, and whether there will be a sales ban on Samsung's main sellers such as the Galaxy S3," said a fund manager at a Korean asset management company that was one of the biggest institutional holders of Samsung's stock as of end-March.
Shares in Samsung - the world's biggest technology firm by revenue - tumbled as much as 8 percent, its biggest daily percentage drop in nearly four years, to 1.173 million won ($1,000), before closing at 1.180 million won. The broader Seoul market fell 0.1 percent.
Trading volume was also heavy, with a total of 1.27 million Samsung shares changing hands, around four times the daily average it saw last week and the stock's biggest daily volume since October 2008.
In the most closely watched patent trial in years, the jury at a federal court in San Jose, California, just miles from Apple's headquarters, found that Samsung infringed on six of seven Apple patents.
The verdict, which surprised many analysts with its speed - coming after less than three days of deliberations - and the extent of Apple's victory, will likely solidify the U.S. firm's dominance of the exploding mobile computing market.
Apple's triumph was also seen as a blow to Google, whose Android software powers the Samsung products that were found to infringe on Apple patents. Continued...