UPDATE 1-Samsung posts $7.4 bln profit as handsets mask weak chip sales

Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:55pm EDT
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* Q3 operating profit 8.12 trln won, in line with guidance

* Handset division earns 5.63 trln won, 69 pct of total

* Says sees tight Q4 NAND mkt, DRAM oversupply

* Shares up 24 pct YTD; Seoul mkt up 5 pct; Apple up 52 pct

By Miyoung Kim

SEOUL, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co , the world's top technology firm by revenue, reported record quarterly profit of $7.4 b i llion on Friday, with strong sales of its Galaxy range of phones masking sharply lower memory chip sales.

The South Korean firm said July-September operating profit almost doubled from a year ago to 8.12 trillion won, in line with its earlier estimate.

Samsung, reporting its results just hours after main rival Apple Inc, did not detail its third-quarter smartphone shipments, though these are estimated to have soared to 58 million. Apple said it shipped 26.9 million iPhones in July-September It launched its latest iPhone 5 on Sept. 21.   Continued...