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Big Chips Falling

The good news for Samsung was another record profit. The bad news is the outlook is weak.

The record profit was boosted by sales of memory chips and displays in the third quarter.

The world's largest maker of smartphones and semiconductors said third-quarter net profit was 13.15 trillion South Korean won ($11.5 billion), an all-time high and a gain of 18% from 11.19 trillion won a year earlier, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

The South Korea-based company's revenue rose 5.5 percent to 65.5 trillion won, up from 62 trillion won a year earlier. Operating profit grew to 17.57 trillion won, up 21 percent.

The company's prior record net profit was 12.26 trillion won during the final three months of 2017.  Samsung, which ships one of every five smartphones globally, said mobile-division revenue dropped 10 percent.

Its mobile division profit dropped by a third.  Samsung said smartphone shipments were flat.

There are growing signs that the memory-chip boom could be cooling.  Prices for DRAM chips, which give devices multitasking speed, could fall 5% in the final three months of 2018 from the previous quarter. That would be the first drop in more than two years, according to DRAMeXchange.

Prices of another type of memory chip, NAND, are already dropping and could lose another 25% to 30% next year, DRAMeXchange said.

Samsung is the largest maker of DRAM and NAND chips.