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Samsung Galaxy S4/AFP

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Samsung shares plunge on negative S4 report

Samsung Galaxy S4/AFP

Samsung Galaxy S4/AFP

SEOUL, June 2013 – Samsung Electronics shares plunged more than six percent Friday, the biggest single-day drop in nine months, after analysts at JP Morgan forecast slower sales of its new flagship smartphone.

Shares in the world’s largest smartphone maker closed down 6.2 percent at 1,427,000 won.

Traders attributed the selloff to a research note from JP Morgan analyst J.J. Park., who said sales of the South Korean giant’s Galaxy S4 might not be as strong as had been expected.

While the S4 launched on April 26 experienced stronger first quarter sales than its popular predecessor, the S3, the following quarter “is expected to be disappointing,” the research report said.

“Our supply chain checks show monthly orders have been cut 20-30 percent to 7.0 to 8.0 million units (from 10 million) starting July,” it added.

Samsung had looked to the S4 to expand its presence in high-end markets in the United States and elsewhere, crowding out arch rival Apple’s iPhone.

After hitting global stores, it rapidly became the company’s fastest selling smartphone to date, shifting more than 10 million units in less than a month.

The S4, featuring a high-definition, five-inch (12.7-centimetre) screen and enhanced picture-taking capabilities, comes with a faster chip and is thinner and lighter than its predecessor.

Last month, Samsung unveiled a slimmed down S4 “mini” aimed at the mid-range market.

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