Samsung shares flat on red-letter day for the company
The Galaxy Note 8 has just been released, and Lee Jae-yong faces a verdict in his corruption trial
Seoul — Shares in Samsung Electronics ended almost unchanged on Thursday, with analysts underwhelmed by its new Galaxy Note 8 device and the company’s de facto head facing the verdict in his corruption trial.
The world’s largest smartphone maker rose as much as 0.29% in mid-afternoon trading before receding to close at 2,376,000 won, up just 0.08%. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 8 "phablet", which combines features of smartphones and tablets, in New York, as it seeks mount a renewed challenge to Apple and its forthcoming iPhone 8, and leave behind the exploding batteries debacle in the Note 7.
The latest handset features include dual cameras on the back with improved image capabilities, and a signature "S Pen" for drawing or writing on touch screens.
But Lee Kyu-Ha, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities said it was "somewhat disappointing" that aside from the dual cameras, the Note 8 had "no significant change" from the Galaxy S8 smartphone.
Market sentiment was also weighed on by uncertainty over the fate of Lee Jae-yong, the heir to the Samsung empire, whose verdict in a corruption trial was due Friday.
Prosecutors have demanded a 12-year jail sentence for Lee and up to 10 years for four other former top Samsung executives.