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Samsung estimates a drop in profits for the holiday quarter due to soft smartphone sales

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Samsung just announced earnings guidance for Q4 2013, and for one quarter at least it looks like the company's runaway financial growth will stall a bit. Reuters reports that operating profit for Q4 fell 18 percent quarter over quarter to $7.8 billion, a figure that missed analyst expectations. The miss was largely due to a one-time "special bonus" from the quarter; that bonus appears to have been related to special incentives given to mark the 20th anniversary of Samsung's "new management" strategy. However, it also appears that growth from Samsung's dominant mobile division will be the weakest seen since 2007, when the company first started making smartphones.

It looks likely that Samsung's earnings will be down year over year, as well — in Q4 of 2012, the company made $8.27 billion in operating profit. Of course, it's worth noting that while Samsung may show some rare weakness this quarter, the company is still raking in profits. We'll be keeping our eyes on the company's full earnings at the end of the month to find out more about how Samsung's various divisions performed over the holiday season.