首尔（路透社） - SK海力士周四表示，由于数据中心需求不断增长，韩国芯片制造商公布其两年多以来的最小季度利润，因此对今年晚些时候内存芯片的复苏充满信心。
文件照片：SK海力士的标志于2016年4月25日在韩国城南的总部出现.REUTERS / Kim Hong-Ji
“我认为数据中心客户投资的上升周期确实会出现，正如公司所解释的那样，”eBest Securities的分析师Eo Kyu-jin表示。 他表示，SK海力士约24％的收入来自DRAM服务器芯片，主要用于数据中心。
SK海力士在财报发布会上表示，这种价格下跌可能会缓解到今年下半年。 SK Hynix的Cha表示，随着第五代（5G）电信网络和新数据中心投资的推出，内存芯片市场将迎来“大热潮”。
Ju-min Park和Heekyong Yang的报道; 由Neil Fullick和Christopher Cushing编辑
SEOUL (Reuters) - SK Hynix Inc said on Thursday it was confident of a recovery in memory chips later this year due to rising demand from data centers, after the South Korean chipmaker posted its smallest quarterly profit in more than two years.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of SK Hynix is seen at its headquarters in Seongnam, South Korea, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
The notoriously cyclical memory chip industry is in the midst of a downturn after a two-year boom, as slowing demand for gadgets such as smartphones pulls down chip prices.
“There is now stronger evidence which led us to a stronger conviction regarding our forecast” for DRAM chips, Executive Vice President Cha Jin-Seok said during an earnings briefing.
For instance, Cha said, internet data centers using DRAM chips for servers are likely to raise investment “significantly” from the third quarter of 2019. Also, smartphone makers are adopting high-density chips, he said, to counter a market slump.
Shares of SK Hynix were 2.8 percent higher after the firm discussed its outlook, versus the wider market's 0.3 percent decline as of 0144 GMT.
“I think the upward cycle of data center customers' investment is indeed coming, as the company explained,” said analyst Eo Kyu-jin at eBest Securities. He said about 24 percent of SK Hynix's revenue comes from DRAM server chips, used mainly in data centers.
The world's second-biggest memory chip maker by sales reported a 69 percent drop in first-quarter operating profit to 1.4 trillion won ($1.21 billion), matching analyst estimates, and blaming weak memory chip prices. Revenue fell 22 percent.
Earlier this month, market leader Samsung Electronics Co Ltd forecast its lowest quarterly profit in over two years, with a glut in memory chips being a primary cause. Samsung also expects demand to improve later in the year.
Prices for DRAM chips, which help devices perform multiple tasks, declined more than 20 percent in the first quarter from three months earlier, and are likely to fall as much as 20 percent in the second quarter, showed data from industry tracker DRAMeXchange.
Prices of NAND memory chips, which provide long-term data storage, lost 20 percent in the first quarter, DRAMeXchange said.
Such price declines are likely to ease into the second half of this year, SK Hynix said during the earnings briefing. And next year, the memory chip market should experience a “big boom” with the launch of fifth-generation (5G) telecommunication networks and fresh data center investment, said SK Hynix's Cha.
“We will focus on reducing raw material costs and securing competitiveness in the market where memory demand uncertainty and hope for demand recovery co-exist,” SK Hynix said.
Reporting by Ju-min Park and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Neil Fullick and Christopher Cushing