Samsung Electronics shares fell nearly 7 percent to hit their lowest level in two months after the company urged Galaxy Note 7 users to switch off and return their devices following reports batteries in the handsets were catching fire.
Over 16 trillion won ($14.3 billion) was wiped off Samsung’s market capitalization amid increased concern from investors over the potential damage that the recall could cause to the world’s largest smartphone maker by market share.
Shares of Samsung closed down 6.98 percent at 1,465,000 won.
Myung Sub Song, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities, said that the recall issue could have an impact of around 1 trillion won ($900 million) to Samsung’s third-quarter operating profit. Analysts are expecting shipments of the Note 7 to total around 6 million in the third and fourth quarters, down from estimates of around 12-15 million.
“The most important thing is whether the new Note 7 which will be released from now on will have another problem or not. If it has a problem then it will have a bad impact to the Note 7 and also Galaxy S8 which will be released in the first half of next year,” Myung Sub Song told CNBC by phone on Monday.
The Galaxy S8 is slated to be Samsung’s next flagship device.
Turn off and exchange device
Samsung issued a statement over the weekend urging consumers to exchange their Note 7 devices.
“Our number one priority is the safety of our customers. We are asking users to power down their Galaxy Note7s and exchange them as soon as possible,” DJ Koh, president of Samsung’s mobile communications business said.
“We are expediting replacement devices so that they can be provided through the exchange program as conveniently as possible and in compliance with related regulations. We sincerely thank our customers for their understanding and patience.”
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) added to Samsung’s woes on Friday when it advised Note 7 users to either not turn on or charge their devices during flights, or put it in checked baggage.
Samsung released the Note 7 in August in a bid to get a headstart on rival Apple’s iPhone 7 which was launched last week. But with the iPhone 7 already available for pre-order, there are concerns that some Note 7 users could jump ship to Apple.
The issues also threaten to hamper the recovery Samsung has seen in its mobile division. Operating profit for its IT and mobile communications division – of which smartphone sales are a large chunk – were up 56 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2016, helped by raising the sales proportion of the Galaxy S7 Edge to over 50 percent of shipments.
Nonetheless, investors said that the slide in Samsung shares could be a buying opportunity with the company still going strong in other areas from semiconductors to new display technologies.
“We think there’s no doubt that this is bad news but we think that it’s totally over-represented inside everything else that Samsung at the moment is getting right,” Neil Dwayne, chief investment officer for European equities at Allianz Global Investors, told CNBC in a TV interview.
“So we would be looking for this story to maybe build in the next couple of days and as the headlines reach a crescendo we would look at this as an opportunity to get into a huge company that’s doing an awful lot of other things right.”