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SEOUL, April 7 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd reported a likely 96% plunge in first-quarter operating profit on Friday, worse than analysts had forecast, as a chip glut worsened and buyers slowed purchases amid a global economic slowdown.
The world's largest memory chip and TV maker estimated its operating profit fell to 600 billion won ($455.50 million) in January-March, from 14.12 trillion won a year earlier, in a short preliminary earnings statement.
"Memory demand dropped sharply... due to the macroeconomic situation and slowing customer purchasing sentiment, as many customers continue to adjust their inventories for financial purposes," the company said in a statement.
The profit fell short of a 873 billion won Refinitiv SmartEstimate, weighted toward analysts who are more consistently accurate. Multiple estimates were revised down earlier this week.
Revenue likely fell 19% from the same period a year earlier to 63 trillion won, Samsung said.
The company is due to release detailed earnings, including divisional breakdowns, later this month. ($1 = 1,317.2300 won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Jamie Freed)