Samsung Seen Tapping $55 Billion Cash Pile for Share Buyback

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Investors in Samsung Electronics Co. are watching their holdings plunge as new Galaxy smartphones get a lukewarm public response. With $55 billion in cash, the company may be poised to offer consolation.

Analysts expect the world’s biggest smartphone maker to buy back shares as early as this month in an effort to return some value to stockholders. Removing more than $1 billion of stock from the market could prompt shares to rally by as much as 20 percent, according to the top-ranked analyst covering Samsung, potentially erasing their declines this year.

Samsung has lost about $22 billion in market value — roughly equivalent to a Nintendo Co. — this year as sales of the S6 and Note 5 devices sputter against new models fromApple Inc. and Chinese makers. A buyback would be just the second in eight years and may take the sting out of sliding market share and sales projected to hit their lowest since 2011.

 “A share buyback should happen anytime now because the earnings haven’t been performing well,” said Dongbu Securities Co.’s Yoo Eui Hyung, who tops Bloomberg Absolute Return rankings for his calls on Samsung Electronics.

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