Samsung predicts its profits rose nearly 26% last quarter. That suggests demand for many of its products has kept up during the coronavirus pandemic even as it faces tough competition in the smartphone market. The South Korean conglomerate said Friday that it expects to post operating profit of about 9 trillion Korean won ($8.2 billion) for the October-December quarter, an increase compared to the same period a year earlier but off somewhat from analyst estimates. The company predicted sales of some 61 trillion Korean won ($56 billion), in line with the expectations of analysts polled by Refinitiv. Samsung's (SSNLF) stock rose about 1.8% in Seoul on Friday.