Samsung estimates operating profit of $4.5 billion on cellphone, hard drive biz sales

Fourth quarter estimates for Samsung's earnings are out and wouldn't you know it, selling a record number of mobile phones -- more than three times over what it sold in the same period last year -- is a pretty good way to turn a profit. Businessweek notes it closed the three months ending in December with an operating profit of 5.2 trillion won ($4.5 billion), beating analyst estimates. Other than the more than 300 million phones it sold, there was also a bump from the $1.38 billion sale of its hard drive business to Seagate that helped overcome drops in profits from its chipmaking and flat-screen units. Detailed results are expected later on this month, but The Wall Street Journal reports Samsung expects to notch an operating profit of 16.2 trillion won ($14 billion). Here's hoping it takes a break from counting up all that cash to show off a few things better and brighter next week at CES.