SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) — Nearly two-thirds of major listed businesses in South Korea reported forecast-beating results in the second quarter of the year despite the coronavirus pandemic, a market tracker said Monday.

According to an analysis of 33 major corporations by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap News Agency, 66 percent of them, or 21 companies, posted earnings that beat market estimates.

Of them, 12 pulled off earnings surprises as their results exceeded market expectations by 10 percent or more.

Top-cap Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory chip and smartphone maker, reported an operating income of about 6.4 trillion (US$5.3 billion) for the April-June period, over 20 percent higher than the market consensus.’

Chip giant and No. 2-cap SK hynix Inc. also recorded an earnings surprise as its second-quarter operating income came to some 1.95 trillion won, 14 percent more than the median market forecast.

Other forecast-beating companies included major financial holding companies, such as KB Financial Group Inc., Shinhan Financial Group Co. and Hana Financial Group Inc.

But some companies were hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. Leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co. saw its second-quarter operating income nose-dive 52 percent on-year to 590.3 billion won, with No. 2 industry player Kia Motors Corp. reporting a 73 percent tumble to 145.2 billion won.

Yet the results of Hyundai and Kia were 86 percent and 46 percent higher than market predictions, respectively.

Market watchers said many companies fared better than expected in the second quarter though overall corporate performances worsened considerably in the wake of COVID-19.

They attributed the better-than-expected corporate results to the fact that local brokerage houses had sharply downgraded second-quarter forecasts amid greater virus-caused uncertainty.