SEOUL, May 6 (Yonhap) — Shares in Samsung Heavy Industries Co., a major South Korean shipbuilder, on Thursday took a beating from its poorer than expected first-quarter earnings, its capital reduction plan and the sales of new shares.

Samsung Heavy fell 16.2 percent to close at 6,000 won (US$5.30) on the Seoul bourse as retail and institutional investors dumped shares after delivering weaker than expected earnings in the January-March period.

On Tuesday, the shipbuilder said its loss in the first quarter expanded to 535.9 billion won, from a net loss of 227 billion won a year ago.

Operating loss, however, narrowed to 506.8 billion won during the cited period, from an operating loss of 47.8 billion won a year earlier. Sales fell 13.8 percent on-year to 1.57 trillion won.

Samsung Heavy said it will carry out capital reduction to improve its financial status and sell new shares worth 1 trillion won.