Seoul, Sep 24: Samsung's operating profit is forecast to reach a record 15.5 trillion won ($13.6 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2017, a market researcher said on Sunday. The report by FnGuide Inc, which was based on the assessment made by 23 local brokerages, showed the average market consensus surging past the original estimate of 13.7 trillion won ($12 billion) made three months earlier, Yonhap News Agency reported. The financial industry tracker added that the latest prediction surpasses even the market consensus of 14.7 trillion won ($12.9 billion) made by securities firms a month ago and handily exceeds Samsung's second-quarter operating profits that reached an unprecedented 14.07 trillion won ($12.3 billion). If operating profits of Samsung Electronics meet market expectations, it will top the 14.2 trillion-won ($12.5 billion) earnings being estimated for the July-September period. FnGuide said the main reason for the bull prediction lies with the continuing boom in the semiconductor market that is expected to remain strong in the fourth quarter. Roh Geun-chang, an analyst at HMC Investment and Securities, said that demand for memory chips is so high that many companies have sought long-term supply contracts lasting six months.