* Consensus puts Q3 operating profit at 50.2 bln yen
* Small LCD panels also likely to see smartphone boost
* TV sales spiked late last year in Japan on govt. subsidy
By Isabel Reynolds
TOKYO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Japan‘s Toshiba Corp (6502.T) is expected to report a five-fold rise in October-December operating profit on Monday on robust sales of NAND flash memory used in smartphones and tablets.
Sales of small to mid-sized liquid-crystal display panels are also expected to have benefited from the boom in high-end mobile devices led by Apple‘s (AAPL.O) iPad and iPhone.
Toshiba, which makes everything from nuclear power plants to household appliances, also competes with Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N) and Dell DELL.O in personal computers.
Toshiba is the world‘s second largest supplier of NAND chips after South Korea‘s Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), which reported its weakest profit in six quarters, but is expected to post an improvement in results this year as the smartphone market expands further.
On average, quarterly operating profit estimate for Toshiba is expected at 50.2 billion yen ($611 million) according to a poll of five analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The profit compared with 10.2 billion yen a year ago.
Preview of Asia electronics firms‘ earnings [ID:nTOE70K04Y]
Samsung profit to recover after Q4 drop [ID:nTOE70R00J]
Special Report on Samsung r.reuters.com/cuz67r
Toshiba‘s full year operating profit forecast is 250 billion yen compared with an average estimate of 269.9 billion yen based on 22 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales of televisions were better than expected at the year-end, as consumers rushed to buy before cutbacks to a Japanese government incentive programme, the head of Toshiba‘s TV unit said earlier this month. [ID:nTOE70604A]
Toshiba shares rose to their highest in more than eight months last week. The stock however fell in early Monday trade, hurt by strength in the yen and jitters over unrest in Egypt, where the company said last month it would set up a TV assembly joint venture with El Araby.
(Editing by Anshuman Daga)
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