Samsung's third-quarter earnings are going to be weaker than anticipated, the company warned late Monday. In its Q3 guidance, the Korean tech giant forecasted an operating profit of 4.1 trillion won ($3.8 billion) for the quarter ending September 30 which represents a 59.7 percent decline compared to the same period a year ago.

Sales in the quarter are expected to be around 47 trillion won, a 20 percent drop versus the year-ago quarter.

Smartphone shipments were up slightly during the quarter although lower selling prices for its high-end handsets combined with increased marketing costs took its toll on margins.

The projections are much worse than analysts had expected. As CNET points out, the company is likely to post its biggest declines in roughly five years. Collectively, analysts were expecting operating profit to drop around 42 percent to 5.9 trillion won ($5.52 billion) and sales to slump 14 percent to $50.9 trillion won ($47.6 billion).

As Sanford Bernstein analyst Mark Newman notes, memory remains the only strong point on Samsung's report.

Despite being the largest smartphone maker by a wide margin, Samsung is facing its fourth straight quarterly drop. Manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi are ratcheting up competition in emerging markets while Samsung is facing a renewed battle in established markets thanks largely in part to Apple's new batch of iPhones that launched last month.

Samsung's full earnings report is due out later this month.