SEOUL, South Korea ( TheStreet) -- Samsung swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, earning 3.05 trillion won ($2.63 billion) on sales that were 37% higher.

Samsung a year earlier lost 22 billion won, the first net loss since it began reporting quarterly results in 2000.

Samsung reported fourth-quarter revenue of 25.32 trillion won vs. 18.45 trillion won a year earlier.

The consumer electronics maker said it benefited from higher prices for memory chips in the quarter. Samsung sold about 11 million flat-screen TVs in the fourth quarter, while mobile phone sales rose 16% to 69 million units.

Samsung is the No. 1 maker of computer memory chips and ranks behind Nokia ( NOK) in cell phones.

The company could pass Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) to become the world's largest technology company by sales this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Samsung said it expects "positive growth across its businesses in 2010."

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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