The daily business briefing: October 12, 2016

Samsung cuts profit forecast after scrapping the Galaxy Note 7, Toyota and Suzuki explore a partnership, and more

A Samsung smartphone alongside an Apple phone
(Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

1. Samsung cuts guidance after scrapping Galaxy Note 7

Samsung Electronics cut its preliminary third-quarter earnings projections on Wednesday, a day after announcing that it would scrap its troubled new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The South Korean technology giant lowered its operating profit estimate for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 to $4.6 billion, down from $6.9 billion. Samsung said last week that it had taken into account the cost of its Galaxy Note 7 recall, which was due to reports of some of the phones catching fire. The new guidance takes into account the likelihood that more customers will now ask for a refund rather than a new Samsung phone in exchange for their Galaxy Note 7.


2. Toyota and Suzuki explore partnership

Toyota and Suzuki said on Wednesday that they had started talks on a potential partnership. The two Japanese automakers did not get into specifics about how they would work together, but a partnership would give the much larger Toyota — the world's largest automaker — an instant boost in India, a developing market where small-car specialist Suzuki is the leading manufacturer. Toyota and Suzuki said in a news release that they had "agreed to start exploring ideas." They plan to hold a news conference later Wednesday.

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The New York Times

3. Supreme Court looks at Apple-Samsung patent fight

The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the Apple-Samsung patent fight. Samsung is challenging a $399 million part of $930 million in damages that a jury awarded Apple in 2012 after finding Samsung guilty of patent infringement. The $399 million penalty represented Samsung's total profits on 11 smartphone models jurors found to have infringed on three Apple patents on the iPhone design, including its rounded-corner front face and colorful grid of app icons. Samsung says the penalty should cover just what it gained from the design elements, not all its profits. Justices appeared sympathetic, but suggested it would be hard to put a dollar figure on the value of the design elements. "If I were a juror, I wouldn't know what to do," Justice Anthony Kennedy said.


4. Amazon aims to open convenience stores

Amazon reportedly plans to expand its push into grocery sales by opening pilot brick-and-mortar convenience stores. The stores are expected to be available only for subscribers to the giant online retailer's Fresh service, which offers same-day food deliveries at set times. The stores would sell perishables such as produce, milk, and meats, which customers could pick out using mobile phones or touch screens in the store. Amazon last week lowered the $299 annual Fresh fee and offered subscribers to its $99-a-year Prime service subscriptions to Fresh for $15 per month.

The Wall Street Journal Engadget

5. Investors await Fed minutes

U.S. stock futures edged lower on Wednesday as investors awaited the release of minutes from the last Federal Reserve policy meeting, expected later in the day. Investors will be looking for clues on how much pressure other Fed policy makers put on Chair Janet Yellen to raise interest rates. Most analysts are expecting a hike in December as long as economic data continues to show improvement. "The developments in stance are usually rather subtle, but if this document offers up any fresh clues over policy, then we can expect another reaction from the U.S. dollar," said Tony Cross, market analyst for TopTradr, in a note to clients.

MarketWatch Bloomberg

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