Friday, April 14, 2017

Samsung foresees record profit; Tesla's electric truck in September; Relationships at the workplace

Samsung foresees record profit (Straits Times) Samsung Electronics forecast its best quarterly profit in more than three years in the January-March period, beating expectations and putting it on track for record annual earnings on the back of a memory-chip super-cycle.

The company has rapidly recovered from last year's costly failure of its fire-prone Galaxy Note7 device, despite a political scandal involving vice-chairman Lee Jae Yong, who faces charges including bribing ousted president Park Geun Hye.

The global memory-chip leader said first-quarter operating profit was likely 9.9 trillion won, compared with an average forecast of 9.4 trillion won from a Thomson Reuters survey. Revenue rose 0.4 per cent to 50 trillion won, just ahead of analysts' forecasts.

"The semiconductor business was likely the main driver for earnings," said Heungkuk Securities analyst Lee Min Hee, adding that sales of mid- to low-tier smartphones also helped the mobile business to stay profitable. Samsung shares reached a record high of 2.1 million won last month on expectations of record annual profit this year.

2 Tesla’s electric truck in September (Dave Lee on BBC) Tesla will unveil an electric articulated lorry in September, chief executive Elon Musk has said. Additionally, he said an electric pick-up truck would be shown off in around 18-24 months. Last year Mr Musk expressed the firm’s desire to branch out beyond cars.

However, analysts are concerned the company will not meet demand for its current projects. The Model 3, a more mid-market car compared to what Tesla currently offers, has 400,000 pre-orders - vastly more than the company can manufacture in a year. It is due to go into production later this year.

However, despite this hurdle, investors seem confident that Mr Musk will meet his ambitious promises - Tesla’s surging stock price saw it briefly become the most valuable car maker in the US on Monday.

Speaking about the lorry, Mr Musk said his team had done an "amazing job" and the vehicle would be "seriously next level". In a string of tweets sent out on Thursday, Mr Musk also said that the next version of its roadster sports car will be a convertible.

3 Relationships at the workplace (Rania Oteify in Gulf News) Corporate culture often sets the tone for how people interact in the workplace, but it is not everything. Personalities often determine how relationships evolve and grow. Some people are more outgoing than others, and when relationships begin to form, it is common to have conversations that go beyond work topics.

This human aspect is important in almost any workplace. After all, many people spend more time with their coworkers than they do with their spouses and children. With that in mind, however, it is important to know where to draw the line. Coworkers are not family and even when friendships form, the office is not a place to handle personal relationships.

Workplace rules are different from anywhere else. A playful comment on a friend’s appearance may be acceptable in a social setting. At work, it could risk a sexual harassment charge — if the relationship takes a turn to the worse. Although grave consequences of this type are uncommon, they become more likely if you let your guard down and you mix work and fun loosely.

That is not to say you must be scripted at all times when you are socialising with coworkers. Instead, you should have a slightly more conservative approach than the one you take with longtime friends. This is particularly important if your communication is in writing over email or text or using company software. Documented conversations that can be forwarded by mistake or retrieved later can be detrimental to your career.

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