Fitbit’s Out Of Shape, Plus Is Tesla Too Relaxed Even Though Their Quarterly Losses Just Doubled?
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“Ass backward business model” — Carson Block, founder of Muddy Waters Research, speaking (candidly) at the Sohn Investor Conference. Block isn’t impressed with the Bank of the Ozarks, and to prove his point, the short seller used a picture of Kim Kardashian in a bathing suit. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
- U.S. stocks closed lower again Wednesday, led by declines in the energy sector, weak economic data showing a 1% drop in productivity and lower-than-expected private employment figures—a trifecta of negativity
- Shares of BHP Billiton and Vale, two of the world’s largest mining companies, plummeted over 6% each after being hit with a $44 billion lawsuit from the Brazilian government tied to a dam collapse last November
- AT&T announced it’s ending its 15-year partnership with Yahoo and would instead be working with little-known Synacor, whose thinly-traded stock casually popped 134%
Tesla Too Relaxed?
When it comes to earnings, Tesla has a way of getting…we’ll call it the long end of the stick. With a visionary leader at the helm and groundbreaking cars to match, investors don’t seem to get too worked up about much—and neither does Tesla. The electric car company doubled its losses last quarter compared to last year ($283 million to be exact) despite 22% revenue growth. Tesla also shipped a less-than-expected 14,820 vehicles, but set a lofty 100,000 to 200,000 vehicle goal by year-end (classic Tesla move). Not everybody is on board with the targets, however—two top Tesla manufacturing executives left the company yesterday. Investors were thoroughly confused: shares were down 4% during the day, but post-earnings popped back up nearly 3%.
Just Stay Out of It
If you’re Fitbit, you reported earnings that were 50% below what analysts were expecting for the rest of the year. Good thing you’re not Fitbit. If you’re an analyst following Fitbit, each and every single one of your estimates overshot earnings guidance. Good thing you’re not an analyst too (and if you are, our condolences). If you’re an investor in Fitbit, well, shares traded down over 11% after hours. Finally, if you’ve been an OG investor since Fitbit’s IPO, you’ve lost almost half your investment in under a year as investors remain worried about the Apple Watch and the prospect of Fitbit being a one-trick fad. Rough day at the gym, huh?
You Might Want to Sit Down for This One
Its clothes gave you the best years of your life, its stores were suffused with a hint of cologne. That’s right, everyone’s favorite middle school brand, Aeropostale, is hanging up its bright slim fit t-shirts and frayed jeans. In other words, the retailer is officially filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. How bad is the losing streak? Try 13 straight quarters of hemorrhaging cash. The rapid rise of fashion giants like Zara and H&M, with their trendy and reasonably-priced clothing, ultimately led to Aeropostale’s bankruptcy—but to our readers 13 and under (if there are any), don’t lose hope. Aero has big plans for a comeback within six months.
Time Warner Rises Again
Media conglomerate Time Warner announced earnings yesterday, teaching analysts a thing or two about microeconomics. All divisions of the company improved thanks to two simple factors: higher revenues and lower costs. For example, despite lower revenue from Warner Bros due to fewer movie releases, subscription revenue at Turner (think CNN and TNT) popped 15% thanks to blowout March Madness ratings. Meanwhile, powerhouse HBO kept increasing revenues with the success of its standalone streaming service HBO Now, made popular by shows such as Game of Thrones (how about this week’s episode?).
- YouTube reportedly building a streaming cable service called Unplugged
- Takata airbag recall now largest in American history
- Tribune Publishing rejects Gannett’s ‘opportunistic’ bid
- Apple loses trademark fight over ‘iPhone’ name in China
- Monday: AIG (-), Ferrari (+) Earnings; ISM Manufacturing Index (+/-), Construction Spending (+)
- Tuesday: Pfizer (+), CVS (+), HSBC (-), UBS (-), Halliburton (+/-), CBS (+), Sprint (+/-), Starwood (+), Hyatt Hotels (+), Zillow (+) Earnings; Auto Sales (+)
- Wednesday: Tesla (+/-), Kraft (+), Fitbit (-), Anheuser-Busch (-), Whole Foods (+/-), Royal Dutch Shell (-), Priceline (-), Time Warner (+), Twenty-First Century Fox (+/-), MetLife (-) Earnings; International Trade; Factory Orders (+), ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (+); Private Employment Report (-)
- Thursday: Alibaba, GoPro, Merck, Yelp, Time Inc., Kellogg, Activision, MGM Resorts, Square, AMC Networks, SeaWorld Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims
- Friday: April Jobs Report
Last year was a historic one in horse racing: American Pharoah won the vaunted Triple Crown for the first time since 1978. And as it turns out, people like watching history in person. With the 2016 Kentucky Derby this weekend, tickets are…shall we say, not cheap:
- According to secondary ticket marketplace SeatGeek, the average resale price for a Kentucky Derby ticket is $571, up 2.5% over last year, while prices in the upper levels are up as much as 14%.
- If those price jumps don’t sound too significant, consider that over 170,000 people attend the Kentucky Derby each year, providing a near-endless supply that makes any increase in prices especially noteworthy.
- Sure, you could snag a ticket for a “measly” $83, but if you want the best seats in the house (aptly located in the “Millionaires Row” section), prepare to pay a whopping $3,860. But hey, at least it includes access to an indoor dining room—just don’t forget your cartoonishly elegant hat!
INTERVIEW QUESTION OF THE DAY
If you have a square room with no roof, and you had four flagpoles you had to plant on the walls so that each flagpole touched two walls, how would you do it? (Answer)
The second-biggest diamond in the history of the known world is up for sale, and it will likely sell for $70 million. For some perspective, the diamond is the size of a tennis ball and could be up to three billion years old. The Brew’s GoFundMe will be in tomorrow’s issue if you’d like to contribute to the cause.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A young boy from Finland won $10,000 from Facebook after uncovering a security flaw in the code of Facebook-owned Instagram. Instagram’s recommended minimum age to use the service is 13. The boy is 10. Oh, the irony.