Enjoy your February 1st hand-crafted Brew!
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The U.S. drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country, but the pricing has been astronomical for our country” — President Donald Trump, promising to crack down on some of pharma’s shadier pricing tactics. He also vowed to speed up the FDA’s drug approval process, so we’ll have to wait and see if Mr. Trump can have his cake and eat it too.
- U.S. markets finished with mixed results as drugmaker stock gains balanced out heavy losses in the industrial and banking sectors
- Shares of Roadrunner Transportation Services, a transportation and logistics service provider, plummeted a whopping 31% after announcing it would need to restate earnings over the last three years due to possible accounting inconsistencies…yikes
Apple’s Lucky Number
…Apple (+3.02% after hours) raked it in following strong iPhone 7 sales. CEO Tim Cook can finally breathe a sigh of relief, as Apple beat earnings and revenue expectations, a welcome change of pace after three consecutive quarters of dipping profits. How’d Apple do it? The company sold more iPhones in the quarter than ever before, with the iPhone 7 Plus proving to be a plus-sized success. Also not hurting matters: the Mac and Apple Watch lines each set new revenue records. Pretty darn simple. It wasn’t all dandelions for the world’s most valuable company, though. Apple gave future guidance that was on the lower end of expectations, as the company is anticipating that customers will hold back on phone upgrades until the launch of the tenth anniversary iPhone later this year. Can you blame ‘em?
If You’re An Online Shopper
…Today’s your lucky day. In a move that could cause massive shifts in the e-commerce industry, Walmart (+0.48%) officially made all online orders over $35 free of shipping costs, with guaranteed two day delivery to boot—no membership and no strings attached. Impulse buyers, you read that right. CEO Marc Lore doesn’t believe in “having to charge for a membership,” taking a swipe at Amazon’s (-0.83%) $99 two day free shipping model. This is also the first clear “we’re serious about e-commerce” action from Walmart after its massive $3.3 billion purchase of e-retailer Jet.com last year. Don’t drop Amazon yet though, as Walmart will only be offering two million of its products under the free shipping label, while Amazon still has 40 million products under its belt and exclusive streaming content as a cherry on top. Let the games begin.
A Swing and a Major Miss
…For Under Armour (-25.74%). No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you—the sportswear company’s shares plummeted over 25% yesterday after it released a dismal earnings report. Recent bankruptcies for sporting goods retailers (RIP Sports Authority) have also hit Under Armour’s brick and mortar business hard, contributing to the rough holiday season that led to such an uncharacteristic earnings miss. The company also lowered its sales target for 2017, signaling more stormy weather ahead and leaving investors beside themselves in grief. You can practically hear Nike and Adidas celebrating from here.
…With SoftBank (+0.51%). What exactly is SoftBank? Easy: it’s a Japanese technology fund worth close to $100 billion. The world’s largest tech fund seems to have eyes for co-working space provider WeWork, and wants to invest $1 billion to profess its true love. WeWork is currently valued at $17 billion, and the valuation implied from this investment is expected to at least match the figure, if not surpass it. The caveat? Any investment in WeWork (or other tech companies) wouldn’t happen until the SoftBank fund is finalized—which is expected in mid-February. We can wait.
- Club Penguin is shutting down
- Betterment makes its first move into financial planning beyond robo-advising
- Deutsche Bank fined for $10 billion sham Russian trades
- Slack is expanding its team chat app to work with the largest companies
- Monday: Personal Income and Outlays (+)
- Tuesday: Apple (+), Exxon Mobil (+/-), Pfizer (+/-), MasterCard (+), UPS (-), Sprint (+), Under Armour (-) Earnings; Consumer Confidence (-)
- Wednesday: Facebook, Altria, MetLife Earnings; ISM Manufacturing Index; Fed Meeting Announcement; Auto Sales; Private Employment Report;
- Thursday: Amazon, Visa, Philip Morris, Deutsche Bank, Ferrari, Chipotle Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims
- Friday: Honda, Hershey Earnings; January Jobs Report
Exclusive CEO Interview
The Brew Crew is starting a new segment where we ask CEOs to share their stories. Our first edition is with Eidan Apelbaum, Founder and CEO of study platform spitball.co. We asked Eidan about an inflection point in building Spitball. Here’s what he had to say:
There are two defining “points of inflection” in Spitball’s lifecycle that I’d like to share. The first is when I realized there was a need for a platform like Spitball. As a college professor, I encouraged my students to work collaboratively, as I believe this is a required skill for success in today’s world. Even for group projects, students were having a difficult time agreeing on a time and place to work together. I realized then that students should be able to study anywhere, anytime, with anyone, and the idea for Spitball was born.
Since that day, Spitball has amassed over 300,000 students using our app to share and access class materials, chat with their classmates, study online with flashcards and quizzes, and more, for free! Spitball’s technology makes studying more like the real world by allowing students instant access to a global database of academic material.
After reaching 70% of the Israeli college student market, we decided to launch in America. We’ve now launched at 13 U.S. universities, and have seen great early success—this brings me to our second “point of inflection.”
Our current point of inflection is our development of an interactive system that will make collaboration and communication between students easier using the latest technology of artificial intelligence (AI). After talking with students and experts in the industry, we believe this evolution is the future of studying. Our AI will be able to find practice exams, research a topic for a paper, ask classmates a question, find a study group, and more!
We envision a world where academic material is just as accessible as anything else on the internet. Spitball hopes to foster collaborative learning and shared knowledge for students across the world. Remember, collaboration is key!
**If you’d like to bring Spitball to your campus, or have any questions, feedback or thoughts, please reach out to us at email@example.com**
Interview Question of the Day
If you have an 11 minute hourglass and a 13 minute hourglass, how can you accurately time 15 minutes? (Answer)
Startup of the Day
Y Combinator is a startup that invests money in early stage startups, with a signature strategy of hosting its chosen startups in Silicon Valley for three months to maximize efficiency. Its newest project? The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). If you’re scratching your head right now, consider that the ACLU just raised six times its yearly online fundraising average—that’s $24 million—in just a few days after protesting Trump’s travel ban. The ACLU is hoping to learn how to turn that money into tangible growth and progress—and that’s where startup expert Y Combinator comes in.
Food for Thought
Nintendo’s first true experiment in mobile gaming, Super Mario Run, has raked in more than $53 million in revenue since its December launch. Even better? Out of 78 million total downloads, more than 5% dished out enough money to unlock everything. Good game, Nintendo.
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