Dropbox IPO; Citigroup Credit Card Refunds; General Mills Buys Blue Buffalo

The Water Coolest

The Water Coolest is a free daily business news and professional advice email newsletter created for weekday warriors that is delivered fresh daily at 7 AM EST. You can subscribe at thewatercoolest.com.

 

THE HEADLINES

Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes and 47 seconds

 

POP, LOCK AND DROP IT

Drew Houston, the founder of Dropbox, is about to have doors that open like this, not like this *Russ Hanneman makes hand gestures*. On Friday Dropbox made its S-1 filing, putting in motion its long-anticipated IPO. 

The unicorn brought in $1.11B last year, netting an annual loss of $111M … a relatively modest deficit in the tech-startup-world. The pioneer of the freemium model boasts 11M paying customers … of its roughly 500M registered users. So Dropbox’s business model is basically that of the guy who offers to pay for everyone’s drinks if they’ll go to the bar with him.

Despite conjuring investor PTSD from Snap’s shitshow of an IPO, Dropbox’s comps in the illegally downloaded music and movie sharing space include the likes of Box and Alphabet’s Google Drive. Although DBX’s share price won’t be determined until soon before its listing, analysts will be keeping an eye on whether the stock will be valued above its private valuation of $10B.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “We know that Silicon Valley defies all prevailing wisdom by not giving a fuck about profitability, the core pillar of most businesses, but let me give everyone with a Scottrade account and some margin a friendly reminder: Amazon and Google could make Dropbox wish they were never founded quicker than you can open your Soylent.”

 

GENERAL BILLS

General Mills is branching out beyond people food, as the cereal and yogurt maker has agreed to purchase Blue Buffalo Pet Products for $8B dollars. Apparently the cereal and yogurt business hasn’t been great since Jamie Lee Curtis stopped talking about her bowel movements on TV

General Mills had a rough year, as sales fell 5.6% to $15.6B. That’s the fiscal equivalent of cutting the roof of your mouth with Cap’n Crunch. In response, General Mills paid $40 per share for Blue Buffalo, a premium of 17.2% compared to closing prices the day before. Analysts didn’t love the deal given Blue Buffalo’s 58% stock price climb over the last 6 months.

Traditional packaged goods sales continue to stagnate, while the pet food category continues to grow, spurring General Mills’ expansion into kibble. In 2017 alone, consumers bought $20B worth of pet products, with $10B of that being spent on dog food.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “It’s amazing how much money people are willing to spend on their pets while grandma is out there hustling as an hourly Walmart greeter to make ends meet. Talk about priorities.”

 

PUT THE FUN IN REFUND

Citibank announced Friday that they will refund $330M to customers who were accidentally charged higher interest rates than they should have been. Rejoice all ye who have mounds of credit card debt with ridiculously high interest rates!

In 2009, after the financial crisis, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act was established. The main provision was that lenders must review all accounts semi-annually to make sure they aren’t overcharging customers and that any potential rate reductions for customers paying on time would be performed automatically. Turns out, Citi wasn’t reducing rates.

The result was 1.75M accounts being overcharged from 2011 to 2017.That’s $190 per customer for those currently refreshing their accounts.

The good news? Citi was performing the required review and uncovered their error. The culprit? “Human error.” A public execution of the scapegoat who “forgot to set up the automatic reductions” is scheduled for noon on Monday.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “I love how human error is always the excuse when things go wrong. But why is Citibank relying on f*cking Janet to make sure millions of accounts with complex interest rate structures are being calculated correctly? Have they not seen an IBM Watson commercial ever in their lives?! Janet is coasting to retirement guys, lets be real. All that money and you can’t put together one algorithm?”

 


IN OTHER NEWS

 

  • Samsung has revealed the latest version of its Galaxy phone, which is set to be released March 16th. The features include edge to edge display and super slow motion camera. It was decided at the last minute to not bring back the fire starting feature from the S7.
  • Delta, Enterprise, and Metlife are just a few of the companies that have cut their ties with the NRA in the wake of the Parkland shooting.
  • Sony is coming out with an augmented reality Ghostbusters game. This will be similar to Pokemon Go, except kids born after 1990 will have no idea who Dan Aykroyd is.
  • Warren Buffett will be stepping down from his position on Kraft Heinz’s board at the end of his term. This is merely done to decrease his travel commitments since he’s turning 88 this year.
  • Netflix will try to attract HGTV fans by creating its first home makeover series. I can see it now: a recently divorced Tarek El Moussa trying to remodel a pathetic studio apartment with wall posters and incense. 
  • US indices were up Friday:
    • DOW: +1.39%
    • S&P 500: +1.60%
    • NASDAQ: +1.77%

 


TALKING SHOP

Professional motivation, tips, tricks, hacks & resources carefully-curated by yours truly. Something you’d like to see featured? Shoot me an email at team@thewatercoolest.com

 

THE CAMERA ADDS TEN POUNDS

If you thought superior, overachieving candidates and intrepid HR professionals were your biggest obstacle in the hiring process, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Your biggest opponent might be a resume reading Roomba. Your first screening with a company very well could be a video recording that is vetted by AI, according to LinkedIn.

The good news is you probably don’t need to wear pants to an interview … but the bad news is that advanced AI can judge you on up to 15k criteria. Oh, and you probably won’t be able to tell your family that the reason you can’t get a job is “because the hiring manager hated me” for much longer.