HTC Layoffs; Nike’s Huge Loss; Dell Is Going Public … Again

The Water Coolest

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THE HEADLINES

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WTF HTC?

The only people more insufferable than your friend who still calls their Blackberry a “Crackberry?” HTC fanboys and girls.

The Taiwanese phone maker will lay off 1,500 employees only months after Google acqui-hired about 2k of its best and brightest engineers and product managers in a deal worth $1.1B. HTC is quickly closing in on the Amazon Fire Phone’s market share, with less than 0.3% as of Q1 2018 … down from 10% in 2011.

HTC’s other business? VR, which has taken off about as well as Blu-Ray technology. According to Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen, VR is “just a slower burn than I think people expected based on the hype.” Aside from the surprise-hit HTC One, it’s safe to say that High Tech Computer Corporation has been Mr. Irrelevant in the mobile space.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Let’s pour one out for the OG’s of the smart-ish phone market. And RIP to one the GOATs, the Motorola Razr.”

 

JUST DON’T

Roger Federer announced that he won’t re-up his decades-old partnership with Nike and will serve up his name and tennis prowess to Japanese brand, Uniqlo.

Nike and The Swiss Maestro began their courtship in 1997. Federer’s new suitor’s deal checks in at $300M over 10 years … not a bad haul for somebody on the back end of his career.

Speaking of the back end of careers …

The tennis news wasn’t as shocking to Nike as LeBron James’ decision to head west. While LAbron will probably boost The Swoosh’s bottom line in the long term, the company will be forced to foot the bill for removing a giant mural of The King from Downtown Cleveland-town.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “’It’s hard not to feel for Cleveland. Not only does their identity as a successful sports city depend completely on Lebron James, but so does their entire economy, according to one of the best tourism videos ever created.”

 

MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY

Dell is heading back to the stock market … again. The little PC manufacturer who can’t seem to make up its mind will be buying back shares tied to interest VMware, which Dell acquired during its $67B purchase of EMC Corp. back in 2015.

The Texas HQ’d machine maker will pay $21.7B in cash for VM’s tracking shares, which will allow Dell to return to the public markets without a traditional IPO. Dell’s agreement to buy back the shares values the company somewhere between $61.1B and $70.1B, depending on who you ask. That number is more than double the $25B valuation settled on when Michael Dell and Silver Lake took the company private in 2013.

Dell is offering $109 per share of class V stock, which is 29% higher than where shares closed on Friday. VMware shares jumped 10.2% on the news, the highest single-day jump in over two years.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Michael Dell is pulling the market’s equivalent of quitting your entry-level job, only to come back to the same company and begin managing the people you used to work for. Experts call that the Ryan Howard.”

 


IN OTHER NEWS

 

  • Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were ‘this close’ to failing part of the Fed’s annual stress test but were tossed a lifeline. The deal? If they froze their dividend and stock buyback payouts at current levels then they would not receive a failing grade. Deutsche Bank has to be wondering why they’re ‘small enough to fail.’
  • European supermarkets Tesco and Carrefour will join forces to keep prices down in an effort to compete with online grocers.
  • Lyft is bunny hopping into the bike-sharing business with the purchase of Motivate, the company behind Citi Bike. Although the deal terms were not disclosed, rumors estimate the agreement to be worth roughly $250M. That thing better be a Sledgehammer.
  • Facebook will notify 800k users of a bug that temporarily unblocked those that Facebook faithful had previously blocked. In totally unrelated news, approximately 47k low-lifes have breached terms of their restraining order.
  • US indices were up yesterday:
    • DOW: +0.15%
    • S&P 500: +0.31%
    • NASDAQ: +0.76%