BP Still Paying The Price For Spill; GE Mulling Split; And Nestle Sells Candy Business

by 2 years ago

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THE HEADLINES

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If you sprinkle when you tinkle…

BP continues to make history, but not in a good way. The UK oil giant announced that it will be paying out an additional $1.7B in a settlement related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 people and was the largest offshore oil spill in US history. Maybe Elon is on to something with those electric cars.

The fine brings total damages that BP has paid up to $63B, including the $20B settlement paid to the US government in 2015, the largest environmental damage settlement in US history.

In total, BP ended up paying $3B in damages last year, up from the $2B they had predicted in Q3. Sure, $3B seems like a lot of money, but it’s a step in the right direction from 2016 when BP shelled out over $7B. Share prices fell 2.65% as a result of the news.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “This is a good lesson to anyone trying to make it as an oil baron. Stay humble, keep your head down, and try not to spill millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

 

How sweet it is

Nestle is washing their hands of their real life Chocolate Factory. But the buyer of Nestle’s confectionery unit, Ferrero, doesn’t need a golden ticket, they just have to pony up $2.8B. The purchase is the stuff of husky kid’s dreams: Ferrero, best known as the maker of Nutella will takeover Nestle’s candy business, whose portfolio includes Butterfinger.

The divestiture won’t include Nestle’s Tollhouse brand and comes as the company looks to focus on healthier alternatives … like coffee and water. Sales have dipped for Nestle’s confectionery division as Americans continue to realize diabetes and obesity are bad.

Candy Crushed

It’s not a good time to be a candy mogul. As tastes shift to healthier snacks revenues continue to plummet. Just last month Hershey diversified its offering by purchasing the maker of Skinny Pop. Mmm.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “No real surprise here, as it’s been the CDC’s mission to basically convince the American populous that our sugar addiction is funding North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. The war on drugs might have been lost but sugar is very, very close to tapping out.”

 

Make the bad man stop

As if 2017 wasn’t bad enough for GE, 2018 has gotten off to a rocky start. To recap the year that was 2017: GE got a new CEO, lost $100B in market value and saw its stock hit an all time low.

Fast forward to yesterday and Thomas Edison’s brainchild is taking a $6.2B charge stemming from a long-term insurance portfolio sitting in its legacy GE Capital arm that didn’t exactly pan out. It gets worse: under the new tax code that number could reach $7.5B.

My head is spinning

GE announced earlier this year that they would be divesting $20B worth of assets in an effort to restructure the company and focus on manufacturing as its core business. And according to CEO John Flannery on yesterday’s analyst conference call, spinning off or splitting parts of the business is not off the table. Flannery is no Michael Scott, but he’s going to have a tough time turning this ship around.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Watching GE crumble is like watching baseball or apple pie fall out of favor. It’s a piece of Americana at this point. Its the stock that people give kids for their their Bar Mitzvah. Getting bitcoin just won’t be the same.”

 


IN OTHER NEWS

 

  • Citi posts an $18B one-time loss stemming from changes related to US tax reform. The culprits? Changes to taxation of assets held abroad and the treatment of deferred tax assets. Citi has not returned our calls requesting confirmation that they will still be able to pay the 3% cash back rewards on Whole Foods purchases this month.
  • Goldman Sach’s Commodities Trading group had a really, really bad 2017. Revenue fell by 75% to the lowest since Goldman went public. You won’t like Lloyd when he’s angry.
  • The Dow hit its latest milestone, 26k, just days after hitting 25k.
  • In an effort to quell advertiser’s fears, YouTube will raise the requirements for joining its Partner Program (videos that can run ads) and will beef up the human vetting process of videos featuring ads. Or of course they could have just banned Logan Paul.
  • IBM and Maersk are teaming up to streamline international shipping documentation and communication using, you guessed it, blockchain. Maybe Watson will finally prove he can do something besides win Jeopardy.
  • US indices were down yesterday:
    • DJIA: -0.04%
    • S&P 500: -0.35%
    • NASDAQ: -0.51%

 


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

 

This may be shocking

(See what I did there?)

Silicon Valley is a crazy place (think: Elon Musk getting invited to sex parties & micro-dosing with LSD). It’s a place where ideas are so crazy they just might work. Take transcranial direct current stimulation, for example. The way tDCS (as they call it in the biz) works is pretty simple: you mildly shock certain parts of your brain to create desired outcomes.

CES 2018 was full of these modern day torture devices. You can strap in to remedy a multitude of ills, including but not limited to: migraines, depression and even increasing productivity. Did someone say bio-hacking?

Note that this is definitely not FDA approved and the jury is still out on its efficacy. But it couldn’t hurt … right? Right? 

 

Show me the money

Go ask any baby boomer what you shouldn’t discuss at work … I’ll wait. If they didn’t yell at you to get off their lawn they surely would have said: religion, politics and pay.

Of course, millennials are bucking that trend: “kids these days” are much more likely to share their compensation with others. But that doesn’t mean that try-hard from the liberal arts college you couldn’t get in to will … or that there is an all-encompassing Slack channel where you can ask fellow youths at your company’s competitor what they make.

Behold: LinkedIn Salary. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, since the site launched well over a year ago, but this makes Glassdoor look like Craigslist Classifieds. The site uses internal job posting data as well as self-reported compensation data. LinkedIn has about half a billion users to tap and will even help you see find education matters most for certain roles, what companies/cities pay the most and can suggest jobs that fit your spending habits.

 


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