Nintendo's smaller, cheaper, handheld Switch

Thursday, July 11, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

Pikachu slimming down to game on the go

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Hey Snackers,

Round numbers with multiple zeroes are the cat videos of Wall Street — most people love them, no one really knows why.

The S&P 500 just crossed 3,000 points for the 1st time ever. Investors are celebrating the Fed Chairman's testimony to Congress, which hinted that the central bank could cut interest rates this summer as the trade war continues.

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1. Nintendo unveils "Switch Lite" — a portable-only version of the legendary gaming device

Your 2-year-old iPhone is ancient... Nintendo measures time differently — the 120-year-old Japanese electronics icon (founded in 1899, originally making playing cards in Kyoto) is convincing customers it's still fresh with the Switch Lite. The stock rose 3% on word of the next version of its best-selling gaming device.

Smaller, cheaper, no TV... Although it sounds like a downgraded hotel room, we're talking about the new Switch. The revolutionary design of the original Switch let you play on a handheld screen or on TV. This one's purely for the go (convenient, but limiting) — and $200, instead of $300. The yellow, gray, and turquoise options that this Game Boy descendant comes in are delightfully Pikachu-ish.


Nintendo thrives on blockbuster consoles... Super Nintendo, Game Boy, N64, and Wii are different chapters of Nintendo's dynasty. But the Switch has sold a shocking 34.7M units in the two years since its launch, generating 85% of Nintendo's revenue over that time. And the stock's up 48% in those two years as it plays along with it.


Enter your passcode on the touchtone keypad... to listen to Zoom's brutal security flaw. What's given Zoom a cult corporate following is its easy-use video conference calling. On Monday, we learned about the bug: If an attacker sends you a malicious Zoom link, it opens your Mac webcam automatically — exposing your life. The flaw is bad. Zoom's response was worse.

Enter Jonathan Leitschuh... The software engineer side-hustles as a security flaw hunter. Here are highlights of the awkward series of events he detailed on his blog post that exposed the Zoom issue.

  • March 8: Jon tweets at Zoom he found a problem (gets no response).
  • March 26: He emails Zoom, warning he’ll disclose the flaw in 90 days (he even offers a quick fix).
  • March 27: Jon is offered a "bug bounty" by Zoom (payment from Zoom for finding the problem), which he refuses to accept.
  • June 21: Zoom says the flaw is fixed!
  • July 7: The fix stops working!
  • July 8: So Jon tells the world.

Investors vote in real-time via Wall Street... Despite the security flaw, the flubbed fix, and a beloved CEO's belated apology, shares didn't drop (they've actually risen since Monday). The bug's most likely impact on Zoom would've been customers leaving or lawsuits arriving. The stock's reaction signals Wall Street may not be worried about either.


Your parole has been denied... SunTrust bank just announced it will no longer do business with private prisons or migrant detention centers. It's following JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, which have all boycotted the industry this year as well. The trigger? Reports of inhumane conditions in border prisons that are sheltering unaccompanied children.

PS: Georgia-based SunTrust is mid-merger with North Carolina-based BB&T. Afterward it will awkwardly be called "Truist."

Let's look at the prisons affected... GEO Group and CoreCivic are the two biggest publicly-traded and for-profit prison companies. They get paid by the federal and state governments to incarcerate prisoners for them (about $24K per year, per prisoner). GEO Group and CoreCivic both think the banks are caving to political pressure.


Reputation and profits — it's a tradeoff... The banks are turning down potential profits to protect their reputation among the community and with their employees. Sometimes, it's the other way around, like HSBC, which became the top bank of Saudi Arabia despite the nation's human rights abuses and recent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Hired: Caliva, the California cannabis company Joe Montana invested in, signs Jay-Z as Chief Brand Strategist
  • Chirping: McDonald's franchise owners ask the chain to create a southern-style chicken sandwich to compete with Chick-fil-A
  • Revealed: Microsoft just opened its 1st retail store in London — it's down the block from Apple and features an entire "enterprise" floor
  • Taxed: France is adding an "eco-tax" to flights out of its airports starting in 2020
  • Star: Amazon teamed up with Lady Gaga for its 1st exclusive cosmetics line: Haus Laboratories
Snacks Daily Podcast

Today's 15-minute Snacks Daily pod:

  • Snap's incubator (named "Yellow") unveiled its 2nd class of early-stage startups — and the trend is digital services to end decision fatigue.
  • Earnings from Delta
  • Fed Chairman Jerry Powell testifies (day 2) to the Senate on the central bank's interest rate plans

Disclosure: An author of this Snacks owns shares of Amazon

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