💍 Breakfast at Tiffany's: Canceled

Thursday, September 10, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

When you find out that breakfast is canceled

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Hey Snackers,

In case you ever wanted to own a piece of David Beckham: his esports company is going public on the London Stock Exchange next month.

The market jumped yesterday for the 1st time since last Wednesday. Tech stocks clawed back some of their losses after the big sell-off.

1. LVMH cancels its $16B wedding with Tiffany, conveniently blaming tariffs

Call the caterers and florists... Breakfast at Tiffany's is canceled, along with the whole wedding. French luxury giant LVMH just called off its $16.2B deal to acquire jewelry legend Tiffany. LVMH owns 75 luxie-luxe brands, including Louis Vuitton, Dom Pérignon, Dior, and Fenty. The wedding would've been the biggest ever for the luxury industry.

  • Almost a year ago, LVMH asked for Tiffany's hand. They signed engagement papers for a merger that was to happen no later than Nov. 24, 2020.
  • Then, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (classic) asked LVMH to delay the ceremony to Jan. 6, citing the threat of extra US tariffs.
  • Yesterday, LVMH used Drian's letter to tell Tiffany: "The deal cannot happen. We are prohibited from closing the deal." France says the request was just advice (awk). Now Tiffany is suing.

Très dramatique breakup... to be expected when $16B is on the line. The US has threatened tariffs on luxury French goods in retaliation for France’s taxes on big American tech companies. LVMH is using the possible hit to its sales from tariffs to justify dropping the pricey deal. If LVMH's breakup goes through, Tiffany will have to hop back on the luxury dating apps (Tinder Platinum Gold?).


This isn’t about tariffs - it’s about overpaying... LVMH couldn't have asked for better timing for the letter. It doesn't want to spend $16B on a corona-battered company: Tiffany’s global sales plunged 29% from April to July and 45% the previous quarter. Consumers weren't shopping in key luxury markets, while fewer weddings meant fewer $20K engagement rings. LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault had said Tiffany would “thrive for centuries to come” as part of his company. "Til Death Do Us Part" isn't panning out.


Changing status to "Snoozing"... Slack reported expectations-beating earnings, but investors yawned at the results. Slack's quarterly sales growth came in at 49% — just about the same as the previous two quarters. Investors think it's slacking on growth, so they plunged the stock 14% Wednesday.

The difference between a #channel and a DM... is almost as big as the difference between Slack and Zoom's pandemic growth. Zoom's sales more than quadrupled compared to the same quarter last year and quarterly profit soared 3,300%. They're both WFH winners, so why is Zoom crushing it? Slack has:

  • A longer buying process: Companies that want to switch to Slack are going through the whole buying/negotiation/pricing process with salespeople. Zoom is more plug-and-play — just figure out how to unmute and choose a tropical background.
  • A steeper learning curve: Employees have to learn about channels, pings, bots, DMs, threads, GIFs, emojis, and Slack etiquette. After 2 months Bill is still asking about VPN issues in the #General channel, and Cheryl still never responds in the thread.
  • TLDR: Adding Zoom is like buying a new freezer — adding Slack is like remodeling the whole kitchen.

Slack is the corona-conomy winner that wasn’t... Because of the WFH shift, everyone was expecting Slack to be a major pandemic success story. The stock soared 135% from mid-March to June — now it's back at March levels. Investors corrected for the "expectation vs. reality" disconnect, bringing the stock back to basically pre-pandemic levels.


Forget TP and baking yeast... The most in-demand pandemic necessity is a Chromebook. Chromebooks, for the Mac-centric among us, are low-cost laptops that use Google's Chrome operating system and apps. The ~$300 laptops are made by computer OGs like HP and Lenovo. Now that students are schooling from home, Chromebooks are quickly becoming the unofficial laptop of COVID.

  • 5 months: How long some people are waiting to receive Chromebooks, according to a report from The Information.
  • +242%: Best Buy's sales nearly 3X'd last quarter, partly thanks to the fact that Chromebooks were constantly flying off the virtual shelves (still sold out).

Don't judge a Chromebook by its cover... While Apple's sleek MacBooks get a lot of the limelight, Chromebooks are winning in terms of volume. From May to June:

  • Chromebooks made up nearly 10% of all computers shipped globally — that's a 2 percentage-point bump from the same quarter a year ago.
  • Apple’s Mac OS laptops made up just 7%. Microsoft's Windows OS still dominated with an 83% share of shipments.

Google's getting them young(er)... 69% of all computers bought by K-12 schools last quarter were Chromebooks. The low price tag, coupled with Google's free offering of G Suite products like Google Classroom to schools, makes them the most attractive options. Kids are getting familiarized at an early age with Google's apps and ecosystem. By the time they hit the workforce, they probably won't know what an Excel spreadsheet is.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Pot: Aurora Cannabis stock slides on expected sales declines, delayed profits, and massive write-downs.
  • UberEV: Uber launches “Uber Green,” allowing you to request an electric vehicle for $1 extra, and pledges to go zero-emissions by 2030.
  • Battle: Apple countersues Fortnite-maker Epic Games for breaching its regulations on app payments.
  • Vax: AstraZeneca pauses its COVID vaccine trial because of a spinal cord issue in a volunteer. Dr. Fauci said a pause is "not uncommon."
  • Ballsy: Sports-news company The Athletic hits 1M subscribers and is growing faster than ever as the NFL kicks off today.
Snacks Daily Podcast

The latest hire at Ford’s Michigan plant: "Fluffy," a $75K robot dog created by Boston Dynamics.

Don't let the name fool you: Fluffy has 360-degree vision and the mechanical strength of a small elephant — it can carry 1,400 pounds.

Tune into our snackable 15-minute pod to hear why Fluffy could be Ford's new employee of the year.

  • Weekly jobless claims
  • Earnings expected from Peloton and Chewy

Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Slack, Apple, and Alphabet

ID: 1327192

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