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Nintendo’s stock is at its highest in a decade. The Hustle Wed, Nov 1 Brought to you by Microsoft Spandex, sick decks, and joysticks: noteworthy Q3 earnings calls We read the reports, so you don’t have to. Which companies earned...
Spandex, sick decks, and joysticks: noteworthy Q3 earnings calls
We read the reports, so you don’t have to. Which companies earned big, and which got burned big this quarter?
Under Armour at 3rd and long
The athletic apparel company just broke their 11-year growth streak, posting their first down quarter since 2006. In Q3 this year, UA’s sales decreased 4.5%, and profits shrank nearly 69%.
CEO Kevin Plank told investors the company was incredibly disappointed with [their] 2017 performance,” which has suffered stateside as consumers shift from buying performance athletic gear (UA’s bread and butter) to more fashionable “athleisure” apparel.
Trex decks see strong success
Trex, the decking company that accounts for over 80% of all residential decks and railings in North America, reported 20% higher-than-expected earnings per share, with a record $140m quarterly sales — and as a result, they were rewarded with a 25% jump in stock price.
The man at the helm, James E. Cline, suspects that they’re reaping the rewards of a national ad campaign Trex launched 2 years ago and that they’re finally earning “influence with the consumer.”
Yep, all those decking #influencers…
Nintendo hits the right combo, doubles its forecasts
Buoyed by sales of their new Switch console, the Japanese gaming company now expects to net $1B in profits this year — nearly double last quarter’s forecast of $570m.
Their stock has been yo-yoing in the past several years, hinging on the unpredictable reception of its console. But the Switch is set to sell 14m units this year (in comparison, the Wii U took nearly 5 years to sell the same amount), and Nintendo’s stock now sits at $390, its highest in nearly a decade.
DO A BARREL ROLL
The iPhone X’s archnemesis: identical twins
When Apple announced its $1k iPhone X back in September, we learned they were ditching the home screen button log-in for something snazzier: facial recognition.
The company touted it as a more secure upgrade to its existing TouchID feature — but, it turns out the tech can be easily tricked by human genetics.
The new system, called Face ID, utilizes a new TrueDepth camera, which projects 30k “invisible dots” onto a user’s face creating a 3D model that verifies identity and unlocks the screen.
The tech is also equipped with an A11 bionic chip, which allows it to enlist machine learning to detect changes in a user’s appearance. As Forbes writes, “you can put on glasses, wear a hat, grow a beard. Even wild makeup will not fool Face ID… it will know you.”
Apple claims this system only allows for a 1 in 1m chance of someone else accessing your phone, compared to TouchID’s 1 in 50k.
Sounds great — unless you’re an identical twin
Mashable experimented and found that the phone’s Face ID couldn’t distinguish between sets of identical twins: they could easily log into each other’s devices. This wasn’t an issue with TouchID, as identical twins have different fingerprints.
Roughly 3.2% of the world’s population are twins, and about one-third of them are identical — so, this isn’t an insignificant issue.
But to be fair, even the parents of identical twins have a tough time telling them apart, so how much can you really blame tech here?
Sachs in sheep’s clothing: Goldman wants to win over the masses
Everyone’s favorite 148-year-old Wall Street dinosaur, Goldman Sachs, has been working on revamping their image to attract a younger, cooler clientele, with their 1-year-old online lending company, Marcus.
Named after one of the firm’s founders, Marcus Goldman, the business is their first attempt to enter the mass market, focusing on getting regular consumers to borrow large sums of money (up to $30k).
So far, it’s working: recently, Marcus passed $1B worth of loan originations, and according to Quartz, they believe they’ll create an extra $1B in revenue for Goldman over the next 3 years, plus $2B in additional loan sales.
Goldman’s looking at Marcus to be the laid back money-maker on their $930B balance sheet. There have even been reports of Marcus’s CMO, Omer Ismail, wearing blue jeans in interviews promoting their new TV ad, which explains fixed interest rates with a hip pizza metaphor.
And that’s not all, Goldman Sachs is so desperate to relate to “the people,” their CEO Lloyd Blankfein has started cold calling customers (or at least that’s the story their PR team is telling) to ask them about their experience.
Iceland has a 3-person committee that decides what you can name your kid
In Iceland, there’s a committee that greenlights and rejects parents’ options for what they would like to name their children. It’s called the Mannanafnanefnd, and there are only 3 people on it.
According to Business Insider, the committee’s got some serious power: recently, for instance, they vetoed a couple’s suggestion to name their child Cleopatra because “the letter C has no place in the Icelandic alphabet.”
Weirdly enough, there are actually naming rules all over the world
At least 17 countries have laws in place restricting what parents name their children.
In France, for example, a “name registrar” is allowed to reject any name he or she deems not to be in a child’s “best interest” — names like “Nutella” and “Prince-William.”
In Sweden, the name “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116” (inexplicably pronounced “Albin”) was swiftly rejected, as it could potentially cause “discomfort” to its recipient.
The US has similar laws: California bans marks like the umlaut, and Texas disallows Arabic numerals (i.e., 1, 2, 3).
Apparently, these rules are for good measure
Numerous studies have shown that a child’s name can impact future success more than one would think.
Research conducted at New York University concluded that people with easier-to-pronounce names often become more successful in the workplace, and a separate 2009 study suggested that uncommon names may actually coincide with juvenile delinquency.
So, don’t go naming your child Blanket or E-Z-Cheeze.
For every event we produce, I have to cold email dozens of people and convince them to be a speaker, and over the years, I’ve perfected this art.
Now, when I pitch people on speaking at our events, the response rate is around 90%.
Allow me to toot my own horn here: that’s bananas. That’s every sales person’s wet dream.
Seriously. Imagine if — for every email you send asking for investments, press, a job, a meeting, a discount you definitely don’t deserve — 9 out of 10 of those people responded. How much more successful would you be?
Well, that’s the kind of thing you’ll learn at Con Con.
That, and how to get millions of views on YouTube, re-engage your subscribers, create a scaleable editorial process, and how to turn web visitors into customers.
Sound useful? Awesome. Con Con is happening on Nov. 16 in San Francisco, so grab your ticket before FOMO sets in.
– Kera, Chief Humble Bragger at The Hustle
This edition of The Hustle was brought to you by
“It looks like you’re building a business… need some help?”
When we hear “Microsoft,” most of us still think of an extremely persistent animated paperclip asking us if we need help making a numbered list.
But things have changed.
This is a whole new Microsoft — and their new business suite is like the Golden State Warriors of software: an all-star lineup of features, all streamlined into one solution.
AKA, one of the most well designed small business tools we’ve ever seen.
They took the Office suite we all use and love, put it in the cloud — then made it stupid easy to collaborate with teammates across any device. That means super simple file sharing, doc editing, video chatting, messaging, and calendar scheduling — from anywhere.
Oh, and underpinning all of these programs is state-of-the-art data protection, so every user is protected — without having to configure any of those scary “advanced settings.”
We could keep singing its praises — or you could experience it for yourself. View a demo and have your minds blown like we did.