Inside the La Croix wars: FIZZ vs Glaucus Research

la-croix

We have the best correspondents here at Helytimes.  Anonymous Soda Lover tips us off to the story of FIZZ vs Glaucus Research.

FIZZ is the stock ticker symbol of National Beverage Company, which makes La Croix, the popular sparkling water, Joe Mande enemy, and indispensable hydration agent at Hollywood writers’ rooms:

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Myself, I prefer the Perrier slim can, because it is thin and tall like me:

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Plus a smaller amount of fluid to become hot in your hand.

But one way or another: Hollywood and indeed America and the world is full of addicts and compulsives who have to consume something constantly.  The beer-like but zero-cal zero sugar La Croix fills that hole.  Thus, there is an endless market for La Croix.

And indeed, look at National Beverage’s stock price over the last two years:

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I cut out what happened this week, when this news came out:

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Shares of National Beverage plunged as much as 15 percent on Wednesday after Glaucus Research revealed a short position in the company.

The short selling firm valued the parent company of LaCroix sparkling water at $16.15 per share, more than 65 percent below the stock’s Tuesday closing price of $46.48.

Glaucus’ note alleges that National Beverage “manipulates its reported earnings” as its “reported financial performance is inexplicable.”

Later on Wednesday, National Beverage issued a statement calling the report “false and defamatory.” The stock recovered its losses and ended the day down 8 percent.

“We believe that this ‘report’ was intended to severely manipulate our stock price downward in support of short sellers, whose short position has dramatically increased over recent weeks,” the company said.

First of all, “Glaucus”?  Their name comes from the glaucus.  Not the ancient Greek sea god:

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But the freakish pelagic gastropod, also known as the blue sea slug:

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From Glaucus Research’s website:

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Glaucus Research, based in Newport Beach, CA, has a rep for bringing the hammer down on fraudulent mid and small-cap Chinese companies.  But this week, they dropped a report on FIZZ.

Glaucus alleges all manner of mischief by FIZZ CEO Nick Caporella.  At Helytimes we really believe that the first step in evaluating a company is seeing a picture of the CEO.  Unfortunately, we can’t find a confirmed pick of Mr. Caporella.

It appears that Nick Caporella personally owns 74% of FIZZ.

We do find this on FIZZ’s website:

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Caporella’s letters have been weird before:

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This non-English might make more sense when you remember FIZZ also makes Faygo, drink of choice of the Insane Clown Posse:

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Now listen.  It’s not often that we at Helytimes recommend reading a 56 page report on the finances of a company, but this one is worth a look.  For example, have a look at Caporella’s letters to prospective National Beverage Co. buyer Asahi, in which he refers to himself as Nick-San.

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Or what about this business about his “little jewel box”?:

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FIZZ has hit back hard.  They counterattack at the website ReadTheTrueFacts.com.

Glaucus Research is straight-up about the fact that they are short La Croix and thus benefit if the stock goes way down.  From Wiki’s page about the glaucus atlanticus:

The Glaucus atlanticus is able to swallow the venomous nematocysts from siphonophores such as the Portuguese man o’ war, and store them in the extremities of its finger-like cerata.Picking up the animal can result in a painful sting, with symptoms similar to those caused by the Portuguese man o’ war.

You can find the latest on FIZZ here.  As of this writing, price is $43.32.  Glaucus values it at $16.15.

We’ll be watching this battle with interest, with a refreshing Perrier slim can, made by good ol’ Nestlé, in our hand.

 


A distressing vision

from FRONTLINE’s doc The Choice 2016 which I watched on my PBS app last night.  Recommended viewing, though it won’t make you feel good!

I wonder if Michiko Kakutani has any parallels in mind as she reviews Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939 by Volker Ullrich

• Hitler was known, among colleagues, for a “bottomless mendacity” that would later be magnified by a slick propaganda machine that used the latest technology (radio, gramophone records, film) to spread his message. A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth” and editors of one edition of “Mein Kampf” described it as a “swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.”

The fun twist is f you read The Art Of The Deal or anything about Trump you see maybe his #1 enemy is The New York Times.  The more they scorn him the more he seems to thrive, he puts them down as out of touch and elitist (can you imagine?) and corrupt.

Plus, according to Roger Stone and Omarosa, the whole reason Trump is doing this is because the snobs made fun of him!

Quite a pickle!

Key factor in the rise of Hitler: post-Versailles Germans felt humiliated?

One to watch for at the next debate: will Trump bring up Hillary failing to pass the DC bar exam, which FRONTLINE suggests was a real turning point in her life?


Gem from Last Chance U coach

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Fair’s where you kiss a pig and give it a blue ribbon.

Massachusetts alt version: fair’s where you go to see a giant pumpkin.

Photo from the 2013 Topsfield Fair via Alex1961 on Flickr

Photo from the 2013 Topsfield Fair via Alex1961 on Flickr


Nazi Meth

Incredible article in the Guardian about Norman Ohler’s book Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich:

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First, there were injections of animal hormones for this most notorious of vegetarians, and then a whole series of ever stronger medications until, at last, he began giving him a “wonder drug” called Eukodal, a designer opiate and close cousin of heroin whose chief characteristic was its potential to induce a euphoric state in the patient (today it is known as oxycodone). It wasn’t long before Hitler was receiving injections of Eukodal several times a day. Eventually he would combine it with twice daily doses of the high grade cocaine he had originally been prescribed for a problem with his ears, following an explosion in the Wolf’s Lair, his bunker on the eastern front.

More:

You think it [nazism] was orderly. But it was complete chaos. I suppose working on Blitzed has helped me understand that at least. Meth kept people in the system without their having to think about it.

(The point about Nazi Germany being in fact a bureaucratic shambles is well made by Lee Sandlin in “Losing The War.”)

Norman Ohler himself sounds deeply interesting:

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The German writer Norman Ohler lives on the top floor of a 19th-century apartment building on the south bank of the river Spree in Kreuzberg, Berlin. Visiting him there is a vertiginous experience. For one thing, he works – and likes to entertain visitors – in what he calls his “writing tower”, a flimsy-seeming, glass-walled turret perched right on the very edge of the roof. (Look down, if you dare, and you will see his little boat moored far below.) For another, there is the fact that from this vantage point it is possible to discern two Berlins, one thrusting and breezy, the other spectral and grey.


Experience vs. Incompetence

hrc-2Recommend investing the considerable mental energy required to read this Tyler Cowen post, entitled “Are lies better than hypocracy? with special reference to some current events.”  An excerpt:

You are more worried about the hypocrite when you see bigger decisions and announcements down the road than what is being faced now.  You are more worried about the hypocrite when you fear disappointment, and have experienced disappointment repeatedly in the past.  You are more worried about the hypocrite when you fear it is all lies anyway.  Lies, in a way, give you a chance to try out “the liar relationship,” whereas hypocrisy does not.  You thus fear that hypocrisy may lead to a worse outcome down the road or at the very least more anxiety along the way.

But note: for a more institutional and distanced principal-agent relationship, it is often incorrect, and indeed dangerous, to rely on your intuitions from personalized principal-agent problems.

When it comes to how the agent speaks to allies and enemies, you almost always should prefer hypocrisy to bald-faced lies.  The history and practice of diplomacy show this.  Allies and enemies, especially from other cultures, don’t know how to process the lies the way you can process the blatant lies of your children, friends, and spouse.  They will think some of these lies are mere hypocrisy and that can greatly increase uncertainty and maybe lead to open conflict.  North Korea aside, the prevailing international equilibrium is “hypocrisy only,” and those are the signals everyone has decades of experience in reading.


SUNDAY TAKE: is this the election of 1828?

 

jq2John Quincy Adams

Smug.

Establishment.

Very annoying.

Dad was president.

Former Secretary of State.

Front row kid as Chris Arande says.

Against:

Imacon Color Scanner

Andrew Jackson

Blustery.

Outsider.

Slave trader.

Pretty much a murderer.

Prone to fits of wild anger.

Considered by the JQAs of the world to be impossibly vulgar.

Some ways in which Jackson was better than Trump:

  • Jackson was a legitimate self-made man
  • Jackson had done something of service to his country (Battle of New Orleans)

(What to make of the Seminole War?

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Having a hell of a time finding the source of this image, which Wiki says is “Marines battle Seminole Indians in the Florida War–1835-1842.” — Department of Defense, U.S. Marine Corps (Photo #: 306073-A)

The result?

1828

Jackson won.

Some of things he did were

  • deport 45,000 Indians
  • more or less shut down the national bank
  • paid off the national debt
  • preside over an economic panic

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READERS: what do you think?  Comments are open.

First got this idea from a questioner in New Zealand, who (I believe) admired Jackson.

1828 could’ve also been compared to the  the Gore Bush election of 2000 (with Martin Van Buren as Karl Rove)

I’ve got to consult:

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Is Trump like Jackson?  WORSE?  BETTER??

Is JQA like Hillary?

JQA was later in Amistad with Matthew McConaughey.

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Norm

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Talking in Vulture about being backstage at Fallon with Trump:

Did you meet him?
Well, what happened was, after the show, he came out and was just standing there. So I said, “Mr. Trump, a picture?” And he said, “You betcha. Just give me a minute.” Then he turns and walks down the hall, all the way to the other end, and gets on the elevator. “Just give me a minute,” and then he leaves the building. It was hilarious, like a Buster Keaton movie or something.

Thinking very strongly about driving to the desert or the redwoods alone while listening to Norm’s audiobook.

Also: is the essence of comedy noises or physical?

I saw Louis C.K.’s stand-up show a few days ago, and he had this section where he was talking about how doing stereotypically “black” or “Chinese” voices was racist, but the voices were still funny. And I was wondering how many people in the audience were making that distinction, too. 
I don’t know what other people think about this stuff, but Louis and I talk a lot and he really thinks that the essence of comedy is noises. I would say the essence of comedy is physical, but he thinks it’s sounds. So there I think he’s right, that the sound he’s making is funnier than the observation.