INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY
A group of NFL personalities are seated around a conference table. The intraday chart for the $KR ticker symbol is displayed via a projector as the meeting participants cluster around a telephone conference station, except for ANDY REID, who has a laptop computer terminal in front of him.
KROGER CEO: [via conference all]…Welcome to the earnings report for the third quarter of 2019, everyone. It’s been a successful quarter for the company…
$KR STOCK: 25.72 [+2.69%]
KROGER CEO: [via conference all]…and we’re thrilled to report…
$KR STOCK: 26.23 [+4.21%]
KROGER CEO: [via conference call]…that we managed to beat our earnings forecast by almost eight percent…
$KR STOCK: 26.60 [+5.02%]
The members of the group share a hearty series of high-fives as the Kroger CEO continues talking about some technical details of the earnings report.
JOSH ROSEN: Perfect. We’ve hit our target of a 5% gain. Okay, Andy, pull the trigger.
ANDY REID: Wait for it…
HUE JACKSON: Andy, it’s time. Pull the tigger.
ANDY REID: Wait for it…
KROGER CEO: [via conference call]…and now, moving onto our plans for the upcoming quarter…
LAWRENCE TYNES: [sniffles a few times, then blows his nose] Damnit, Andy, your trade is going to time out.
ANDY REID: [looks at him dreamily] Time…out…?
BILL O’BRIEN: G-G-G-GODDAMNIT ANDY, P-P-P-PULL THE F-F-F-FUCKING T-T-T-TRIGGER!
KATIE NOLAN hops out of her seat and moves behind ANDY REID to look over his shoulder. Her eyes widen as she sees what’s on his screen.
KATIE NOLAN: Oh, for fuck’s sake. Andy that’s not even in this country.
ANDY REID: Already got my plane ticket.
KROGER CEO: [via conference call]…and so in addition to the “we’re taking your guns away, you stupid hicks” billboards we’ll be putting up on freeway exits and at the entrance of the store, we also plan to spit on customers as soon as they walk in…
$KR STOCK: 24.84 [-1.03%]
KROGER CEO: [via conference call]…and we’ll be mixing rotten fruit in with the newer stock so that customers feel a sense of abundance, like there’s so much food available that they don’t even need to buy any of it right now…
$KR STOCK: 23.91 [-4.69%]
COLIN COWHERD: GOOD GOD NO!
BILL O’BRIEN: Welp, we’re f-f-f-fucked, guys. Guess we’re stuck holding through tomorrow in hopes that it bounces back.
The group packs up and leaves the room, save for ANDY REID, who remains with his finger hovering over the “enter” button.
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – THE FOLLOWING DAY
ANDY REID, in the same clothing as the day before, remains with his finger perched above the “enter” key. The remainder of the group sits in relatively relaxed poses around the table, save for COLIN COWHERD, who is tinkering with his microphone rig, and BILL O’BRIEN, who is poking around on his cellphone.
BILL O’BRIEN: …and p-p-p-press “SELL”…order f-f-f-filled…and…d-d-done. Okay g-g-g-gang, we finally m-m-m-made our exit at 25.79.
KATIE NOLAN: [does the math in her head] Minus the transaction fees…that’s a gain of about 2.6%. Not bad.
COLIN COWHERD: I guess we can’t complain about that. However, I do have something I would like to complain about: Cam Newton’s performance last night. He’s looking completely uninspired out there, and I can’t help but wonder if Jerry Richardson’s absence from the franchise has something to do with it. Now a lot of people have argued that Cam’s effort was limited to about 60% while Jerry was overseeing the franchise, but you have to wonder whether he actually misses having someone else manage the stress of providing things like food and shelter and so forth so Cam can live a nice, happy, simple life and focus on his job…
HUE JACKSON: So what’s our next play?
BILL O’BRIEN: I thought we might take a look at the healthcare sector…
EVERYONE turns to look at LAWRENCE TYNES, who is busy setting up an IV stand.
LAWRENCE TYNES: [looks up] What?
JOSH ROSEN: Who’s your biggest bill from this month, Lawrence?
LAWRENCE TYNES: Oh, probably Pharmatech, they’re not covered by my insurance so the intravenous port I had put in…
BILL O’BRIEN: [gets up from his seat and walks over to the door] Actually, I had a sp-sp-speaker lined up to t-t-talk to us. [pulls it open]
ELIZABETH HOLMES: [in an unnaturally deep voice] Hello, hello!
KATIE NOLAN: [looks at BILL O’BRIEN] Are you fucking kidding me?
BILL O’BRIEN: J-j-j-just a m-m-minute, hear her out.
ELIZABETH HOLMES: Now, now, I can understand how you be nervous about making an investment with me after what happened with Theranos. However…[she pulls out a stack of papers and hands each meeting participant a prospectus]…when you take a look at what I’ve got here you’ll understand that I’ve learned a great deal from my earlier mistakes – much like Steve Jobs did – and am ready to make all your dreams come true.
HUE JACKSON: [reads the title] Evaluation of Juvenile Blood Compatibility with Standard Inoculation Protocols…
There is silence in the room for a minute or so while the members of the Losers’ Investment Club digest the contents of the prospectus.
ELIZABETH HOLMES: So…what do you think?
KATIE NOLAN: [still reading it over] Okay, I’ll admit this is less crazy than I’d have thought.
JOSH ROSEN: [hovers his finger over a bullet point in the prospectus, and reads aloud] “Many parents are extremely concerned that – as currently administered – vaccines are unsafe for their children.” So…you’re basically looking to sell vaccines to anti-vaxxers?
ELIZABETH HOLMES: I suppose, in some sense, yes. But more of what we’ll be selling them is information. Specifically, information that is going to give them peace of mind with regards to views that they already hold.
COLIN COWHERD: [thoughtfully] That’s a very shrewd plan. A lot of times when listeners of mine hold questionable views, they find them to be just that – questionable. They’re thrilled to have someone who is willing to reinforce those beliefs for them.
LAWRENCE TYNES: And your testing protocol is substantially different than what was used at Theranos?
ELIZABETH HOLMES: Yes, that’s laid out in the prospectus.
KATIE NOLAN: Ms. Holmes, did your hair just…
LAWRENCE TYNES: [still looking down] Yes…it seems like you’ll be collecting about twenty times as much blood with these tests.
ELIZABETH HOLMES: That’s correct, a great deal of blood.
HUE JACKSON: From children.
ELIZABETH HOLMES: Oh yes.
KATIE NOLAN: Ms. Holmes, your nose…is there something on your nose…? [looks around the room] Is anyone else seeing this?
JOSH ROSEN: [on the second page of the prospectus] And so you’d be looking at an IPO in October of 2020…what kind of float would we be looking at in terms of shares.
ELIZABETH HOLMES: All of us.
JOSH ROSEN: [looks up] I beg your pardon?
ELIZABETH HOLMES: ALL OF US, JOSH! WE’RE ALL GONNA FLOAT! ME, AND RUPERT, AND BETSY, AND BOBBY TWO-STROKES, AND THE WALTON KIDS…WE’RE ALL GONNA FLOAT DOWN HERE! AND WHEN YOU INVEST IN THIS VENTURE, YOU’RE GONNA FLOAT TOO, JOSH! WON’T IT BE FUN? WON’T IT BE FUN TO FLOAT WITH US?
The room is silent for a moment. ANDY REID glances up briefly from his computer.
ANDY REID: No children.
BILL O’BRIEN: [nods] I’ve g-g-got to be honest with you Ms. Holmes, I’m n-n-not sure this is right for this investment g-g-group.
ELIZABETH HOLMES: But…
BILL O’BRIEN: [glances at LAWRENCE, who begins collecting the papers and hands them back to her] Thanks so much for your t-t-t-time, though…
ELIZABETH HOLMES continues to stammer protests and vague threats as HUE JACKSON shepherds her through the door and closes it behind her]
KATIE NOLAN: Well, that’s a shame. I think in six months we’ll be telling ourselves that we dodged a bullet with that one.
COLIN COWHERD: We still need an investment idea, though. Andy, got anything?
ANDY REID glances up again.
JOSH ROSEN: Yes, he’s got something. A dialysis appointment.
The rest of the table breaks up in laughter.
ANDY REID: [frowns] That’s not for another two hours.
KATIE NOLAN: [suddenly looks thoughtful] Hang on a second here…who’s it with?
This week’s investment is 1000 shares of the American Renal Associates ($ARA) at a strike price of $10.383. Based on that, the club’s current assets stand at $10,383.00. See you next week!