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E Student Case Study Competition 2015

2015 Case Study Competition

The Health Issue: Drowning

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for individuals of all ages, and it is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children between the ages of 1 and 14 years.1

Across the globe, 327,000 people die each year from drowning, and more than half of all deaths are among individuals younger than 25 years old ( p. 6).3

The unintentional drowning death rate (per 100,000) for males (2.07) is approximately four times higher than that for females (0.54).4 Among adults 29 years of age and under, the highest rate (per 100,000) of deaths due to unintentional drowning (all settings) was highest among American Indians/Alaskan Natives (2.57), followed by Blacks (1.90), and Hispanics (1.37) from the years 1999 to 2010.5

According to Laosee, Gilchrist, and Rudd (2012),the highest percentage of non-fatal drowning incidences occurred in a swimming pool (57.7%), followed by natural water settings such as a lakes and oceans (25.2%), bathtubs (9.2%), and unspecified settings (7.8%).4

However, the largest percentage of fatal unintentional drowning incidences occurred in natural water settings (51.1%), followed by unspecified settings (21.0%), swimming pools (17.6%), and bathtubs (10.4%).4

While children four years and younger are more likely to drown in a swimming pool or bathtub, individuals ages 15 and older are more likely to drown in a natural setting.4

The CDC reports the following factors can increase the risk of drowning:

  • Lack of swimming ability
  • Lack of close supervision Unfamiliarity with the location
  • Failure to wear life jackets (either while swimming, boating, or water skiing). Being unaware of rip currents
  • The use of alcohol
  • Being unaware of weather conditions

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) also indicated risk factors such as low socioeconomic status, being a member of a racial minority, lower education level, and being a tourist unfamiliar with local water risks and features.3

Of the drowning deaths occurring in natural water settings during 2005-2009, nine percent were attributed to boating accidents.4

Download the case study

Presented in Portland, Oregon

Competition summary

At Muddy Waters, our mission is to foster transparency no matter how unpopular it might be. We pride ourselves on the depth and breadth of our analytical research into often-opaque and hard-to-value companies. The Economist is a publication firmly established as one of the world’s most authoritative and influential publications. Editorial independence with a commitment to the facts lies at the heart of the The Economist.

With this spirit in mind, we partnered with The Economist for this MBA Investment Case Study: Investment Challenge. Each school in the competition picked three of their best students to complete the case study. Each team produced a thorough report as well as a 15-minute video explaining their analysis that was posted to The Economists’ Which MBA? site. The presentations were recorded live so the pressure was on.

My colleagues and I at Muddy Waters are the case competition judges and selected the three winners. The People’s Choice prize was awarded to the team that received the most votes from visitors to The Economist website.

First place team received $10,000
Second place received $5,000
Third place received $3,000
People’s Choice received $3,000

Read Carson Block’s feedback to the competing teams.

View the announcement of the winning teams.

Challenge summary

The challenge involves evaluating Zillow’s $3.5 billion acquisition of rival real estate website, Trulia in a stock-only transaction.

More specifically, we are looking for you to answer these key questions about the deal.

• Which company is getting the better deal and why?
• Does the structure of the deal make sense for each company?
• What will the futures likely be for each company on a standalone basis if the transaction fails to close?
• Based on the companies’ present combined market valuations, what assumptions about their future would you have to make in order to buy stock in the combined company?
• What trades, if any, would you recommend around this transaction and why?

The more in-depth and unconventional the answers, the better. Wall Street analysts and the media have already pored over this deal and issued their opinions. We’re looking for something deeper. Please Check the Economist ‘s Which MBA website? Site for frequent updates. Good Luck!

* Update 10/16/2014- Please note the description of the case was updated to indicate this was not a "cash only" transaction rather a "stock only" transaction. While the transcript of the video contains the description "all cash" that is an error. The video has been updated accordingly.