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The receivable balance doesn't concern us. Mass slowdown does but we can't overlook the huge VIP volume growth and impressive operating cost control. 



We think Genting's Resorts World Singapore (RWS) may be in a better spot relative to expectations and valuation than LVS's Marina Bay Sands (MBS).  The valuation disparity is obvious but the higher VIP growth profile, particularly with junkets coming online, could allow RWS to continue to grow its market share.  On the negative side, the market appears to be focused on the growth in receivables but we'll tell you why we don't think this is an issue. 


The recent quarter was solid and the outlook is pretty favorable.  We've got a lot of detail in this note because we think the company and financials are very misunderstood by the analysts.  For instance, the Street seems to be assuming that all the tax revenue was accounted for in expenses.  In fact, Genting Singapore actually deducts Goods and Services Tax (GST: 6.54%) from revenues which is the correct methodology according to IFRS.  The incremental gaming tax (5% for VIP and 15% Mass) is accounted for in expenses.  For this reason, on an apples-to-apples basis, RWS revenues will be lower than MBS's with EBITDA unaffected, thus resulting in higher margins for RWS.



Details & thoughts:

  • On the topic of Genting’s rather large receivable, we are less concerned than our sell-side brethren.  The S$450MM credit receivable (approx 75% of the trade & other receivables balance) is no doubt large.  However, it’s important to put the receivable in context of the massive amount of direct VIP business that RWS does every quarter.  RWS did almost 6x the direct play volume of Wynn Macau.  Wynn Macau’s quarterly receivable has ranged from 2.1-2.7% of direct RC volume – in comparison, RWS’s receivable of 2% quarterly RC doesn’t seem so out of whack.  Once the filings come out for the Macau names, we will spend more time analyzing the receivable issue. On the surface though, growing the receivable in-line with RC growth doesn’t seem to raise any red flags.
  • On the call, management said that RWS’s share of gross gaming revenues was 58%, which given what MBS reported, implies that the property produced about S$1BN.  According to our estimates gross gaming receipts were S$982MM, with gross VIP receipts closer to 65% than the 60% management stated on the call.
    • VIP gross win of S$639MM
      • Drop of S$22.8BN. Mgmt said volumes were up 40% QoQ
        • On the 3Q call management sited that they had at least 53% market share of RC volume – which implies that 3Q had at least S$16.3BN RC volume
      • Hold of 2.8%. Management sited that hold was on the low end of 2.8-3.0%.
    • Net VIP win of S$331MM
      • Rebate rate of 1.25%. While on the call, management sited that rebate rates had not changed sequentially, offline they elaborated that they had a large mix of “high rollers” which earn a higher rebates (rebates are based on volumes) and stated that the rebate rate in the quarter was between 1.2-1.3%
      • GST of S$23MM
    • Net VIP was 51% of total net gaming revenues – in-line with management commentary
  • Gross Mass Revenue of S$343MM and net mass revenues of S$321MM
    • Gross slot win of S$120MM and gross mass table win of S$223.4MM
    • Mass revenues declined in the single digit range sequentially according to management – primarily due to weaker holder comparisons on mass play
    • We also understand that Slot handle was flattish sequentially and that win per device was down
    • We assume that Mass tables held at 16% compared to guidance of 16-18% for last quarter. As an aside, RWS will typically have lower hold then MBS given that only 60% of their table games are baccarat – a much lower mix than MBS.  They are adjusting that mix this quarter, so hopefully there will be some improvement.
  • We estimate that net gaming revenue was S$652MM or 84% of total net revenues, which is in-line with the 80-85% number that management sited on the call
  • For the other nerds out there – the correct tax calculations are as follows:
    • GST (contra revenue):  (Gross gaming revenues – Rebates)* (7/107)
    • Gaming taxes (expense): (Gross gaming revenues – GST)* appropriate mass or VIP tax rate
  • As we’ve written about in the past, it does appear that almost all the gaming growth has come from VIP market while Mass volumes appear to have barely budged since 2Q2010. This is obviously not ideal since the VIP business has lower margins (rebates) and carries more credit risk – which is definitely the topic of concern and focus in the analyst community with the 40% increase in Genting’s trade and other receivables balance.
  • Despite having a cap of 8,000 daily visitors, Universal’s average daily visitation exceeded the cap since there were many open dated tickets issued to travel agents that were expiring by year end and were therefore redeemed. On February 21st, concurrent with the opening of Battlestar Galactica, Genting removed the visitation cap completely – so the visitations numbers going forward should reflect true demand.  The company expects that average daily visitation will exceed 10,000 per day in 2011. 
  • On the hotel side, this past quarter saw a shift in business focus from travels agents to FIT.  Going forward, RWS will continue to focus on growing their FIT business, and therefore, we should see rates and ADRs go up a bit.  When the West Zone rooms open in the later part of 2011, they will be largely focused on the VIP customers and growing the VIP business.
  • Total costs remained flat at $390MM, despite a 6% sequential net revenue
    • We estimate that fixed costs declined sequentially due to some one-time provisions that were made in the third quarter.
    • Gaming taxes and other variable expenses should have all increased given the increase in volumes.
  • Other stats:
    • Gross casino revenues per day: S$10.7MM
    • EBITDA per day: S$4.2MM



  • While management concedes that the focus was on VIP this quarter, they insist that they are catching up on Mass and that we should see nice sequential growth in Mass drop in 1Q2011.
  • Management also alluded to both volumes and luck being better in 1Q2011
  • Currently, RWS has 1,400 slots but plans to get to 1,600-1,700 slots by year-end with roughly 500 Electronic Table Games
  • Junkets are now expected to come online in the 2H2011 vs previous guidance of end of 1Q2011. The holdup in approval is related to the upcoming elections in Singapore, which are expected to occur in May.  Typically, the government avoids any controversial decisions during the election period.
  • 1Q2011 preliminary projections:
    • Net Revenues: S$890MM
    • EBITDA: S$482MM
  • 2011 preliminary projections:
    • Net Revenues: S$3,581MM
    • EBITDA: S$1,850MM


TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – March 1, 2011

Equity futures are trading above fair value as markets show plenty of resilience despite continuing turmoil in the Middle Eastern. Yesterday's momentum came on the back of renewed M&A excitement, better than expected Chicago PMI, a positive headline personal income report.  As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 32 points or -1.22% downside to 1311 and 1.19% upside to 1343.



  • 7:45 a.m.: ICSC weekly sales
  • 10 a.m.: Bernanke testifies about Fed monetary policy
  • 10 a.m.: Treasury’s Geithner at House Financial Services Committee
  • 10 a.m.: Construction spending, est. (-0.4%), prior (-2.5%)
  • 10 a.m.: ISM Manufacturing, est. 61, prior 60.8
  • 11:30 a.m.: U.S. to sell $40b in 4-week bills, $25b in cash- management bills
  • 4:30 p.m.: API inventories


  • Bernanke begins 2 days of semiannual testimony on monetary policy today.
  • U.S., European nations promise humanitarian aid to Libya, begin planning for a no-fly zone as leader Muammar Qaddafi declares  “my people love me”, sends forces to regain lost territory. 
  • The proposed auction of Blockbuster is being opposed by Walt Disney. Disney, with a $9.2m claim for merchandise shipped to Blockbuster after it filed for Chapter 11, said in a filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan that the proposed bid favors the secured lenders over Blockbuster’s other creditors
  • General Mills, Nestle among leading bidders for 50% stake in yogurt maker Yoplait being sold by PAI Partners, four people familiar with the process say.
  • U.S. House plans to vote today on a budget measure aimed at preventing a government shutdown while lawmakers debate spending levels for the rest of this fiscal year. Republican proposal would cut $4b by targeting a handful of programs while keeping almost all agencies at current spending levels until March 18. Failure to enact a measure by March 4, when current spending authority ends, would force the government to close


We have 6 of 9 sectors positive on TRADE and 9 of 9 sectors positive on TREND.

  • One day: Dow +0.79%, S&P +0.56%, Nasdaq +0.04%, Russell 2000 +0.18%
  • Month-to-date: Dow +2.81%, S&P +3.20%, Nasdaq +3.04%, Russell +5.40%
  • Year-to-date: Dow +6.40%, S&P +5.33%, Nasdaq +4.88%, Russell +5.08%
  • Sector Performance: - Materials +1.08%, Energy +0.77%, Consumer Spls +0.58%, Healthcare +1.11%, Utilities +1.13%, Industrials +0.24%, Tech +0.42%, Consumer Disc +0.76%, Financials 0.47%


  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: 1091 (-752)  
  • VOLUME: NYSE 1257.46 (-31.66%)
  • VIX:  18.35 -4.35% YTD PERFORMANCE: +3.38%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: 2.30 from 1.88 (+21.80%)


  • TED SPREAD: 17.05 -0.406 (-2.326%)
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: 0.13%
  • 10-Year: 3.42 from 3.46
  • YIELD CURVE: 2.70 from 2.73


  • CRB: 352.58 +0.37%; YTD: +5.94%  
  • Oil: 97.38 -0.93%; YTD: +4.62% (trading +0.42% in the AM)
  • COPPER: 449.65 +0.93%; YTD: +1.34% (trading -0.07% in the AM)  
  • GOLD: 1,411.90 +0.28%; YTD: -0.33% ( trading +0.16% in the AM)  


  • Oil fell the most in two weeks as Saudi Arabia offered to make up for supplies lost because of unrest in Libya and on reports the North African country is exporting crude. 
  • Grains, Sugar May Drop as Farmers Increase Output, Yields, Australia Says
  • Copper May Slide as Chinese Manufacturing Figures Fan Concern About Demand
  • China May Invest in Australian Dairy, Livestock in Food Security Search
  • Coffee Rises to One-Week High on Speculation Vietnam Supply to Be Limited
  • Commodities in Longest Winning Streak Since '04 Beat Stocks, Bonds, Dollar
  • Pakistan Signs Contracts to Ship 3.075 Million Tons Wheat, Exceeds Target
  • Australia Forecasts Increased Cotton, Sugar Production, Decline in Wheat
  • Gold May Advance as Unrest in Libya, Weakening Dollar Spur Investor Demand
  • China Copper Premiums Slump to Zero as Overseas Prices Outpace Local Gains
  • U.K. Royal Mint Gold-Coin Production Doubles as Bullion Climbs to Record
  • Rubber Climbs for First Time in Eight Days as Decline Attracts Investors
  • Noble Group Seeks More Mongolia Coal Deals to Add to Rising Energy Profit 


  • EURO: 1.3792 +0.28% (trading +0.38% in the AM)
  • DOLLAR: 76.889 -0.50% (trading -0.15% in the AM) 


  • FTSE 100: +0.37%; DAX: +0.75%; CAC 40: +0.56% (as of 04:58 ET)
  • European markets mainly trade higher aided by firmer markets across Asia and constructive European economic data.
  • Corporate results were mixed.
  • European Commission raises 2011 GDP forecast for euro region to 1.6% from 1.5% and says inflation may remain above ECB limit for most of the year.
  • Peripheral markets were shrugged by Germany's Finance Minister rejecting any easing of the terms for Ireland or Greece's bailout package.
  • UK Feb Nationwide house prices (0.1%) y/y vs con (0.3%)
  • Feb final Manf PMI: France 55.7 vs con 55.3; Germany 62.7 vs con 62.6; Eurozone 59.0 vs con 59.0
  • Germany Feb unemployment rate +7.3% vs con +7.4%
  • UK Feb Manf PMI 61.5 vs con 61
  • UK Jan mortgage approvals 45.7k vs con 43.0k


  • Nikkei +1.22%; Hang Seng +0.25%; Shanghai Composite +0.48%
  • Asian markets were higher this morning, encouraged by stable oil prices and signs growth slowed in China which eased concerns surrounding further tightening measures.
  • India led the region higher by 3.50% buoyed by automakers after the finance ministry didn't raise excise duties on automobiles.  In India, Tata Motors was up over 4% and Maruti Suzuki was up over 6%
  • Chinese PMI hit a six month low in February of 52.5 vs 52.9 in January
  • Australia's central bank left its benchmark rate unchanged at 4.75%, as expected


Howard Penney

Managing Director



FL: Expecting the Expected

Foot Locker reports 4Q earnings on Wednesday 3/2 after the market close, followed by a conference call on Thursday morning.  We continue to expect a solid 4Q result, with our model forecasting EPS of $0.43 well ahead of the Street at $0.37.  The cornerstone of our forecast is a 6% same store sales increase coupled with gross margin expansion at the upper end of the guided range (+300 bps y/y).  We note that promotional activity during the quarter was low, with very few promos occurring beyond the traditional holiday period.  Recall that management suggested going into the quarter that they would strategically reduce promotional cadence if “sales were good”.  We believe this was the case.  


Beyond the quarter, which almost seems like old news at this point, we expect an update on the company’s strategic priorities for 2011 as well as some high level guidance.  We remind investors that we do not expect Foot Locker (and specifically CEO Ken Hicks) to change its policy regarding conservatism.  As such here’s a list of what we do and do not expect to hear on Thursday’s call.  We also include several questions that we’d like to hear answered as current management anniversaries its first year on the job.



  • A step up in the company’s use of its cash balance primarily on share repurchase and capex.  Capex should be north of the $110 million (up $10-$20 million) spent in 2010, with the incremental spending going towards store remodels and systems upgrades.  We would not be surprised to see some incremental capital put towards the company’s e-commerce platform, which to some degree has been stagnant for a few years now.  We expect the cash balance to be approximately $625-$650 million with the biggest variance coming from the possibility that share repurchase activity picked up during the quarter.  The current repurchase plan had $215 million remaining on it at the end of 3Q.
  • An update on where the company stands on year over year changes in merchandising.  Through the fall, 60% of the assortment (primarily apparel) had been changed.  Expect the number to be between 80-90% updated through Spring.
  • Inventories are likely to have ended the year down 2-3% on an absolute basis as the company continues to work towards its turn goal of 3x.  Guidance for inventories in 2011 should be down slightly.
  • Store closings for 2011 should be well below 2010 levels.  Expect 40-50 closings which represents a more “normalized” rate given lease expiration and real estate portfolio management.  FL closed approximately 110 units in 2010, with most shuttered over the first three quarters of the year.  Recall that the turnaround prospects for Foot Locker are not centered on shedding assets but rather on making the 3,500 store chain more productive. 
  • An update on the company’s banner segmentation efforts, which through 3Q were also about 60% complete. Recall that this process includes marketing and merchandising each of the company’s five core brands separately with a focus on unique customer segments.
  • An update on the company’s testing efforts as they pertain to RUN by Foot Locker, CCS test stores, mobile marketing/e-commerce, and merchandising exclusives.


  • Guidance in the press release or specific EPS guidance.  Management’s history suggests that high level guidance will be provided on a conservative basis.  Same store sales, inventories, gross margins, and SG&A will all be addressed.  We do not expect any surprises here but still remain above Street expectations for 2011. Our estimate calls for $1.40 vs. the Street at $1.25.


  • How big  was the 2011 increase in co-op advertising?  It appeared in 4Q that TV impressions were up substantially but at what (if any) cost?  How is Foot Locker measuring advertising effectiveness now that each of the major brands are firmly behind the company’s resurgence as the leading global seller of athletic footwear?
  • What is being done to jump-start the performance of the company’s e-commerce platform?  When is store pick-up and real-time store by store inventory going to be a reality for the consumer? With double-digit EBIT margins, even modest growth here could and should be meaningful to the bottom line.
  • How are the product trends in the US (running, basketball, toning) translating into Europe and Asia?
  • When can we see more House of Hoops-like collaborations with your vendors? 
  • If an NFL lockout occurs what impact may this have on this year?  Would this possibly help the impending launch of Nike’s NFL license given pent up demand may result from a NFL-free year?
  • What if anything will Allen Questrom be focused on with his recent board appointment? He has a history of changing company cultures and attracting human capital.  Will the organization see changes as a result?
  • What have been the biggest challenges so far in re-assorting the company’s apparel programs, both private label and branded?
  • What does a successful exclusive launch of UA basketball mean for future collaborations? (same for Li Ning? Is it significant enough to move the needle?)

Eric Levine


Hedgeye Statistics

The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.

  • LONG SIGNALS 80.46%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.35%


Keith shorted MCD in the Hedgeye Virtual Portfolio.


We have been bearish on McDonalds for some time now and published a contrarian Black Book detailing our thesis in mid-January.   MCD’s core business is in decline and the first chart, below, shows where January’s comparable restaurant sales came in versus expectations.  Our estimates for the rest of the year are also detailed in the chart; clearly we have a pessimistic outlook for the U.S. business which represents approximately 46% of the company’s operating profit.


The second chart details the quantitative set up for MCD at its current level.  The Hedgeye Risk Management quantitative set up shows the nearest intermediate-term support down at $74.12.






Howard Penney

Managing Director


Based on Q4 dollar RevPAR, January should've been stronger.



Following up on our 1/26/11 post, "HOTELS; BLAME THE WEATHER", January Upper Upscale Revpar grew 7.4% YoY.  While that may appear strong on the surface, it was actually a deceleration from Q4.  Seasonally adjusting Q4 dollar RevPAR produces January RevPAR growth 4 percentage points higher than actual.  It's hard to believe poor weather could explain that magnitude of a miss.  Given the high RevPAR volatility over the last three years, we track RevPar on a sequential, absolute dollar basis, adjusted for monthly seasonality.   


Reflecting November-January RevPAR, we project RevPar growth of 10% for February 2011, assuming no sequential growth in seasonally adjusted dollar RevPAR.  Anything below 10% will be indicative of a slowdown.  Thus far, the weekly February RevPar have been trending a tad lower than that.  We continue to believe that February will be the near-term peak for RevPar growth with contraction risk in Q2.





India: Missing Where It Matters Most

Conclusion: Finance Minister Mukherjee’s budget failed to adequately address the #1 issue facing the Indian economy – inflation. As a result, our bearish stance on Indian equities continues unabated. Further, we don't see India meeting its FY12 deficit reduction target as a likely outcome.


Position: Short Emerging Market Equities via the etf EEM.


Though we tactically covered our short position in Indian equities on 2/24 (for a gain), we still remain quite bearish on them at current prices. India’s SENSEX has rallied +1.1% off its lows on 2/24, driven by a confluence of declining crude oil prices (India imports ~70% of its crude oil needs) and hopeful expectations surrounding the unveiling of the government’s FY12 budget, which took place today.


Regarding the budget specifically, it delivered where quite a few investors were hoping it would – on promoting investment in India’s woeful infrastructure. Highlights include: 

  • An additional +23% more spending on roads, ports, and power generation capacity;
  • The limit for foreign institutional investment in debt issued to finance infrastructure projects quintupled to $25B vs. $5B prior;
  • The limit for foreign investment for Indian corporate bonds doubled to $40B vs. $20B prior, with the entire delta reserved for bonds issued by infrastructure companies;
  • Domestic individual investors could purchase up to $450 worth of infrastructure bonds and receive tax-free status on the returns for an additional year;
  • $330M for investing in clusters of farmland with the intent on increasing lentil, palm oil, and vegetable production;
  • Keeping the excise tax at 10%, rather than returning it to its pre-crisis level of 12%;
  • $450M in rural infrastructure spending designed to created 4M tons of warehouse capacity used to store food grain (by March 31, 2012);
  • To further encourage investment in cold-storage capacity, the budget exempts air-conditioning units and refrigeration equipment from the excise duty; and
  • Mukherjee plans to incentivize commercial banks to increase lending to India’s farmers by +27%. 

For perma-bull BRIC-lovers, this bullish-on-infrastructure budget is full of long-term investment opportunities. For those of us that prefer to manage the risk associated with playing the game that’s in front of us, this budget is a flat-out failure, missing where it matters most – reigning in inflation. This budget does very little in combating India’s massive inflation problem, which now shifts the bulk of the onus of suppressing inflation back towards the central bank (think: policy “hot potato”).


To Mukherjee’s credit, his proposed budget “only” calls for a +3.4% YoY increase in spending, which is down substantially from the +20% YoY increases of India’s more recent budgets. On the flip side, however, these recent budgets reflect heavy countercyclical gov’t spending during and in the wake of the global financial crisis.


The fact that India is unable to retract from such elevated levels of gov’t spending shows that India’s ruling elite may be increasingly unconcerned about the strife of its impoverished populous. The reactions by India’s competing politicians (which certainly need to be taken with a grain of salt) underscore this assertion: 

  • “This is an anti-people budget. The budget is targeted at a section of the country who are considered to be the cream of the society. No relief measures have been unveiled to provide relief to the common man.” – Left Front Chairman and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Biman Bose
  • “The most important issue that is taking a toll on common man is price [increases]. No measures have been taken to tackle it. Rather they have given attention to indirect taxes. And another thing, no measures have been taken for the minority community of India.” – Forward Bloc leader Hafiz Alam Sairani
  •  “This budget is for the rich section of the society, not for the poor people.” – Communist Party of India (CPI) leader and state Water Resource Minister Nandogopal Bhattacharjee 

Less anecdotally, our analysis of the budget leads us to side with the gentlemen above. The budget is rife with tax hikes and income tax deductions that appear more symbolic than impactful in nature: 

  • A new service tax will be levied on air-conditioned restaurants that serve alcohol – in addition to the VAT, which is typically 12.5% for food and 20% for alcohol;
  • Hotels will levy an additional 5% service tax and all room rates will increase by a minimum of +1,000 ($22) rupees per night;
  • A +50 rupees ($1.10) service tax will be levied on domestic airfare and a +250 rupees ($5.50) service tax will be levied on international airfare, with an additional tax for flying business class;
  • A 5% tax will be levied against all services provided by air-conditioned hospitals with greater than 25 beds (essentially all major hospitals in every urban area);
  • The income tax exemption for individual male taxpayers increased +20,000 rupees ($445) to 180,000 rupees ($4,000). For women, the increase brings their exemption level to 190,000 rupees ($4,220). Calculations by consulting firm Deloitte Haskins & Sells suggests these increases amount to a tax saving of ~$45 per year, which is likely to be consumed by the increases in the effective tax rates on many services broadly; and
  • The retirement age drops to 60 from 65 previously and those individuals will maintain tax-exempt status on income less than 250,000 rupees ($5,555). Individuals older than 80 will maintain tax exempt status on incomes up to 500,000 rupees ($11,111). It remains to be seen how many individuals will benefit from this change in tax code. 

All told, taxes are going up, which directly equate to higher consumer prices. $112 Brent crude oil and a currency that is down (-1.3%) YTD indirectly contribute to accelerating inflation as well. As we have seen with the RBI’s decision to engage in Quantitative Easing throughout 4Q10 and early 2011, Indian monetary and fiscal policy continue to be managed in a way that disenfranchises the bulk of India’s population (the World Bank estimates that over 75% of Indians live on less than $2 per day).


Perhaps that is why thousands of protesters continue organizing rallies on the nation’s capital – a trend we expect to accelerate as growth decelerates over the next 6-9 months and inflation remains sticky due to corporate COGS increases being passed through to Indian consumers. Perhaps the worst part of the Finance Minister’s budget proposal is that it forecasts growth to accelerate to +9.25% YoY next year, which implies that corporations are likely to be increasingly comfortable passing through price increases to Indian consumers in an environment of robust growth expectations.


Decelerating global growth, heightened interest rates, and accelerating inflation – particularly elevated crude oil prices – all remain headwinds to Indian GDP growth over the intermediate-term TREND. Perhaps that’s why the SENSEX has diverged from both the government’s and sell-side consensus’ lofty growth projections (down -13.1% YTD).


Darius Dale



India: Missing Where It Matters Most - 1

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