prev

DKS: Look Elsewhere

 

We actually think that DKS has decent business momentum due to the category it is in, which is something not many retailers can say these days.  But the reality is that our 6% comp expectation is 1% above the Street, and we’re both coming in $0.02 ahead of the high end of guidance.


Over the past two years, the company has come in above initial guidance – which it raised in this the quarter that it’s about  to report. But we think that this year will be different. We don’t think we’ll see guidance go higher due to margin pressures and the overall uncertainty associated with the Macro climate. But also remember that one of its largest vendors (Acuschnet: Titleist/Foot Joy) is being spun off of its parent. That’s not bad. In fact it might be good. But it’s simply different. Foot Locker is comping positive for the first time in a very long time – and therefore traffic is shifting, on the margin, to the mall. It might only be slight, but it matters.

 

Keep in mind that this is not a good business. Yes, Dick’s is ‘best in class,’ we COMPLETELY get that.  Yeah, manage it about as good as it gets in this business.  But that does not make it a good business. Margins are at peak today at 9%, though they’ve averaged closer to 4% over the past 10 years. At the same time, return on assets is perennially hugging the 7% mark and working capital turns of 2x. That gives us a sub-10% RNOA how we do the math, and that’s BEFORE actually charging the company for the leases.  Imagine that? Actually baking property costs into the model?  That reminds me of a presentation I saw in the tech bubble when an analyst was talking about a term called ‘profit before costs.’  I call that revenue.

 

Where we could be wrong on the quarter, however, is in those very occupancy costs. While Hibbett and Foot Locker can leverage occupancy costs on a flat comp, DKS needs about 4%.  We’re talking 5-6% comps here. So the flow-through on (an unsustainable) 7% would be material. But with the stock trading at 24x earnings, and just over 10x EBITDA, we think that near term expectations are way too high for a poor quality business.

 

Here’s a look at some of the key modeling considerations for the quarter: 

 

Sales: +8.4% on a +6% comp - This represents a 2-year deceleration of nearly 350bps. A few factors to bear in mind…

a)      Given the company’s mix consisting of primarily hardlines (54%) with the balance apparel (28%) and footwear (18%), we have good visibility into sales performance for half the business through our industry sports data. In the case of DKS, greater exposure to apparel is favorable with the category up +9% while footwear increased nearly 4% during the quarter. Our proprietary blended mix, which as been within a +/- 200bps margin in seven of the last eight quarters suggests a positive comp of +7.3% in the 1Q. However, with golf facing its toughest compare of the year (+12.4%) aided by continued double-digit growth in e-commerce, we anticipate a LSD comp in hardlines and the total aggregate comp to be slightly lower at +6% for the quarter.

b)      Within footwear, two the company’s leading footwear categories have improved considerably versus last year with running up +21% compared to +12% last year and basketball up +3% vs. -3% alleviating a drag from the prior year.  Similar to Foot Locker, while toning is a concern, we see favorable growth in running, basketball, and cross trainers driving higher sales and ASPs.

c)       One of the realities to consider during the quarter is that we had the wettest April in 20-years. This impacts the company’s Team sports sales and there were few if any retailers that didn’t highlight the Northeast and Northern Midwest as the weakest performing regions in April last week. Just how much weather may have impacted sales is tough to quantify, but it clearly dampens potential upside to sales.

d)      Unlike most other retailers that are benefiting from the weaker USD, DKS does not have a FX tailwind to help boost the top-line.

e)      Over the last two-years, management at Dicks has had a history of sandbagging comp expectations. Take a look at the chart below. The company has exceeded the midpoint of same store sales guidance by an average of +470bps over the last eight quarters coming in less than 200bps better only once in Q2 F09 when shares responded with a ~10% correction. Our +6% comp estimate implies only 150bps above guidance and is slightly higher than the Street’s expectation for +5% (+50bps). I liken this ~200bps ‘buffer’ similar to the markets margin of beat expectation when Ralph Lauren reports each quarter – there’s an expectation, that if met is not received favorably. While the Street sits at +5%, we think the market expects significantly higher.

 

GM +50bps

a)      Merchandise margins accounted for 140bps of gross margin expansion in 2010 with occupancy leverage accounting for another ~60-80bps. While management expects little to no occupancy leverage in 2011, the company is increasingly reliant on continued improvement in merchandise margins driven primarily by more favorable mix, inventory management, an regionalization efforts, which better tailors product to specific geographies. The fact that the later was not already in place for a best-in-class industry retailer is surprising if not downright scary, but certainly presents opportunity for further improvement.

b)      With an average lease duration of approximately 10-years, the company only turns 10% of its portfolio each year compared to most retailers that have an average duration closer to 5-years limiting the magnitude of occupancy leverage relative to peers. Coupled with tougher compares when occupancy leverage added 60bps to the Q1 last year, we expect little by way of contribution in the 1Q and the year for that matter.

c)       Inventories are in good shape heading into the quarter. With an increase in private label sales now representing over 15% of total sales we expect more favorable product mix to account for the 50bps expansion in the quarter muted by the 200bps expansion realized in Q1 last year.

d)      What’s good for the top-line weighs on margins. With apparel accounting for ~28% of sales compared to Foot Locker at around 10% - higher costs are starting to be felt throughout the supply chain and DKS is no different. Management’s comments over the last two quarters concerns me here: 

  •  
    • First, in Q3 management commented that it was buying for Q3 and Q4 of 2011 and not seeing “any pressure that makes us uncomfortable.”
    • Then, on the Q4 call Ed Stack (CEO) highlighted that he, “do(es) see some of that pricing increase affecting some of our private-brand products, some of our vendors. But there's a number of our important vendors that have had very little increases in price in the back half of 2011. But I get a little bit concerned that we're going to see that hit us in 2012.” Sounds like management was just starting to face reality by the end of 2010. If tone is any indication of how they’re managing higher costs, our sense is that management is not adequately planning for the pending margin hit.

SG&A +7% (-30bps)

a)      Two key factors to consider in Q1 is that the company anniversaries nearly $8mm in one-time technology related investments in the company’s new headquarters, DC, and online efforts in addition to various marketing initiatives.

b)      The company also front-loaded marketing spend in the 4Q to drive Q1 sales. We suspect the company realized a favorable shift in spend in Q1 as a result. 

 

DKS: Look Elsewhere - DKS CompGuid 5 11

 

DKS: Look Elsewhere - DKS HIBB S 5 11

 

DKS: Look Elsewhere - DKS comps 5 11

 

 

 


THE M3: GALAXY MACAU; WYNN COTAI; S'PORE HOME SALES

The Macau Metro Monitor, May 16, 2011

 


GALAXY MACAU GETS OVER 20,000 VISITORS IN ITS FIRST 90 MINUTES Macau Business, Macau Daily Times, Intelligence Macau

Galaxy Macau anticipates between 30,000 to 40,000 guests per day.  Galaxy's Vice Chairman, Francis Lui, said Galaxy supports the bill that would raise the minimum age from 18 to 21 and that Galaxy is confident that the new tobacco law will make all parties happy.  In addition, Lui remarked that Galaxy Macau will help the local economy by increasing the average length of stay of visitors.  The average length of stay of tourists to Macau dropped to 1.45 nights in March but the executive hopes that Galaxy guests will stay ‘on an average two days or more’.

 

COO Michael Mecca said most of Galaxy's 450 tables are new and that the 1930's Shanghai-themed private club and restaurant China Rouge is still under development.  In September, Galaxy will launch a nine-screen, 3D multi-purpose cinema.

 

Galaxy Macau only takes up 1/3 of the area granted by the government in Cotai and the company is already looking at the future.  The company has until 2019 to develop the block.  “To do everything in one piece would mean that it could quickly become obsolete. The profile of our customer has changed so much in the last five years. We want to be sure about what the customer wants. At the appropriate time we will make an announcement on future projects,” Lui stressed.

 

IM is hearing that Phase 2 will include a mall.

 

WYNN SAYS NEW MACAU CASINO TO OPEN IN FOUR YEARS Bloomberg

According to Steve Wynn, Wynn Macau looks to double its earnings in Macau after its Cotai resort opens.  "I don’t know what measurements you use -- revenue, profitability, total visitation, but we could be easily twice as big,” said Wynn.  Wynn said he expects government permission to start building the new casino any day now.  "The new project on Cotai may take longer than normal to construct because it’s being built on reclaimed land," Wynn added.  Wynn Cotai is planned for a 2015 opening.

 

Wynn says his company faces no FCPA risk, and he does not believe that Sheldon Adelson is so stupid as to have blackmailed anyone.

 

PRIVATE HOME SALES UP 29% IN APRIL Channel News Asia

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1,788 private homes were sold in Singapore last month, a 29% MoM increase from March.


TALES OF THE TAPE: COSI, MCD, DPZ, MSSR

Notable news items and price action from Friday as well as our fundamental view on select names.

  • COSI reported a loss of $0.04 per share for the first quarter.  Company same-store sales gained 3% on a year-over-year basis.
  • MCD plans to scale back employment of cashiers and use of banknotes at its 7,000 European outlets, replacing them with touch screen terminals and swipe cards, according to the Financial Times, citing an interview with Steve Easterbrook, president of McDonald’s Europe.
  • DPZ gained 2.1% on accelerating volume.  BAGL declined 5.5% on accelerating volume.
  • MSSR declined 1% on accelerating volume.

TALES OF THE TAPE: COSI, MCD, DPZ, MSSR - stocks 516

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director


GET THE HEDGEYE MARKET BRIEF FREE

Enter your email address to receive our newsletter of 5 trending market topics. VIEW SAMPLE

By joining our email marketing list you agree to receive marketing emails from Hedgeye. You may unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in one of the emails.

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN

Financial Risk Monitor Summary (Across 3 Durations):

  • Short-term (WoW): Negative / 2 of 11 improved / 4 out of 11 worsened / 5 of 11 unchanged
  • Intermediate-term (MoM): Negative / 2 of 11 improved / 3 of 11 worsened / 6 of 11 unchanged
  • Long-term (150 DMA): Neutral / 4 of 11 improved / 4 of 11 worsened / 3 of 11 unchanged

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - summary

 

1. US Financials CDS Monitor – Swaps widened across domestic financials, widening for 20 of the 28 reference entities and tightening for 8. 

Widened the most vs last week: GS, PMI, PRU

Tightened the most vs last week: ACE, MBI, GNW

Widened the most vs last month: GS, PMI, MTG

Tightened the most vs last month: ACE, ALL, TRV

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - us cds

 

2. European Financials CDS Monitor – Banks swaps in Europe were evenly split last week, widening for 19 of the 39 reference entities and tightening for 19, with one flat.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - euro cds

 

3. European Sovereign CDS – European sovereign swaps fell last week, dropping 32 bps on average. 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - sov cds

 

4. High Yield (YTM) Monitor – High Yield rates rose slightly last week, ending at 7.14 versus 7.12 the prior week. A data error or methodology change appears to be the cause of the step function in the Bloomberg series.  We are awaiting clarification on this shift.  

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - high yield

 

5. Leveraged Loan Index Monitor – The Leveraged Loan Index remained flat at 1621 again last week.   

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - lev loan

 

6. TED Spread Monitor – The TED spread backed off its high last week, ending the week at 24.0 versus 26.2 the prior week.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - ted spread

 

7. Journal of Commerce Commodity Price Index – Last week, the JOC index continued to decline, ending the week at 16.7, 4.4 points lower than the prior week.  This fall brings the JOC to a new year-to-date low.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - JOC

 

8. Greek Bond Yields Monitor – We chart the 10-year yield on Greek bonds.  Last week yields fell 7 bps versus the prior Friday.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - greek bonds

 

9. Markit MCDX Index Monitor – The Markit MCDX is a measure of municipal credit default swaps.  We believe this index is a useful indicator of pressure in state and local governments.  Markit publishes index values daily on six 5-year tenor baskets including 50 reference entities each. Each basket includes a diversified pool of revenue and GO bonds from a broad array of states. We track the 14-V1.  Last week spreads ticked up to 105 from 99. 

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - mcdx

 

10. Baltic Dry Index – The Baltic Dry Index measures international shipping rates of dry bulk cargo, mostly commodities used for industrial production.  Higher demand for such goods, as manifested in higher shipping rates, indicates economic expansion.  Early in the year, Australian floods and oversupply pressured the Index, driving it down 30% before bouncing off the lows.  Last week it fell 34 points to 1306.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - baltic

 

11. 2-10 Spread – We track the 2-10 spread as a proxy for bank margins.  Last week the 2-10 spread widened 3 bps to 263 bps. 

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - 2 10

 

12. XLF Macro Quantitative Setup – Our Macro team sees the setup in the XLF as follows:  2.0% upside to TRADE resistance, 0.1% downside to TRADE support.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MORTGAGE INSURANCE SWAPS WIDEN - XLF

 

 

Joshua Steiner, CFA

 

Allison Kaptur



Insecurity's Correlation

“The more we try to provide full security by interfering with the market system, the greater the insecurity becomes.”

-F.A. Hayek

 

I have been focusing my quotes for the last few weeks on the most pertinent parts of Hayek’s “The Road To Serfdom” in hopes of someone in Washington finding it within themselves to stop doing more of what got us into this mess.

 

The Audacity of Hope, unfortunately, is not a Global Macro risk management process. Neither is John Boehner telling Barack Obama, “let’s lock arms and jump out of the boat together”…

 

Boehner was talking about raising the US Debt Ceiling limit (which the US is technically in violation of today). All US Constitutional “technicalities” aside, this country hasn’t had much of a memory when it comes to the original provision to let the US Treasury print debt in 1917 (in order to finance war). When in doubt, fear monger the citizenry into believing centrally planned security is the only way out.

 

For the week, with the US Dollar Index closing up +1.1% at $75.78:

  1. The US Dollar Index has been up for 2 consecutive weeks for a cumulative recovery of +3.8% from its YTD lows.
  2. The US Dollar Index has been down for 14 of the last 20 weeks and remains bearish on an intermediate-term TREND basis.
  3. The US Dollar Index is down -14.4% since Obama and Geithner took over in early 2009.

From a Correlation Risk perspective, here’s the 2-week cumulative declines in stocks and commodities priced in US Dollars:

  1. US Stocks (SP500) = DOWN -1.9%
  2. US Energy Stocks (XLE) = DOWN -8.3%
  3. US Financial Stocks (XLF) = DOWN -3.7%
  4. CRB Commodities Index = DOWN -8.6%
  5. West Texas Crude Oil = DOWN -12.5%
  6. Copper = DOWN -4.6%

So, if you didn’t know that the Globally Interconnected Marketplace is highly correlated to a US Dollar UP move, now you know…

 

Those who interfere with the free-market system, experimenting with Fiat Fool policies that take the US Dollar to all-time lows, didn’t get The Correlation Risk they were imposing on stocks and commodities in Q208 - and they most certainly don’t get it now. The game within the hedge fund game is now called Gaming Policy – and it’s volatile.

 

If you disagree with me that The Bernank perpetuates The Price Volatility by promising the world to remain “Indefinitely Dovish” (Q2 Hedgeye Macro Theme), the market disagrees with you. Since pandering to the political wind at the latest FOMC presser, the VIX (volatility index) is up +15.8%.

 

Global Growth Slows As Inflation Accelerates – I think the world gets that now… but do the world’s Risk Managers know how to deal with the most levered long trade in hedge fund history as it unwinds?

 

We call this “Deflating The Inflation” (Q2 Hedgeye Macro Theme) – US Dollar UP is the only way out of creating the highest levels of US-style Stagflation since the 1970s.

 

Two important points on stagflation:

  1. Real-time inflation (commodities, rents, education, etc) is reported real-time…
  2. US Government reported “inflation” is reported on a lag

Last week’s US Consumer Price Index (CPI) was +3.2% for the month of April – whereas Deflating The Inflation has occurred in May. This is where it gets tricky for the stagflation bulls who don’t think they’ll ever see a 600 basis point drop in the SP500’s PE multiple (like we saw in the 1970s when reported inflation broke out above reported (lagging) US GDP growth). Sound familiar? US GDP for Q1 was +1.8%.

 

Two points on US Growth and Inflation:

  1. Growth Slowing (joblessness) is going to remain throughout the summer months (the 4-week rolling average of weekly jobless claims just hit a new YTD high last week of 437,000).
  2. Reported Inflation is going to remain elevated because rents continue to climb (as US Housing double dips) and The Inflation “compares” get a lot easier through August (putting an upward bias on reported y/y CPI).

So what do you do with that?

 

Last week I moved as aggressively to Cash in the Hedgeye Asset Allocation Model as I have since mid-February. Here’s where our allocations stand as of this morning:

  1. Cash = 52% (up from 43% last week and 34% two weeks ago)
  2. International Currencies = 18% (Chinese Yuan – CYB)
  3. Fixed Income = 15% (US Treasury Flattener and Long Term Treasuries – FLAT and TLT)
  4. Commodities = 6% (Gold – GLD)
  5. US Equities = 6% (Tech – XLK)
  6. International Equities = 3% (Germany – EWG)

Mr. Macro Market does not owe any of us a return. When The Correlation Risk hinges on insecure policy like it does today, sometimes the most secure move for my own money is to simply get out of the way.

 

The problem right here and now is that everyone is still long The Inflation because The Dare was to chase The Yield – so we’ll need to wait and watch for entry points (capitulation maybe closer to $93 oil) before we take up our invested position again.

 

My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold, Oil, and the SP500 are now $1, $93.18-100.58, and $1, respectively.

 

Best of luck out there this week,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Insecurity's Correlation - Chart of the Day

 

Insecurity's Correlation - Virtual Portfolio


Attention Students...

Get The Macro Show and the Early Look now for only $29.95/month – a savings of 57% – with the Hedgeye Student Discount! In addition to those daily macro insights, you'll receive exclusive content tailor-made to augment what you learn in the classroom. Must be a current college or university student to qualify.

next