Notable news items and price action from the past 24 hours as well as our fundamental view on select names.

  • CHUX reported 1Q EPS from continuing ops of $0.09.  O’Charley’s comparable restaurant sales increased by 0.4%, with guest counts growing by 0.9%, for the first quarter.  Restaurant level margins declined from 15.8% in 1Q10 to 14.7% in 1Q11.  For 2Q, the company is forecasting a net profit/loss between -$1 million and +$2 million.
  • DPZ’s hedgefund fan base is growing.  Trian Fund Management LP disclosed a 9.7% stake yesterday.
  • DRI rotated four top executives at Red Lobster and Olive Garden.
  • YUM’s Taco Bell debuted a new promotion campaign for its Taco 12 Pack with the offer of free music by hip hop duo Chiddy Ban.
  • YUM’s bid to acquire Little Sheep will be subject to China’s anti-monopoly inspection process. 
  • CBOU and MCD gained on strong volume yesterday.





Howard Penney

Managing Director

NKE: Choose Your 'Term'

One of the big brokers is out with positive comments on Nike over the 'near-term.' We're the biggest long-term bulls here of anyone. But unless 'near-term' is six months out, we question this one. Choose your duration wisely here.



We note the following.

  1. If ‘near-term’  = this quarter, then we’re less optimistic. There still a firm –(300bp) yy gross margin headwind that Nike needs to pass, and then what’s likely to be another meaningful hit in its August quarter.
  2. We absolutely positively agree that Nike’s pricing initiatives will work. But we won’t see it until the November quarter.
  3. Then the February and May quarters of next year are the big margin movers – which, mind you, is also the same time that Nike sells into the Olympics, is coming off of less-stressed inventory levels.
  4. Most importantly, these things will culminate in the sweet spot of execution on its consumer-centric growth platform – which is the key factor that we think takes it from $20bn to $28bn over 3-years. That’s pretty dang solid, longer-term.


The bottom line is that estimates for the upcoming quarters have come down to some degree, which is a positive. Perhaps that mitigates the stock getting spanked as the Retail group comes under severe pressure in 2H (per our broader thesis).  But where we come up dry is why this is something that makes the stock go up over the near-term.  For those that love to buy great businesses at great prices, we think you’ll have a better shot at Nike than at $85.


Solid quarter, favorable outlook



  • 1Q results:
    • Group gaming revenue: HK$18,141MM
      • VIP gaming revenue:  HK$12,748MM (565 tables)
      • RC Volume: HK$453.9BN; 2.81% hold
      • Mass gaming revenue: HK$5,015MM (1,179 tables)
      • Slot revenue: HK$378MM (3,943 slots)
    • Total Group revenue: HK$18,271MM
      • Hotel, catering and other revenue of HK$130MM
    • Casino Grand Lisboa:
      • Gaming revenue of HK$5,334 and Adjusted EBITDA of HK$882MM
      • occupancy: 88.3% and ADR: HK$2,055
    • Other self-promoted casinos (Lisboa, Jai Lai, Oceanus, 3 slot halls and Tombola Hall):
      • Gaming revenue of HK$3,008 and Adjusted EBITDA of HK$332MM
    • Satellite Casinos (14 3rd party promoted casinos and one slot hall which ceased operation on 1/19/11):
      • Gaming revenue of HK$9,799 and Adjusted EBITDA of HK$391MM
    • Adjusted EBITDA: HK$1,678MM
    • 31.9% market share
    • HK$17,735MM of debt and cash of HK$3,852MM
    • Capex: HK$205MM
      • "Work on the upper floors of Grand Lisboa, for phase 3 of Ponte 16 Resort and for equipment
  • "To be more comparable to casino companies reporting in the United States, commissions and
    discounts paid to players and promoters would be deducted from revenue before calculating
    Adjusted EBITDA margin. Using this method, the Group’s Adjusted EBITDA margin for Q1 2011
    was 16.5%.  If the Group’s revenue is further adjusted to include the net revenue of self-promoted
    casinos plus the net revenue contribution (after reimbursed expenses) of the Group’s third
    party-promoted casinos and slot halls, the Group’s Adjusted EBITDA margin would be 30.6%."


  • Had a record month in March
  • Oceanus is making an increasing contribution to Group results
  • 30 cent dividend was approved last month, adding together the interim dividend produced a 53% payout


  • Added 31 new VIP tables at Grand Lisboa
  • Grand Lisboa - QoQ results were impacted by poor hold - held only 2.6% vs. 3.0% in 4Q2010.  Chips grew 14.4% YoY.  They're up 21.5% QoQ on the Mass gaming win.  VIP margin dropped by 2.9% offset somewhat by the increase in Mass margins (up +4%).
  • Other owned hotels had a margin of 11% - and think that's a sustainable margin going forward.  The improvement and growth in that group is due to ramp at Oceanus and good results at the Old Lisboa
  •  Don't see any impact yet from Galaxy Macau. Had no impact at all at Grand Lisboa over the last 2 days... the weekend was better than last weekend. Really too early to tell.
  • Traditionally, their 2H is better than the first half of the year.  Yes - if you annualize the 1Q EBITDA you come out ahead of consensus.
  • Still waiting for government approval of their Cotai project. They haven't had any back and forth in 3 months.  So its unclear if the government will ask for more data or not. Right now they are just waiting.
  • Seems like gaming spend per customer is growing in the market.  Rated play is playing more. They seem to be attracting visitors with more liquidity.
  • Non-gaming revenues are just reaching their stride since they added a lot of non-gaming components over the last year or so
  • YoY their staff costs have increased 8%.  They also have 800 fewer staff members though YoY.  Granted a 5% raise for the year across the board as well.
  • Migration in VIP tables is almost entirely at 3rd party migration. Took on 50 more VIP tables at Grand Lisboa and 15 more mass tables.
  • Oceanus results are ahead of plan. Still tracking at 35,000/table mark.  Trying to grow the utilization of tables. Think that there is a bit more growth left there for the next 3 quarters.
  • Grand Lotus - won't really kick in until the second half of the year for premium Mass play as they are still doing some renovations there.

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Kangaroo Markets

This note was originally published at 8am on May 12, 2011. INVESTOR and RISK MANAGER SUBSCRIBERS have access to the EARLY LOOK (published by 8am every trading day) and PORTFOLIO IDEAS in real-time.

“I’ve worked with dogs before and they’ll sit and they’ll roll over.  With kangaroos, you say sit and they start boxing with you, they’re nuts.”

-Jerry O’Connell


Keith is out on some family business today, but I think he would, after the last 24+ hours of global market trading, agree with the titled of this note: Kangaroo Markets.  As creative as I can be at times, I have to give credit for the origin of the title to its rightful owners, the Aussies. 


In another capital markets sign of the topping of the global economic cycle, it seems Kangaroo Bond sales surged to a record A$37.3 billion last year and are on track to nearly match that total this year.  As a prominent Australian fixed income manager recently said to the financial press, “I expect more financial kangaroo sales.”  Indeed, and we expect more kangaroo markets, which is to say markets that are “nuts”.  Now, of course, markets can’t really be nuts, but Centrally Planned Price Volatility can certainly make those of us who trade them nuts.


Yesterday’s market action likely didn’t reward many.  The dollar index rallied hard, so commodities were taken out to the woodshed and U.S. equities were down -1% or so with the small cap Russell 2000 leading the way to the downside at -1.8%.  The pundits are calling this the “risk off” trade.  I’m not sure risk is really ever off, but it is a convenient way of explaining that many investors got caught leaning way too hard into consensus.  Or, perhaps, all the Hedgies at the SALT conference just aren’t trading this week…


The other important event yesterday related to the investment management industry was that Raj Rajaratnam, head of Galleon Management, was found guilty on all 14 counts of fraud and conspiracy.  Personally, I don’t have a lot of knowledge about the case, but I can tell you this, Raj’s lawyer certainly thought he was in a Kangaroo Court as he announced immediately after the verdict that they intended to appeal to the Second Circuit.


To the extent that this was actually a catalyst for the market yesterday, there is another catalyst in the pipeline on this front, which is the trial of Zvi Goffer, more commonly known in technology insider trading circles as Octopussy, who according to the accusations and this chart from the WSJ ( was purportedly in the middle of a web of inside information.  Personally, I just think he had a terrible nickname.


The bigger question, of course, is what does this all mean for the investment management industry?  Luckily, despite the headlines, most actors in the investment management industry are ethical and have legal processes, so the prevalence of cheating is likely much less than the headlines would currently suggest. 


In an unusual move, before we even had paying clients at Hedgeye we brought on board our compliance officer, Rabbi Moshe Silver, a Wall Street veteran of over 25 years.  Prior to joining Hedgeye, Moshe worked with Keith at the Carlyle-Blue Wave hedge fund, where he was director of compliance.  When Moshe came on board he recommended we introduce ourselves and our unique business model to our regulators – another unusual move, but in this day and age of increased scrutiny, we thought it was appropriate. 


Moshe’s contributions have expanded to sharing his unique – and occasionally hilarious – insights into the world of regulation, un-regulation, and the shadowy places where Wall Street and the Real World meet.  His thoughts appear in a weekly column that is a must-read for many of our clients.  Needless to say, Moshe hasn’t been effective at limiting our use of hockey references, but we’re glad he’s got our back as he oversees our research and communications to ensure that compliance always comes first.


If there is any potential market impact of more insider trading trials and investigations, it is perhaps to accelerate Centrally Planned Price Volatility.  We've highlighted this last point in the chart below.   Over the course of the past decade when interests rates have been taken to abnormally low levels, such as in the 2002 – 2003 period and in the 2008 – current period, price volatility increases, as emphasized by the VIX stepping up to a new level.


In theory, this makes sense.  Aside from attempting to artificial co-opt the natural business cycle, the other impact of our Central Planners taking interest rates to abnormal levels for extended periods is to force investors to speculatively chase return.  Practically, what does that mean? As an example, it means bidding oil up into the $100+ level when global growth is slowing and global oil inventory is building.  This works, of course, until it doesn’t and then the trade gets unwound, as we are seeing again this morning with the commodity complex down across the board and silver leading the way, down a cool -8.5%.  (But wait, silver’s an industrial metal! Or is it?)


Underscoring the heightened commodity and equity market volatility we are seeing is currency volatility.  This is a function of both the Central Planners at the Federal Reserve, but also the Fiat Fools in Washington, who are currently playing politics with the fiscal future of the United States on the debt ceiling debate.  For a comprehensive review of our thoughts on the debt ceiling debate, please see the note written by my colleague Darius Dale yesterday, titled “Fear Mongering Meets Brinksmanship: A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating the Debt Ceiling Debate.”


Be it the moniker Octupussy, or the Fiat Fools in Washington, some days all of this just seems a little childish, so with that we’ll end with a nursery rhyme:


“Jump, jump, jump goes the big Kangaroo,

I thought there was one, but I see there are two.”




Keep your head up and stick on the ice,


Daryl G. Jones

Managing Director


Kangaroo Markets - Chart of the Day


Kangaroo Markets - Virtual Portfolio


TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP - May 17 2011


As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 9 points or -0.19% downside to 1327 and 0.49% upside to 1336.





THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily sector view





  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: -1607 (+252)  
  • VOLUME: NYSE 907.30 (+0.99%)
  • VIX:  18.24 +6.85% YTD PERFORMANCE: +2.76%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: 1.88 from 1.81 (+3.76%)



  • TED SPREAD: 24.02
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: 0.04% +0.01%
  • 10-Year: 3.15 from 3.18
  • YIELD CURVE: 2.61 from 2.61 



  • 8:30 a.m.: Housing starts, est. 569k, up 3.6%; prior 549k, up 0.8%
  • 8:30 a.m.: Building permits, est. 590k, up 0.9%, prior 594k, up 11.2%
  • 9:15 a.m.: Industrial production, up 0.4%, prior up 0.8%
  • 9:15 a.m.: Capacity utilization, est. 77.6%, prior 77.4%
  • 11:30 a.m.: U.S. to sell $28b in 4-week bills
  • 4:30 p.m.: API inventories  


  • WSJ notes that Department of Justice is stepping up its merger opposition
  • Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker raises issue of 'reprofiling' of Greek debt for first time - Bloomberg
  • Goldman, BofA and Morgan Stanley to meet with N.Y. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as part of an investigation into mortgage securitization
  • Greece may delay payments under EU proposal to extend $156 bailout
  • International finance ministers discuss IMF managing director successorship after Strauss-Kahn arrest



THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily commodity view



  • Global Food Prices Extending Gains Set to Raise Costs for Tyson, Kellogg
  • Crude Recovers in New York as European Ministers Endorse Aid to Portugal
  • Copper Rises for Fourth Day Before U.S. Housing-Starts, Production Reports
  • Gold Climbs as Physical Purchases, European Debt Concern Increase Demand
  • Corn Advances for Fourth Day as Wet Weather Delays Spring Planting in U.S.
  • Sugar Rises for Fourth Day on Speculation Surplus May Shrink; Coffee Gains
  • Wheat Damage Claims on Dry Weather May Signal Worse Harvest Than Forecast
  • Mississippi River Diversion Greatly Reduces Threat to Cities, Refineries
  • Cotton Moving Average Signals 21% Drop, Infinity Says: Technical Analysis
  • Soros Sheds Gold ETPs as Paulson Keeps Bet on Bullion Extending Record Run
  • Xstrata Record Profit Seen as Coal Cargoes Gain Amid Rout: Freight Markets
  • Petrobras Yield Gap Over Sovereign Debt Is a Buy Indication: Brazil Credit
  • Fonterra’s New Zealand Milk Production May Reach Record After Mild Autumn
  • Australia Canola Output May Reach Decade High, Matching Record, Group Says




THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily currency view



  • European equity markets trade mixed to lower
  • Germany May ZEW 91.5 vs consensus 87.5 and prior 87.1; Germany May ZEW economic sentiment +3.1 vs consensus +5.0 and prior +7.6
  • UK Apr RPI +5.2% y/y vs consensus +5.2% and prior +5.3%; UK Apr RPI +0.8% m/m vs consensus +0.8% and prior +0.5%
  • UK Apr CPI +4.5% y/y vs consensus +4.2% and prior +4.0%; UK Apr CPI +1.0% m/m vs consensus +0.7% and prior +0.3%





  • Thailand was closed for Visakha Bucha Day
  • Singapore was closed for Vesak Day
  • Indonesia was closed for Waisak.
  • Asian markets were mixed to unchanged on the day.








Howard Penney

Managing Director

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 80.47%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.71%