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TALES OF THE TAPE: SONC, PNRA, SBUX, CAKE, DRI, PFCB, RT, EAT

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

MACRO

Corn prices have been on a downward trend of late but Morgan Stanley is still advising clients to be long December 2011 corn.  The argument, per Bloomberg, is that inventories are tight and the government’s acreage number will ultimately be revised downward by the USDA.

TALES OF THE TAPE: SONC, PNRA, SBUX, CAKE, DRI, PFCB, RT, EAT - corn 78

 

QUICK SERVICE

  • SONC is rated Buy at Lazard Capital, with a PT of $13.
  • PNRA was reiterated overweight at Piper Jaffray, with an upwardly revised price target of $148.
  • SBUX has appointed Greater China Chairman Wang Jinlong as head of its Asia Pacific operations excluding China.
  • SBUX is testing “refreshers” in a can, according to starbucksmelody.com.

 

CASUAL DINING

  • CAKE rated New Neutral at Lazard Capital.
  • BJRI rated New Neutral at Lazard Capital.
  • DRI rated New Buy at Lazard Capital.
  • DRI’s Olive Garden has rolled out a more healthful kid’s menu, dropping milkshakes and fries in favor of fruit smoothies and grapes.
  • PFCB rated New Buy at Capstone.
  • RT rated New Hold at Capstone.
  • EAT’s Chili’s is in hot water again having serves three fruit smoothies with tequila to a trio of young children (as young as 8 years old).

TALES OF THE TAPE: SONC, PNRA, SBUX, CAKE, DRI, PFCB, RT, EAT - stocks 78

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director

 

Rory Green

Analyst


Being Able To Change

This note was originally published at 8am on July 05, 2011. INVESTOR and RISK MANAGER SUBSCRIBERS have access to the EARLY LOOK (published by 8am every trading day) and PORTFOLIO IDEAS in real-time.

“He is able who thinks he is able.”

-Buddha

 

After taking a much needed week off, I’m back in the saddle this morning and ready to manage some risk. So let’s get at it - here’s where the Hedgeye Asset Allocation Model stands:

  1. Cash = 52% (down 6% week-over-week from 58%)
  2. Fixed Income = 33% (Long-term Treasuries and US Treasury Flattener – TLT and FLAT)
  3. International Equities = 9% (China and Germany – CAF and EWG)
  4. US Equities = 6% (Healthcare – XLV)
  5. International Currencies = 0%
  6. Commodities = 0%

Have we been able to change our exposures in order to reflect our Macro Themes? In some cases, yes. In others, not yet. There is a big difference between Risk Management and Research – it’s called timing.

 

A lot of people say you can’t time markets. We agree – by the looks of Q2 performance numbers out there, a lot of people can’t. But what if you could? Would you change?

 

In June we went 21 for 22 on closed positions in the Hedgeye Portfolio. That’s better than a swift kick in the Canadian bacon. That also lends credibility to the concept that timing markets within a band of probabilities is possible.

 

Did I get crushed on the first day of July? Big time. Do I plan on getting crushed every day this month? You tell me. Being Able To Change is critical to the Risk Management Process. Crush or be crushed.

 

So let’s get back to positioning…

 

Growth Slowing and Deflating The Inflation have been 2 big Research calls we’ve made in the last 6 months. In the Hedgeye Asset Allocation Model, that’s why I have such a large allocation to Fixed Income. Slowing growth and slowing inflation is good for bonds – and from some prices… in some countries… bad for stocks.

 

I’ll get back to stocks in a minute…

 

Fixed Income

  1. Fixed Income Exposure – on last week’s bond bombings, I took our allocation to its highest for 2011 YTD.
  2. Long-term Treasuries (TLT) – was a really good position to hold on the long side in Q2 2011. It was contrarian and it was right. To a degree, when 2-year US Treasury yields hit 0.34% during the thralls of June (and 10-year yields were trading consistently below 3%), being bullish on bonds because growth was slowing as inflation deflated was being priced in. For now, we’ll stay long TLT provided that our intermediate-term TREND line of support for 10 and 30 year yields don’t breakout above 3.24% and 4.38%, sustainably.
  3. US Treasury Flattener (FLAT) – another rock solid position for us in Q2 and we expect it to continue to be, provided that La Bernank cannot find a way to suspend gravity with another Fiat Fool Experiment to take the short end of the curve beyond the zero-bound. The all-time wide in 10s minus 2s = +293 basis points wide. The Q1 2011 average was +276 basis points wide. And this morning 10-year minus 2-year yields = +270 basis points wide. We’re looking for further compression in the 10s/2s spread over the intermediate-term TREND.

Now back to everyone’s favorite storytelling vehicle – stocks.

  1. Equities Exposure – for Hedgeye, a 15% asset allocation to Global Equities is actually relatively high for 2011! We’ve cut this exposure to a Japanese style ZERO percent more than a few times in 2011, but I doubt we’ll do it again. Why? China.
  2. China (CAF) – in the face of some borderline heated debates with the buy-side on the road for the last 6 weeks of Q2, we bought Chinese Equities on June 16th, 2011. We’re already up +9.86% on that position and while we fundamentally respect that bottoms are processes and not points, we think we may have bottom-ticked this major country market for the intermediate-term. We think Chinese Growth Fears are beyond exaggerated and that Chinese Inflation Slows in Q3/Q4 of 2011.
  3. Germany (EWG) – since the beginning of 2010, we have preferred long DAX versus long the SP500 and that’s been as right as the sun rising in the East. Like it did in 2010, the DAX continues to outperform the money honey loved SP500 (up +7.8% YTD in 2011). As it should - Germany, like most countries, has plenty of political baggage – but it isn’t long US Congress.

In terms of US Equities, people who think in boxes like to try to put Hedgeye in one. But guess what – we’re going to pop out of that box early every morning and annoy those people.

  1. Equities Exposure – having a ZERO percent asset allocation for parts of May and June was good. Why change the process if you don’t have to own something when it goes down for 7 of 8 weeks? Today, we’re at 6% and we can buy more. Yes We Can.
  2. Healthcare (XLV) – on January 3rd, 2011 when we introduced our “call” for the start of the year, we called out Healthcare and Energy as our 2 favorite S&P 500 Sectors. Those sectors are #1 and #2 for the YTD at +14.2% and +11.4%, respectively. So we do have it in us to pick the right ponies every once in a while on the long side – again, no boxes for Big Alberta please. He wears Lulu Lemon.
  3. SP500 (SPY) – obviously being short SPY isn’t an asset allocation call in our model, but people are going to hold me accountable to being short it right here and now – and they should. I was dead wrong with this position last week, and I’ll just thank my lucky Northern Lights that I covered all of our S&P Sector ETF shorts (Basic Materials, Energy, etc) a lot lower. What was intermediate-term TREND resistance in the SP500 (1314) is now support, and I have this short position on a very short leash.

From a Commodities and International Currency exposure perspective, we’ve sold everything (including Gold), so there’s nothing incremental to say about that other than to re-state the why. Our Global Macro Theme of Deflating The Inflation means there is no reason to be long The Commodity Inflation (or the currencies that back Commodity heavy countries) until we see our theme fully priced in.

 

Being Able To Change isn’t easy. Every day I challenge myself to consider being the change we all want to see in this profession. My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Oil, the Shanghai Composite Index, and the SP500 are now $90.56-97.05, 2714-2861, and 1314-1341, respectively.

 

Best of luck out there this week,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Being Able To Change - Chart of the Day

 

Being Able To Change - Virtual Portfolio



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Home Tweets

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run."

-Babe Ruth

 

Someone tweeted that winner’s one-liner from Babe Ruth yesterday while I was scanning my iPad in between meetings in New Jersey and New York. It fired me up. I love a great quote. And I love a great Tweet.

 

Hitting a Home Tweet out of the park on Twitter is a thing of beauty. Sometimes it’s a tweet that makes you laugh. Sometimes it’s a tweet that makes you cringe. All of the time, tweets are real-time. And that’s where I think Wall Street is going. Real-time, transparency, and accountability. Opacity is dead.

 

Plenty of people whine about how dysfunctional Wall Street can be. Agreed on the dysfunctional part, but what’s up with the whining? We need to get back to winning in this business. We should embrace the inability of an industry to evolve as a tremendous opportunity for change. And that’s all I have to say about that.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

My notebook is jam packed with data this morning. From China and Copper breaking out on our intermediate-term TREND duration to US Treasury yields sniffing out an immediate-term TRADE breakout of their own, there’s a lot of interconnectedness to consider.

1.   CHINA: Chinese stocks don’t want to go down anymore (they’ve been down for 15 months) and China is going to preemptively print the top-tick in their 2011 inflation (CPI) this weekend. As Johnny-come-latelys on inflation-fear clamor around this, I wanted to be crystal clear that we think Chinese CPI will fall back to 4.5-5% by year-end. Government reported inflation is a lagging indicator.

2.   COPPER: Dr. Copper continues to have my back on the long China position (CAF). If Chinese demand was going to go by the way of Sino Forest’s trees, Copper wouldn’t be breaking out above our intermediate-term TREND line ($4.20/lb) like this. Copper prices are ripping again this morn – up to $4.44/lb and +13% since mid-May. China’s share of the world’s copper consumption = 39%.

3.   BONDS: Finally, the short-end of the bond market (yields) has finally broken out above my immediate-term TRADE line of 0.42% on the 2-year. Can this hold? If the unemployment print is what the market thinks it’s going to be (better), it will. We’ve sold our long-term bond position (TLT) this week and prefer A) being short short-term bonds (SHY) and B) long a US Treasury Flattener (FLAT) provided that the unemployment # is better.

 

Got real-time synthesis of Global Macro data?

  1. SOUTH KOREA: finally showed a slowdown in the rate of inflation of its PPI (Producer Price Index) at +6.2% year-over-year in June. That inflation growth rate was in-line with May’s report and this is bullish, on the margin, for South Korea’s stock market (EWY).
  2. AUSTRALIA: unemployment remained unchanged month-over-month in June at 4.9% and the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Chief, Glenn Stevens, should be commended for having the spine to raise interest rates for the legions of Australian savers who enjoy a rate-of-return on their fixed income savings accounts and, at the same time, have jobs (La Bernank, take notes).
  3. BRAZIL: Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) for the month of June was up sequentially to +6.71% versus +6.55% in May and this should serve as a stiff reminder that inflation can still slow growth. The Brazilian stock market has been one of the world’s dogs this week and the Bovespa remains at the bottom of the world’s stock market league tables at down -10.2% YTD.

All the while the more newsy headlines about Pig Paper in Europe and the Audacity of Hope (Obama) on the US Employment front remain center stage. This shouldn’t be a conceptual surprise to anyone. Both American and Western European stock markets are effectively whipping people around like any Fiat Fool Bingo machine should. You can either manage risk around these trading ranges, or you can’t.

 

On the aroma of Le Papier de Pepe La Pew in Europe:

  1. SPAIN: issued another 1.5B Euros in 2016 vintage Eurocrat Bonds this morning at a yield of 4.87% versus 4.54% at the last auction. Higher-bond yields are not a surprise, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t bad.
  2. ITALY: bond yields on Italian 10-year paper are shooting up to 9-year highs this morning (up +10 basis points day-over-day at 5.27%) and one might argue that old Silvio and the boys have a bigger pending problem than hot-tub extra-curriculars revealed. Stay tuned.
  3. GREECE: oh, yes. They still have people there and they are quite bitter about the formation of their sovereign bond market’s chart resembling the back side of a giraffe’s behind – high and stinky.

Stinky paper is as stinky does, and I guess Einstein would agree that being long the stuff with less stench this morning is simply a matter of relativity. Earlier in the week (when stocks were for sale) I moved my asset allocation to Global Equities to a YTD high (27%) and cut my allocation to Fixed Income from 33% to 18%. I’m not sure if I hit any Home Tweets this week; but I didn’t strike out either.

 

My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Oil, China’s Shanghai Composite, and the SP500 are now $95.21-100.07, 2, and 1, respectively.

 

Have a great weekend and best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

Home Tweets - Chart of the Day

Home Tweets - Virtual Portfolio


THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK

TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP - July 8, 2011

As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 55 points or -2.75% downside to 1316 and 1.31% upside to 1371.

SECTOR AND GLOBAL PERFORMANCE

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - levels 78

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily sector view

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - global performance

 

EQUITY SENTIMENT:

  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: 1724 (+1347)  
  • VOLUME: NYSE 843.37 (+2.72%)
  • VIX:  15.95 -2.39% YTD PERFORMANCE: -10.14%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: 1.15 from 2.04 (-43.95%)

 

CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:

  • TED SPREAD: 22.57
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: 0.03%
  • 10-Year: 3.17 from 3.12
  • YIELD CURVE: 2.68 from 2.69

 

MACRO DATA POINTS:

  •  8:30 a.m.: Payrolls report; Change in nonfarm payrolls: est. 105k, prior 54k; Change in private payrolls: est. 132k, prior 83k
  • Unemployment rate: est. 9.1%, prior 9.1%
  • 8:30 a.m.: Net export sales: corn, cotton, soybeans, soy oil, wheat
  • 10 a.m.: Wholesale inventories, est. 0.6%, prior 0.8%
  • 1 p.m.: Baker Hughes Rig Count
  • 3 p.m.: Consumer credit, est. $4b, prior $6.247b

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

  • President Obama meets with House Minority Leader Pelosi to discuss debt talks
  • The U.S. Monster Employment Index’s 3-point rise in June brings it to its highest level since October 2008.
  • The White House and congressional leaders are signaling fresh openness to a broad debt-reduction deal. Obama plans to meet July 10 with Republicans and Democrats

 

COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATION

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily commodity view

 

COMMODITY HEADLINES FROM BLOOMBERG:

  • Corn-Crop Stunner for Morgan Stanley Means U.S. is Overestimating Supply
  • Oil Heads for Second Week of Gains on Economic Outlook; Brent-WTI Spread
  • Gold Drops on Stronger Dollar, Selling After First Weekly Climb in Three
  • Cocoa Falls on Speculation Bean Supply Will Be Ample; Coffee Prices Drop
  • Rice Climbs to Highest Price Since February as U.S. Acreage May Decline
  • Indonesia Poised to Surpass Malaysia as Largest Cocoa Processor in Asia
  • Poor Countries Seen Likely to Be ‘Hammered’ by Food Costs, Water Shortages
  • Copper May Climb on Speculation Hiring Strengthened in the U.S. Last Month
  • India Said to Consider Easing Restrictions on Private Wheat, Rice Exports
  • Michael Coleman’s $1.2 Billion Commodity Fund Said to Decline 10% in June
  • Aluminum Exports From China Soar to Record Ahead of Expected Rebate Cut
  • Tardy Monsoon Rainfall in India Damps Cotton Crop Outlook, Official Says
  • Natural Gas’s Six-Month Decline to End on Heat, Hurricanes: Energy Markets
  • Sugar Prices May Gain Next Week on Brazil Production Concern, Survey Shows

CURRENCIES

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily currency view

EUROPEAN MARKETS

  • EUROPE: Italy getting hammered here -1.6%, Spain doesn’t look much better (broken TREND); as the DAX continues higher +8.6% YTD

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - euro performance

ASIAN MARKETS

  • ASIA: continues to look better by the day; Indonesia took the baton last night, closing +1.6%; China up small ahead of known inflation.

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - asia performance

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - MIDEAST PERFORMANCE

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director


NKE/UA: Math You Need to Know

Nike re-signing Michael Vick and UA endorsing Kemba Walker are two high-profile deals. But the underlying risk reward is vastly different. It’s very important to understand the off-balance sheet liabilities at play here. UA’s making a lot of the right moves, but Nike is much lower-risk near-term. Nike still one of our top names. We like UA at a price…a lower one.

 

 

Nike and Under Armour have made their latest endorsement bets and each matter, but for different reasons. On Friday, Nike resigned Michael Vick (football) followed by Under Armour announcing the signing of former UConn basketball star Kemba Walker yesterday morning. The terms of both deals were undisclosed, but there are multiple takeaways to consider here:

 

Nike’s Vick Endorsement:

1)      This is a Boom or Bust deal. While the dollar figure may be low, the stakes are high.

2)      Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but we know that Vick was earning $2mm when his deal was severed back in 2007. As the first major endorsement since returning to the game from prison, we’ll assume Nike struck this deal at a considerable discount to the prior level – we’d be shocked to see Vick pull down more than $500k, but with outsized incentives if he sells.

3)      Some might view this as reputational risk given Vick’s jail time – and the reason behind it (dog fighting). After all, Nike severed the deal when he put on his orange jumpsuit. But let’s face some facts, Nike stood behind Tonya Harding after she and Jeff Gillooly tried to break Nancy Kerrigan’s kneecaps. They also stood behind Tiger after his marital problems, and Kobe after his rape accusation. The fact of the matter is that Nike cares about athletic ability above all else. They’ve never been afraid to put their reputation on the line, and they’re not going to start now.  Now that he’s playing again, they’ll put their marketing muscle to work.

4)      Keep in mind, Nike just landed the NFL license a deal that likely cost $30-$40mm a year. This certainly prompted Nike to re-evaluate its spend on players in the NFL. It ‘lost’ Tom Brady to UA – but the reality is that if Nike wanted to keep Brady, then it would have. Brady might be great for UA’s brand, but he was very low – if not negative – roi for Nike.

5)      How we view this as Nike trading a high-fixed-cost but low-revenue-generating asset in Tom Brady for a call option on a variable cost Vick. Makes sense to us.

 

UA’s Walker Endorsement:  

1)      The company is clearly focused on growing its basketball business and presence in the NBA as well as stepping up its endorsement activity in a big way (Michael Phelps, Lindsay Vaughn, etc…).

2)      UA signed Brandon Jennings to its first basketball endorsement for a reported $2mm back in 2009 and Cam Newton, the #1 pick in the NFL, just recently for around $1mm. After winning the MVP in the NCAA tournament following UConn’s national championship run, we suspect Kemba signed for somewhere in the ballpark of Jennings-type money – if not more.

3)      Interestingly, Kemba was drafted 9th by the Charlotte Bobcats owned by none other than Michael Jordan. There’s hidden value in this deal that simply can’t be measured by a dollar figure alone.

 

SG&A is usually the first thing that comes to mind when people think about athlete endorsements. But the reality is that the more optimal thing to look at is the change in off balance sheet liabilities.  This is a lot like looking at a retailer that is manipulating its leases to increase/decrease its SG&A and comp leverage hurdle.

 

Take a look at our updated analysis of both UA’s and NKE’s endorsement obligation commitments below.

 

Nike’s deals are spread very  consistently – about 17-18% per year over 5-years.

 

Under Armour’s, on the other hand, are more front-end loaded with 69% of its obligations due in 3-years or less.  This is down considerably from 86% only two years ago, which makes sense given the addition of more long-term contracts. But total commitments are still double vs a year ago. Nike's, on the flip side, are actually down by $400mm (about 10%).

 

The punchline is that UnderArmour need to execute on these obligations in order to keep margins in the right place. They probably will. But if you own the stock, you should be aware of this.

Nike is the complete opposite.

 

NKE/UA: Math You Need to Know - UA NKE Endorsement Liab Chart 7 11

 

 

 


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