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THE HBM: MCD, YUM, SBUX, PEET, CAKE, TXRH

THE HEDGEYE BREAKFAST MENU

 

MACRO

 

Commodities

 

Global growth is the key variable in defining investors’ outlook on commodities, it seems.  Goldman Sachs has maintained its constructive outlook on commodities, keeping its overweight recommendation on raw materials relative to other assets, saying that global growth is “sufficient” to drive demand, according to Goldman Sachs.  Commodity prices, however, have dropped on concerns that the global economy may be slowing materially as S&P downgrade may worsen slowdown, according to Bloomberg.

 

 

The following comments from TSN today are bearish for restaurant margins: 

 

“Because many of our sales contracts are formula based or shorter-term in nature, we are typically able to offset rising input costs through increased pricing. However, there is a lag time for price increases to take effect.”

 

“Chicken prices were up 10.2% - “we expect weak market pricing conditions to continue as a result of an imbalance of available supply relative to customer demand. Current USDA data indicates reduced broiler egg sets and placements in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. However, we do not expect to see a meaningful impact of the reduced supply in our results until late in our fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 and continuing into fiscal 2012. Because of these factors, we expect our Chicken segment will likely experience a loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.”

 

“Beef were up 13.5% - “We expect to see a gradual reduction in fed cattle supplies of 1-2% in fiscal 2012 as well as exports to remain strong as compared to fiscal 2011. Despite reduced domestic availability, we expect adequate supplies in the regions we operate our plants. Based on these factors, we expect the strong fundamentals in our Beef business to continue in fiscal 2012”

 

“Pork prices were up 3.0% - “We expect hog supplies in fiscal 2012 to be comparable to fiscal 2011 and to be adequate in the regions in which we operate. We expect pork exports to remain strong in fiscal 2012.”

 

 

Subsectors

 

Restaurant stocks are underperforming the food and beverage categories as commodities slump, particularly sugar over the past two weeks, as concerns over a global growth downturn mount.

 

THE HBM: MCD, YUM, SBUX, PEET, CAKE, TXRH - subsector fbr

 

 

QUICK SERVICE

  • MCD July Global comparable restaurant sales exceeded estimates in July, increasing 5.1% versus consensus 4.6%.  US comps grew 4.4% versus 4.1% consensus, Europe grew 5.3% versus 6.6% and APMEA grew 4.0% versus 1.9%.
  • MCD Japan comparable restaurant sales growth fell -3.8%.
  • YUM raised to Outperform versus Neutral at Baird.  The price target is $60.
  • SBUX raised to Outperform versus Neutral at Baird.  The price target is $45.
  • PEET was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Gabelli.

 

CASUAL DINING

  • CAKE was downgraded to Neutral versus Outperform at Baird, the price target is $30.
  • TXRH was cut to Neutral versus Outperform at Baird, the price target is $16.

 

THE HBM: MCD, YUM, SBUX, PEET, CAKE, TXRH - stocks 88

 

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director


EAT - MOMENTUM IS AN IMPORTANT FORCE

Here is a run through of our thoughts on Brinker heading into the release of the company’s 4QFY11 earnings results. 

 

Brinker continues to be one of our favorite names in casual dining on the long side.  Knapp Track trends have been robust lately and, given the size of its system, we think Chili’s – especially given the slowing of Applebee’s comps quarter-to-quarter – could be driving that strength.  Below, we discuss the forward looking statements from Brinker’s most recent earnings call.

 

 

THE BIG MACRO

 

“I've said it before, but let me reiterate, the financial health of the company is strong, the business model continues to improve, providing flexibility to invest in the business and return value to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase. There's still much work to do to achieve our goal of doubling EPS in five years, but we feel very good about the progress made thus far.”

 

HEDGEYE: This statement epitomizes the overall tone of the earnings call on April 27th.  Management seemed very confident about the progress it is making in its goal of turning the company around.

 

 

“And while, historically, rising gas prices have not had a significant impact on the casual dining industry, we would be in uncharted waters if its prices significantly eclipsed the levels last seen in the summer of 2008, particularly in the light of the slow economic recovery. There's no historical precedent to indicate how we or the industry as a whole might react, so we must ensure our operating model as a whole is sustainable in a variety of conditions by giving the guests better service, better food quality while still delivering our net 400 basis points of margin improvement we promised.”

 

HEDGEYE: I remember thinking at the time this was a shot across the bow of RT.  Nevertheless, I think positive comp sales that started in February and March (including positive traffic) have sequentially improved throughout the 4th and Chili’s can post SSS of 1-2%.  That would imply that Chili’s could see as much as 150bps sequential improvement in SSS

 

 

“As we said last quarter, we are currently targeting three key dayparts, early week lunch, dinner and the Happy Hour, primarily 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. and after 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.”

 

HEDGEYE: We know now that Applebee’s sales trends slowed quarter to quarter.  In part it could be due to the success of Chili’s continued focus the three day parts.

 

EAT - MOMENTUM IS AN IMPORTANT FORCE - chili s pod1

 

 

“It is because of the threat of things like a slow economic recovery and inflationary pressures that you do want us working on the strategies we've discussed. These initiatives are geared towards improving our basic financial fundamentals, enhancing value in our menus while delivering a superior customer experience.

 

HEDGEYE: The only way Brinker can offset any downside in the macro environment is by “improving our basic financial fundamentals.”  If you contrast this to last week’s note on PFCB, the two companies’ approaches to turning around the respective concepts are starkly different.  PFCB’s approach is expense-focused whereas EAT is more focused on cost-cutting.

 

 

“And at Maggiano's we continue our impressive sales trends with 3.4% sales growth. That's our fifth consecutive quarter of positive comp sales growth at Maggiano's. And 3.3% increase in guest counts, sixth consecutive quarter of traffic growth.

 

HEDGEYE: The performance of Maggiano’s is a tailwind for the overall performance of the company.

 

 

4Q11 GUIDANCE

 

“While we typically would not outline our projections if they were not materially different than our annual guidance (which contributed to approximately $0.09 to the prior year's EPS), we recognize that it is harder to forecast when we're lacking a 53rd week in the prior year, particularly in this coming quarter, when the extra week occurred a year ago. Thus, we would outline that our expectations for fourth quarter EPS would fall between $0.43 and $0.47.”

 

“We also expect headwinds on our commodities to increase from trends seen thus far in the fiscal year, including some pressure on the cost of sales line.”

 

"Predicated on the continued solid performance of the company, I would anticipate incentive compensation in both labor and G&A would continue to be higher than the prior year."

 

“I'd like to remind you that Macaroni Grill transition service agreement has concluded in the third-quarter.”

 

“We will continue to assess the impact that inflationary pressures in the economy and competitive activity might have on the consumer, as we thoughtfully consider our pricing decisions and strategies going forward.”

 

"The net result or our strong P&L that we've got now gives us the flexibility to determine whether there's an opportunity for us to move some share by not taking price. If that opportunity doesn't present itself, then we of course could take price like everybody else. But we would like to see what happens competitively before we make that decision.”

 

HEDGEYE: Consistent with other companies in the industry, I would expect to see management raise prices modestly this quarter.

 

 

“We didn't provide a comp assumption, but you'll recall that overall we expected Brinker aggregate sales to be flat to down 2% for the year, and we still expect to be within that range. And it's underlying that implies it – that we expect it to be flat to positive in the back half of the year, and we got there in the third quarter, and we would expect that to continue in the fourth quarter.”

 

HEDGEYE: As we’ve said before, we continue to believe that Chili’s is now taking share in the casual dining space.

 

 

MARGIN TRENDS

 

“With respect to commodities, we are approximately 92% contracted through the end of the fiscal year. Provided this visibility, we expect to be slightly unfavorable as we move into the fourth quarter. We are 54% contracted through the end of calendar year 2011, and anticipate about 100 basis points impact to cost of sales due to inflation in our commodity basket for fiscal 2012 as a whole based on our existing contracts and our forecasts.”

 

HEDGEYE: Looking for more detailed guidance this week, but there is little chance that there is going to be an upside surprise here.

 

 

“Solid margin improvement continues with 160 basis points increase in operating margins, thanks in part to the robust top line, coupled with a menu restructure Maggiano's put in place last fall when we launched the Classic Pasta program.  Maggiano's continues to pull off the simultaneous feat of driving compelling value, but also achieving improvements in their P&L. In February-March, Maggiano's score for great food, also making the guests feel special, and value were at recent historical highs. The strong top line trend bodes well for Maggiano's future.”

 

HEDGEYE: The performance of Maggiano’s is a tailwind for the overall performance of the company.

 

 

“General and administrative expenses increased nearly $4 million over the same quarter last year to $36 million. The increase was primarily driven by an increase in incentive-based compensation costs, professional fees and a reduction in transition services income. These headwinds were somewhat offset by lower stock-based compensation expense and payroll related expenses. We would expect these trends to continue into the fourth quarter.”

 

“Well, consistent with what we've talked about in the last month or so as we visited many of you, beef continues to present the most significant inflationary pressure in our commodity basket.  That is an item that we have contracted through the August timeframe, particularly for burger meat. So we do expect that in the first half of fiscal 2012, we'll be renewing that contract, and if we were renewing them today, it would present a pretty significant inflation over what we've contracted at today.”

 

HEDGEYE: Food inflation is an issue for the industry, but EAT is doing what they can to offset its impact as much as possible.

 

 

LONG-TERM PLAN-TO-WIN

 

“We certainly feel comfortable with the success of those initiatives, but from a timing perspective they might come a little bit later which might mean a little bit better EPS growth in fiscal '13 than we might have originally thought. But the underlying premise you have of accelerated EPS growth in fiscal '12, we're still comfortable with that, and we'll obviously provide more clarity at our August call.”

 

“The places where we really haven't got much of a start in terms of impact to the P&L, although I think we're quite a ways down the road in terms of understanding what it could mean in the future, are the installation of the kitchen equipment and the installation of our point of sale and back office systems. Both those are the first kitchen equipments in 15 restaurants today, the point of sale and back office equipment is in 24 restaurants today. Both are anticipated to start rolling out aggressively here in the start of the first quarter, end of the fourth quarter. So we would expect to see progressing benefit from those as fiscal '12 rolls through."

 

"And the point of sale and back office systems will be complete in fiscal 2012."

 

"The kitchen retrofit will take even into a little bit of fiscal '13 to get completely through the system. So we would expect to see progress on both of those. And the kitchen equipment is certainly of a magnitude of Team Service and the point of sale back office systems is probably in the order of magnitude of the kitchen of the future prep component that we've already rolled out."

 

"The full impact of all of it would come in fiscal '13."

 

HEDGEYE: I continue to believe that the Plan-To-Win is working as management has planned.

 

 

REMODEL PROGRAM

 

“Now on the re-image, we would expect, we'd talked about CapEx being in the $160 million range for fiscal 2012. With some of the capital not being spent here in fiscal '11, some of that may now move into fiscal 2012 and require a little bit more CapEx spend but that will only be to affect things that we were expecting to get done this fourth quarter that may now happen in the first quarter next year, and the bulk of that will be the re-image and the implementation of the new kitchen equipment.”

 

“So we're moving forward, very optimistic about where we'll go from there and after we finish these next markets, we'll have about 60 restaurants re-imaged and that should be a significant enough number for us to feel good about then aggressively moving it forward.”

 

“The impact to next year will really be dictated somewhat on how fast we can get the re-image program rolling through but we're optimistic that we can move fairly quickly and that it would have some impact to next year's sales although it won't be huge because of just the timing of when those restaurants will actually have the full remodel in them throughout the year. We are counting on having some impact but I wouldn't say it would be excessive.”

 

HEDGEYE: The momentum of the remodel program will allow Chili’s to continue to post improving SSS as we move thru fiscal 2012.

 

 

From a sentiment perspective, Brinker is still not loved by the sell-side with a mere 33.3% of analysts rating the stock a Buy and 52.4% rating it Hold while 14% rate it a Sell.  From a valuation perspective, too, EAT is attractive with an EV/EBITDA NTM multiple of 5.8x versus RT at 6x, the casual dining average at 6.7x.

 

EAT - MOMENTUM IS AN IMPORTANT FORCE - sell side sentiment

 

EAT - MOMENTUM IS AN IMPORTANT FORCE - EAT buy side sentiment

 

 

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director

 

Rory Green

Analyst

 

 

 


MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR

Highlights:

Watch French Sovereign CDS levels as a proxy for the EU Debt Crisis, as a downgrade of France could jeopardize the EFSF. French Sovereign swaps have risen to 158 bps as of this morning, up from 60 bps as recently as April. In the past week alone, they are wider by 37 bps.

 

The notable callouts from this week's Risk Monitor include swaps and spreads blowing out across the complex. High Yield and Leveraged Loans saw significant declines, while both US and EU financial company CDS widened. Also of interest was the sharp decline in commodity prices reflecting a diminishing global growth outlook. The US downgrade is front and center today.

 

Financial Risk Monitor Summary (Across 3 Durations):

  • Short-term (WoW): Negative / 0 of 11 improved / 10 out of 11 worsened / 1 of 11 unchanged
  • Intermediate-term (MoM): Negative / 2 of 11 improved / 9 of 11 worsened / 0 of 11 unchanged
  • Long-term (150 DMA): Negative / 2 of 11 improved / 6 of 11 worsened / 3 of 11 unchanged

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - SUMMARY

 

1. US Financials CDS Monitor – Swaps widened across all domestic financials last week (28 of 28 issuers widening).  On a month-over-month basis all 28 issuers were also wider. Mortgage insurer swaps continued to blow out, as PMI Group entered the red zone.

Widened the most vs last week: PMI, MTG, RDN

Widened the least vs last week: CB, XL, MMC

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

Tightened the most/widened the least vs last month: MBI, AON, MMC

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - US CDS

 

2. European Financials CDS Monitor – Banks swaps in Europe were mostly wider last week.  34 of the 38 swaps were wider and 4 tightened.   

Widened the most vs last week: Banco Popular Espanol (Spain), Svenska Handelsbanken, Barclays

Widened the least vs last week: Alpha Bank, EFG Eurobank, National Bank of Greece

Widened the most vs last month: Banco Popolare (Italy), Banco Pastor (Spain), Bayerische Hypo (Germany)

Tightened the most/widened the least vs last month: Alpha Bank (Greece), EFG Eurobank (Greece), Hannover Rueckverischerung (Germany)

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - EU CDS

 

3. European Sovereign CDS – European sovereign swaps moved higher again last week off of their post-bailout lows.  We believe the CDS market is currently pricing in decreased hedge effectiveness. 

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - SOV CDS

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - SOV CDS 2

 

4. High Yield (YTM) Monitor – High Yield rates were up significantly last week, ending at 7.67 versus 7.40 the prior week.

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - HY

 

5. Leveraged Loan Index Monitor – The Leveraged Loan Index fell 32 points last week, ending at 1574. 

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - LLI

 

6. TED Spread Monitor – The TED spread widened considerably, ending the week at 25.8 versus 16.4 the prior week.

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - TED

 

7. Journal of Commerce Commodity Price Index – Last week, the JOC index fell significantly, ending the week at 2.6 vs. 8.9 the prior week. 

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - JOCS

 

8. Greek Bond Yields Monitor – We chart the 10-year yield on Greek bonds.  Last week yields rose 41 bps, ending the week at 1524 bps.

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - GREECE

 

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.  After bottoming in April, the index has been moving higher.  Last Friday, spreads closed at 140 bps.

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - 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.  Last week the index was essentially flat, coming in at 1268 vs 1264 the prior week.

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - BALTIC

 

11. 2-10 Spread – We track the 2-10 spread as a proxy for banking sector net interest margins.  Last week the 2-10 spread declined 18 bps to 226 bps from 244 bps the prior week.   

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - 2 10

 

12. XLF Macro Quantitative Setup – Our Macro team sees the setup in the XLF as follows:  8.1% upside to TRADE resistance, 0.3% downside to TRADE support. That said, if TRADE support of $13.39 should fail to hold on the open, then there is no support below that.

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - XLF LEVELS

 

Margin Debt Continues to Fall

We publish NYSE Margin Debt every month when it’s released.  This chart shows the S&P 500, inflation adjusted back to 1997, along with the inflation-adjusted level of margin debt (expressed as standard deviations from the long-run mean).  As the chart demonstrates, higher levels of margin debt are associated with increased risk in the equity market.  Our analysis shows that more than 1.5 standard deviations above the average level is the point where things start to get dangerous.  In May, margin debt decreased $9.5B to $306B.  On a standard deviation basis, margin debt fell to 1.21 standard deviations above the long-run average.

 

One limitation of this series is that it is reported on a lag.  The chart shows data through June.

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR: FRENCH SWAPS ARE THE KEY INDICATOR - margin debt

 

Joshua Steiner, CFA

 

Allison Kaptur


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 80.33%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.51%

THE M3: S'PORE 2011 GDP FORECAST LOWERED

The Macau Metro Monitor, August 8, 2011

 

 

SINGAPORE REVISES 2011 GROWTH FORECAST TO 5-6% Channel News Asia

Because of the recent financial market turmoil and US debt downgrade, S'pore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the Government is now projecting steady growth of 5 to 6% for 2011 - a one percentage point reduction from the 5 to 7% forecast earlier.


Winning Trinity

This note was originally published at 8am on August 03, 2011. INVESTOR and RISK MANAGER SUBSCRIBERS have access to the EARLY LOOK (published by 8am every trading day) and PORTFOLIO IDEAS in real-time.

“Repetition, confidence, and passion. The trinity of Lombardi’s football success…”

-David Maraniss (“When Pride Still Mattered”, page 225)

 

You didn’t have to look too far to find some losers on Wall Street or in Washington yesterday. In many respects those two compromised and conflicted constituencies are now, sadly, one and the same. US GDP Growth is slower than Wall Street’s “smartest” thought, and Big Government Intervention continues to amplify market volatility.

 

At Hedgeye, we’re focused on winning. Instead of angling for incremental “edge” on when the next round of Quantitative Guessing is going to be unleashed; instead of taking on some orange jumpsuit risk for a super secret piece of information; instead of not evolving the risk management process – that’s it – we’re just focused on winning.

 

Winning’s Trinity here in New Haven, CT is no different than Vince Lombardi’s process: Repetition, Confidence, and Passion. What’s increasingly fascinated me about this profession is that the older I get, the less I find myself needing to explain these principles to a larger community of people. The said “leaders” out there who don’t get these things yet probably never will.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

First, let’s focus on the good news.

  1. US Equities we’re finally immediate-term TRADE oversold yesterday
  2. Chinese stocks only closed down 3 basis points overnight (0.03%)
  3. Congress is going on vacation

As for the bad news – well, this globally interconnected market had already signaled for you to get out of US and European Equities before yesterday’s capitulation, so today’s risk management signals in those markets are basically just a reminder of the same:

  1. SP500 intermediate-term TREND line = 1319 (broken)
  2. Russell2000 intermediate-term TREND line = 825 (broken)
  3. UK’s FTSE TREND line = 5955 (broken)
  4. German DAX TREND line = 7123 (broken)
  5. Italy’s MIB TREND line = 20655 (broken)
  6. Spain’s IBEX TREND line = 10269 (broken)

Why are all of these stock markets “broken”? I can assure you it’s not because my pre-schooler pulled up a 1-factor point-and-click chart of 200-day Moving Monkey averages. The answer is multi-factor and multi-duration. And everyone in this business who didn’t blow up in 2008 knows exactly what I mean by that.

 

In any multi-factor model, GROWTH should carry a heavy weighting. Economic Growth is either Accelerating, Slowing, or Unchanged. The biggest calls I’ve ever made in my young career of making “Macro” calls haven’t been on the long or the short side – they have been on the margin. And I don’t mean by levering myself up with margin – I mean calling the turns.

 

In my model, there are 3 STAGES in calling the turns:

  1. Identifying when the acceleration slows
  2. Asserting when the slowdown is accelerating
  3. Recognizing the deceleration of the slowdown

As of this morning, I am going to call these 3 STAGES Hedgeye’s Winning Trinity of global macro risk management.

 

This is a cool model because all of the tired Keynesians can try it at home. You know, whip some top-line assumptions around. Try some fractal math. And generally, just stop whatever it is that they were doing to completely botch calling both the 2008 and 2011 turns in global economic growth.

 

Now, Timmy Geithner, we know you are interviewing at an investment bank right now, so don’t spend too much time on this model until you are done making excuses for the last 47% of your born life in US government perpetuating America’s debt and deficit problems. We want you as a client, so we’ll save you some time here and tell you we are currently in STAGE 2.

 

In Japan, Europe, and the US, I don’t see a catalyst for moving to STAGE 3 (a deceleration of the slowdown) until at least Q4/Q1. In China we see this coming in Q3/Q4. That’s why we’re long Chinese Equities before we buy American.

 

Ours is a process that requires Repetition, Confidence, and Passion. Most of you wouldn’t be where you are today if you didn’t get the focus, discipline, and repetition part. In terms of the confidence and passion part, don’t be shy – if you find it, live it out loud.

 

My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold, Oil, and the SP500 are now $1619-1669, $93.15-96.29, and 1252-1256, respectively.

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Winning Trinity - Chart of the Day

 

Winning Trinity - Virtual Portfolio



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