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TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – February 29, 2012

As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 15 points or -0.81% downside to 1361 and 0.28% upside to 1376. 












  • VOLUME: NYSE 754.69 (3.04%)
  • VIX:  17.96 -1.26% YTD PERFORMANCE: -23.25%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: 1.33 from 2.36 (-43.64%)


MONTH-END – with an oversupply in the asset management industry we continue to see the last 6 days of the month, trade significantly higher than the 1st 6 days of the new month – this was the case on the way down (May-Sep 2011) inasmuch as it is on the way up. The SP500 has been up for 4 consecutive days, so they may as well make it 5 into month-end and get it over with. AAPL is only up +17.5% for the month. Probably doesn’t impact the indices, right?


US DOLLAR – the next move here will be as critical as the down move has been since Bernanke signaled his Policy To Inflate on January 25th. Don’t forget that the USD is down -4.3% from its YTD high (that’s a lot) and that has had a huge impact on inflation expectations (TIP, GLD, OIL, etc). As we push past the LTRO (530B this morn) and into the March sovereign debt maturity spike in Japan (53T Yen), the USD should start trading on fresh factoring. 

  • TED SPREAD: 39.09
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: 0.10%
  • 10-Year: 1.93 from 1.94
  • YIELD CURVE: 1.65 from 1.65 

MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):

  • 7am: MBA Mortgage Apps, week of Feb. 24, (prior -4.5%)
  • 8:30am: 4Q GDP (second revision), est. 2.8% (prior 2.8%)
  • 8:30am: Personal Consumption (second revision), est. 2.0% (prior 2.0%)
  • 9:30am: Fed’s Fisher speaks on U.S. economy in Mexico City
  • 9:45am: Chicago Purchasing Managers, Feb., est. 61.0 from 60.2
  • 10:00am: NAPM-Milwaukee, Feb., est. 58.8 (prior 58.4)
  • 10:00am: Fed’s Bernanke delivers semi-annual monetary policy report in Washington
  • 10:30am: DOE inventories
  • 1:00pm: Fed’s Plosser speaks on economy in New York
  • 2:00pm: Beige Book 


  • President Obama hosts dinner for armed forces personnel in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation   New Dawn
  • 8am: Transportation Secretary LaHood speaks at high speed rail summit in D.C.
  • House, Senate in session:
    • 10am: House Transportation panel hearing on cruise ship safety and lessons from the Costa Concordia accident
    • 10am: House Agriculture holds hearing on CFTC agenda
    • 10am: House Ways and Means hearing on Obama trade policy 


  • Fed Chairman Bernanke gives testimony on monetary policy, U.S. economy; watch comments on labor mkt, any indication of QE3, 10am
  • Romney wins Michigan narrowly, triumphs easily in Arizona; Republican primary now moves to 12 states in March
  • ECB lends banks EU529.5b for 3 yrs; est. EU470b. Total number of bidders: 800
  • Apple says giving Proview iPad brand would hurt consumers
  • Apple is poised to break $500b market cap; will hold March 7 event to unveil new iPad
  • Rule that may require all cars, light trucks sold in the U.S. to have rear-view cameras won’t be issued until the end of the year: U.S. regulators
  • Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase are among banks that may face civil claims tied to sales of mortgage-backed securities.
  • NY Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli to discuss Wall Street bonus figures at 8:30am on MSNBC
  • Beige book released at 2pm; watch for comments on labor market
  • India GDP grows the least since 2009, adding rate-cut pressure
  • Japan, S. Korea report larger-than-forecast industrial production
  • Standard Chartered profit climbs to record for eighth year 


  • Joy Global (JOY) 6:00am, $1.36
  • Staples (SPLS) 6:00am, $0.41
  • Carter’s (CRI) 6:30am, $0.44
  • Starwood Property Trust (STWD) 6:30am, $0.44
  • ITT (ITT) 7:00am, $0.35
  • Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT) 7:01am, $0.79
  • Liz Claiborne (LIZ) 7:27am, $0.14
  • Accretive Health (AH) 7:30am, $0.16
  • CenterPoint Energy (CNP) 8:02am, $0.19
  • Fannie Mae (FNMA) 8:30am, NA
  • Sotheby’s (BID) 4:00pm, $1.25
  • Edison International (EIX) 4:00pm, $0.46
  • Finisar (FNSR) 4:00pm, $0.23
  • MBIA (MBI) 4:00pm
  • PetSmart (PETM) 4:02pm, $0.90
  • Babcock & Wilcox (BWC) 4:05pm, $0.41
  • McDermott International (MDR) 4:06pm, $0.19
  • Greif (GEF) 4:07pm, $0.58
  • Darling International (DAR) 4:30pm, $0.33 


OIL – 2 down days does not even a hyper short-term TRADE make. Both Brent and WTI have corrected to their most immediate-term TRADE lines of support ($122.01 and $105.46, respectively) and bounced. Bernanke’s semi-annual USD Debauchery speech is today, so that should be interesting to watch in real time vs TIP, GLD, OIL, etc. Inflation from here is not growth. Déjà vu Q1 2011. 

  • Jewelers Want Platinum for Asians After Gold Vaults: Commodities
  • Americans Pay More as Sanctions Lift Iran Profit: Energy Markets
  • Oil Set for Best Month Since October on Recovery Signs, Iran
  • Soybeans Set for Best Monthly Gain in a Year on Parched Crops
  • Iran to Take Gold Payments From Trade Partners, Agency Says
  • Natural Gas Near Bottom, Avoid Short Bets, Morgan Stanley Says
  • Gold May Gain for a Second Day on ECB Lending; Platinum Climbs
  • Aluminum Fee to Japan Gains for First Time in Three Quarters
  • Asia Faces Sugar Deficit as Demand Increases, McNeill Says
  • Corn Shipments From India to Miss Forecast on Pests, Rupee
  • Oil Surge to Record Endangers Europe’s Growth Dash: Euro Credit
  • Lumber May Extend Rally as China, U.S. Demand Gain, Ekstrom Says
  • Robusta Coffee Rises as Traders Bet on Higher Price; Sugar Falls
  • Oil Surge Endangers Europe’s Growth Dash
  • Copper Rises, Heads for Back-to-Back Monthly Gains on Stockpiles
  • Iraq Plans to Cut Daily Kirkuk Crude Oil Exports by 5% in March
  • Palm Oil Has Best Monthly Gain Since 2010 as Supplies Decline 






















The Hedgeye Macro Team




  • SJM Cotai proposal: at "advanced stage"; expects govt decision soon



  • Recurring/special dividend:
    • 72% earnings paid out as dividends. Regular dividend will continue to be 50% of earnings and anything more will be classified as special dividend
  • Casino Lisboa/ Oceanus:
    • Increased return per table on Oceanus (target was 20%, actual return was 27% in 2011)
  • QoQ VIP table decline: from 613 tables to 595 tables
    • Nothing to worry about, may go up in Q1 2012
  • Grand Lisboa: 2.44% hold in Q4, compared with 2.53% hold in Q3
  • Old Lisboa margins are benefited from the move of certain VIP business to Grand Lisboa
  • Grand Lisboa Mass market
    • Expanding mass sq ft in 2012 at expense of slot machines; may also move mass tables from other properties
    • Still growing on par with market
  • SCC commission competition:
    • No pressure on commissions; will use credit rather than elevated commissions
  • Grand Lisboa Rolling Chip is very good in February
  • Grand Lisboa VIP renovation: may increase 40 VIP tables (August/September/October 2012);
  • Moving VIP tables from self-promoted casinos to Grand Lisboa?
    • No, right now different table revenue performance thresholds at different properties but performance is holding up
  • Grand Lisboa/Oceanus: VIP business very sticky; very comfortable with VIP at Grand Lisboa
  • Cotai Mass business impact on Grand Lisboa?
    • Does not affect revenue stream
  • 3rd party operations: sees no signs of risk of slowdown



  • The Board recommends final ordinary dividend of HK43 cents per share and special dividend of HK22 cents per share for 2011 year. It is subject to approval at the forthcoming annual general meeting of the Company to be held on Thursday, 10 May 2012.
  • 2011 Gaming revenue: HK$75.514 BN (+32% YoY)
  • 2011 Adjusted Company EBITDA: HK$6,923MM (+42.5% YoY)
    •  Casino Grand Lisboa property EBITDA: HK$3,756MM; property EBITDA margin: 27.2% (US GAAP)
  • 2011 SJM market share: 29%
  • Grand Lisboa occupancy rate increased 14.7% to 92.6%; ADR increased 5.3% to HK$2,055
  • Cash: HK$20.7BN
  • Besides growth of gaming revenue, other factors that contributed to higher Adjusted EBITDA in the
    year were improved operating results at Ponte 16 and Grand Lisboa Hotel.
  • VIP
    • As at 31 December 2011, SJM had 609 VIP gaming tables in operation with 32 VIP promoters, as compared with 507 VIP gaming tables and 33 VIP promoters as at 31 December 2010. As at 31 December 2011, SJM operated VIP gaming in 14 of its casinos.
    • The hold rate for SJM’s VIP operations decreased slightly in 2011 to 2.88% from 2.91% in 2010.
  • MASS
    • SJM had 1,166 mass market gaming tables in operation as at 31 December 2011, as compared with 1,183 mass market gaming tables as at 31 December 2010.
    • Increased mass market table gaming revenue of 24.1% resulted from increased visitation to Macau
      from the Mainland and the Asian region as well as increased spending per visitor.
    • SJM had 3,910 slot machines in service as at 31 December 2011 as compared with 4,147 slot machines as at 31 December 2010.
  • During 2011, Casino Grand Lisboa attracted a total of 12,238,494 visitors, an average of 33,530 visitors per day. To continue attracting gaming patrons, Casino Grand Lisboa frequently launches special promotions, such as “Spin2Win”, “Spot the Jackpot”, “Royal Cards” and “Heir to the Throne.” Jackpots are paid frequently, with the total exceeding $267 million for slot machines and over $84 million for table games (Caribbean Stud Poker) in 2011. During the year, the number of active members of the Casino Grand Lisboa loyalty card programme increased by over 83,000 to 394,393.
  • In October 2011 new VIP gaming capacity was added on the second floor of Grand Lisboa with 12 tables. In the fi rst half of 2012 additional capacity for VIP gaming will be added on the 31st floor of the building.
  • In October 2011 SJM completed enclosing and air-conditioning the walkway from the Macau Maritime Terminal to Casino Oceanus. Promotions such as “Scratch and Win” are held regularly and a number of special activities took place in November at the time of the Macau Grand Prix, of which SJM was the sole offi cial sponsor. In the second quarter of 2012 the Oceanus Club is scheduled to open on the third fl oor where Oceanus membership card holders can relax and enjoy various club facilities. Also in 2012 the casino plans to open its third dining facility, a deluxe Cantonese restaurant located on the second floor.

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Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ

Changes on the Margin


We’re seeing some notable changes in our sentiment monitor following the most recent short interest release. WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M and LIZ scores are among the most notable.



As for retail overall, short interest remained relatively unchanged since the prior release on Feb. 9th. We saw the greatest changes out of Large cap retail (-0.2% PoP) with less meaningful changes out of the small and mid cap names. While sales sold short in mid cap retail increased 0.40%, it was driven entirely by a 1.8% increase in short interest for CROX. Likewise, small cap interest remained relatively unchanged with the only notable deviation out of JNY (-0.12%). In large cap retail, short interest increased the most for LOW(+1.5%), SHLD(+0.7%) & TGT(+0.3%) while JCP(-1.3%) experienced the most short covering over the past 2 weeks. Short interest as a percent of float accounts for 50% of a company’s overall sentiment score in our calculation.


Company callouts (see charts below).

1)      Wal-Mart is sporting  a 62 on our Sentiment Monitor (0 = investors are very negative, meaning that it is a bullish indicator. 100 = investors are overly positive, meaning that it is a bearish indicator). This is WMT’s lowest level since we started this index.

2)      On the opposite end of the spectrum, Macy’s broke 80 on the upside, marking the most positive sentiment we’ve seen out of Macy’s – ever. We still think that this name will be impacted as the mid-tier (where it competes on the fringes) gets increasingly price competitive.

3)      HBI and GIL are sitting between 60 and 70. It’s not the positive sentiment that surprises me as much as the fact that it has not changed meaningfully since each of them printed results. Sentiment should be much much worse. We still like them both on the short side.

4)      Carter’s sentiment is still in negative territory, but has definitely returned to a positive trajectory. This is a name we’d definitely press as sentiment climbs past economic reality (ie about now).

5)      KSS is really taking it on the chin. After hitting a score of 90 as recently as six months ago, KSS is sitting around 55 today. It’s still too early to own that one. We think there’s more downside to go.

6)      JCP puzzles us. Despite all the positive press around the analyst meeting, Ellen, and JCP getting the early jump on KSS, its negative sentiment has really not changed much over the past six months, and even year to date.

7)      LIZ is above double digits in both stock price ($10.10) and sentiment. But the latter (a measly 12) has much more room to go – as does the stock.


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - sentiment tables


Sentiment Framework Methodology


Our updated Hedgeye Retail Sentiment scorecard is published in conjunction with last night’s short interest release. As a reminder, we use our Scoreboard as a piece of our TRADE (Trade=3 week or less duration) framework. The sentiment scores combines buy-side and sell-side conviction measures (Including Buy/Sell Ratings & Short Interest as a percent of float); we standardize those measures to an index of 0-100, where 100 is the best possible sentiment ranking and 0 is the worst. The idea is that a contrarian strategy can be employed at the extremes (positive extreme >90, negative extreme <20) to screen for names that provide the opportunity for the greatest upside relative to the consensus view.  A sentiment score above 90 (overly bullish) has proven to be a good historical ‘sell’ signal, while a signal below 20 has proven to be better to Buy.  We recognize that some names may break into the 90+ or 20/below thresholds and won’t immediately trade contrary to consensus. In fact, companies like Nike & LIZ have remained in the high/low bands over extended period of times. While our sentiment monitor acts as an excellent screening tool at major inflection points, we incorporate additional tools/analysis (SIGMA, Management Scorecard, etc.) to properly contextualize fundamental opportunities across all durations. Some stocks will never break out of their band, but marginal directional changes matter.  We have back tested these levels for our group and the result can be seen below. Note that the analysis below was performed using the ~100 companies included in the monitor when the framework was initially created.


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - sentiment backtest


In an effort to provide additional context and compliment a company’s sentiment score, we also focus on insider transactions in conjunction with shifts in buy/sell side sentiment to gauge the overall conviction on a particular name. For additional detail on the methodology behind our proprietary sentiment measures or historical detail for a specific company, please contact the team. Below, we have included FL as an example as well as the historical trends in sentiment by retail subsector.


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - FL sentiment 2.27.12


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - Discount Stores sentiment


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - apparel retail sentiment


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - apparel lowmid tier sentiment


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - apparel upper tier sentiment


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - department sentiment


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - Footwear Sentiment


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - sporting goods


Retail Sentiment: WMT, HBI, GIL, CRI, JCP, KSS, M, LIZ  - other


The short interest is showing a lot of pain for the bears in QSR.  In casual dining, the shorts are piling into Brinker.


The top quality QSR names continue to win people over; SBUX and MCD saw a reduction in short interest as a percentage of float for the two weeks ended 2/15 despite short interest in the two stocks declining to 0.9% and 0.7%, respectively. 


The most recent data, released last night and reflecting the short interest level as of the settlement date 2/15, shows that the QSR space remains intimidating for the bears.  This is not surprising given the hiring trends in QSR and the resilience of many QSR businesses through dire economic conditions.  Casual dining is typically far more vulnerable in such downturns and, given the concern around increasing gas prices and the hyper-competitive discounting environment in the industry, it is understandable that the shorts might focus their attention on that category before turning to QSR.


Below is our sentiment scorecard.  MCD, YUM and SBUX continue to reign supreme and EAT and PFCB continue to struggle to attract any love whatsoever from the investment community.  We have been positive on EAT for 18 months and have been positive on PFCB for just over one month. 









RESTAURANT SENTIMENT SCORECARD  - short interest historical




  • CBOU and THI saw upticks in short interest over the most recent two weeks of data.  CBOU reported a strong 4Q but it seems investors in the stock were ahead of it and sold on the news. THI is up 9% month-to-date, most of that coming on the back of strong earnings on the 23rd.  The fact that coffee costs are coming down is bullish for this space
  • MCD and SBUX are so high on the sentiment scorecard; short interest is so low, that any miss versus expectations could lead to sizeable decreases in their respective stock prices.  As yet, we are not seeing any deterioration in the fundamental outlook for those companies



  • CBRL short interest is rising as gas prices go higher
  • EAT short interest gained during the first half of the year but the stock has bounced back strongly over the last three days; we think some shorts are covering here.  EAT has had a great run, and investors are likely to wait for further evidence from the management team that the turnaround is continuing before pushing the stock substantially higher.  We continue to like the name, especially relative to competitors like DIN and RT, but have other longs higher on our list (JACK, PFCB & YUM)
  • PFCB is squeezing the shorts and, with short interest as a percentage of float at just under 20%, there is plenty of room for more bears to capitulate if the fundamental outlook continues to improve on the margin.
  • CAKE guided down 1Q12 EPS and that hurt the stock. 
  • BWLD ran over the shorts and caused a reversal of the prior trend of increasing bearishness in the name.


Howard Penney

Managing Director


Rory Green




But hard to get excited about a flat 2012.




As management said on their last conference call, don’t expect much from 2012.  We get that their focus will be on long term prospects for the Company and opening up the rest of their Resorts World development.  However, we don’t see why those goals are mutually exclusive.  Market growth will be an issue in 2012.  Even though this message isn’t exactly new, the Street is still modeling 8% EBITDA growth for 2012 while we are estimating a decline of 4% with RWS EBITDA of just over $1.6BN. 


While we are concerned about the near term, the longer term story for Genting Singapore is brighter.  Namely, the company will likely be announcing a significant project in the second half of 2012.  They are no longer geographically restricted in their investment universe since their sister company has used its dry powder towards Genting Resorts NY and a potential large development in Miami.  Genting stated that the equity investment size would be between S$500-750MM (total ballpark project size of~S$2BN). 


Genting Singapore would likely not develop in the Philippines since there is a Resorts World property already there.  We believe that Japan is too far away from approval to announce a capital raise.  Therefore, our best guess is that the new project will be in Vietnam.  During the ASEAN conference in September 2011, Vietnam was listed as one of two future opportunities for new development.  If Genting can generate similar returns to the 28% ROI generated on RWS in its first full year of operations with an incomplete property, we believe that a new announcement should serve as a positive catalyst for the stock.


Meanwhile, the longer term outlook for RWS is quite positive.  We believe that the Marine Life Park & Aquarium should contribute close to S$300MM of revenues and over S$85MM of EBITDA to RWS by 2014.  While harder to estimate, the contribution from an additional 175 VIP rooms at Equarius and 22 villas should also help drive VIP growth given the lodging capacity constraints at the property and market.  The likelihood of junket approval, even if more tame than the Macau breed, should also help VIP growth in the future.  For all of these reasons, we believe that EBITDA of S$1.8BN could be a surmountable hurdle in 2013.




Based on our conversation with Genting management we have made the following modifications to our observations of 4Q11 from what we wrote on 2/27/2012 in “GENTING BLOWS IT.”


We estimate that gross gaming revenue (“GGR”) was S$903MM

  • VIP gross revenue of S$467MM and net VIP revenue of S$286MM
    • Rebate rate of 1.33%
  • Slot and mass table revenue down 5% QoQ, with slot up QoQ and up on a win per unit basis and mass table down
    • Gross mass table revenue of S$275MM
    • We estimate gaming points were S$50MM or 3.9% of our estimated drop
    • Estimated drop of S$1,375MM and win of 21.7%
  • S$162MM of revenue from gaming machines (slots & EGTs)
    • Estimated handle of S$3.38BN
  • S$258MM of rebates, GST & gaming points
  • Gaming taxes: S$84MM
  • Estimated fixed expenses: S$186MM


Based on last quarter’s results and the benefit from high hold in 2011, we have a hard time seeing how the company will manage to grow EBITDA in 2012.  In 2011, RWS VIP held at 3.34%, which we estimate boosted net revenues by $200MM and EBITDA by $190MM, assuming that normal hold is 3%.  Hold at RWS since opening has been 3.19%.

  • S$2,561 of net gaming revenue
    • Net VIP revenue of S$974MM
      • RC volume of S$62.4BN and hold of 3%
        • We’re modeling declines in 1H12 followed by 10% growth in 2H12
      • Rebate of 1.3%
      • Our numbers don’t assume any benefit from junkets getting approved even though Genting is optimistic that junkets will be approved in the near future.  Our understanding is that prior to the junkets getting approved, there needs to be an amendment made to the Casino Control Act which will define under what conditions junkets can grant credit to patrons.  The CRA needs to draft this amendment and then it would have to be approved by Parliament.  Therefore, If and when the amendment to the Casino Control Act goes to the Parliament floor, we will know that junket approval is right around the corner.
    • Gross Mass table revenue of S$1.2BN and S$986MM net of gaming points
      • Drop of S$5.55BN and 21.5% hold
      • We’re modeling low-single digit declines in 1H12 and high single digit increases in 2H12. We believe that mass market is largely mature in Singapore and that RWS is being negatively impacted by the MRT stop which just opened by MBS
      • Gaming points equal to 3.75% of drop
    • S$581MM of slot win
  • Non-gaming revenue of S$676MM
    • S$164MM of room revenue
      • 1525 rooms, 90% occupancy and S$298 ADR
    • S$92MM of F&B and other revenue
    • USS revenue of S$365MM
      • 4.2MM visitors at an average daily spend of S$87
    • Minimal Marine life Park & Aquarium contribution of S$56MM
      • Assume a mid-3rd quarter opening
      • 1.1MM visitors ramping to 4MM in 2013
      • Average daily spend per visitor of S$52
      • 2013 margins expanding to 25-30%
  • Marine Life Park & Aquarium assumptions:
    • As a point of reference, the only other Marine Park / Aquarium of comparable scale in Asia is Ocean Park Hong Kong, whose attractions include a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and amusement park.
    • In 2007/2008 the park received 5.0MM visitors, more than the 4.5MM visitors to HK Disneyland. 
      • RWS USS had 3.4MM visitors in 2011, however, not all of the rides were fully open until the end of the year.  We estimate that visitation in 2012 should hit 4.4MM. 
    • The cost of admission to Ocean Park HK is HK$280 (S$46) for adults and half that amount for children between the age of 3-11 which compares to a HK$399 (S$66) for adults and HK$285 for children (3-11). 
      • USS Sentosa is priced at a S$2 premium (roughly in-line) with HK Disney. 

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