THE HBM: WEN, MCD, DIN

THE HEDGEYE BREAKFAST MONITOR

 

MACRO NOTES

 

Comments from CEO Keith McCullough

 

Higher-Highs are predicated on higher oil prices now – we’ve seen this setup before:

  1. RUSSIA – the most popular man w/ Putin right now has to be The Bernank. Putin gets paid in Petro-Dollars, and with the Petro straight up, Dollar straight down, what more could our comrade want heading into this weekend’s election? Russia +25.2% YTD. That’s probably a depression or deflation signal, or something.
  2. OIL – down 1% this morning but the lines that matter most continue to hold as the US Dollar’s bid remains fleeting. If Iran doesn’t send a missile somewhere soon, we’re going to need another line of storytelling out of Washington, fast. Immediate-term supports for Brent and WTI = $123.29 and 106.12, respectively.
  3. YEN – this is easily the most recognizable downward dog pattern that consensus still isn’t talking about. Straight down again (-0.46%) vs the USD this morning, the Japanese are about to engage in selling more sov debt than even the Americans and Europeans could. We have a 100 slide deck and conf call on Japan at 11AM EST today if you want to get up to speed on it.

 

ISM slowed (growth) from 54.1 to 52.4 and Prices Paid (inflation) ripped to 61.5 in FEB vs 55.5 JAN. Markets will do what they do until they don’t, but our Fundamental Global Macro Research Model has not changed. Growth Slows As Inflation Accelerates.

 

KM

 

 

SUBSECTOR PERFORMANCE

 

THE HBM: WEN, MCD, DIN - subsector

 

 

QUICK SERVICE

 

WEN: Wendy’s shareholder, Trian Fund Management LP, sold nearly a fifth of its H.J. Heinz Co. holdings, cashing out $11.2 million.  Nelson Peltz, who founded Trian, has been paring his holdings of HNZ since fall 2011. 

 

WEN: Wendy’s management hosted an earnings call yesterday and stated that prices have been raised on certain sandwiches to “better drive sales”.  The “W” sandwich is now priced at $3.19 versus $2.99 beforehand and the combo price was increased by 29 cents.  Management highlighted a need to achieve better “drag along” sales of fries and Coca-Cola.  Wendy’s is also shifting in its TV advertising approach to take on the Big Mac head on.  We are unsure of how successful that will be; time will tell.  The company is ramping up its capex for 2012 to $225mm versus $147mm in 2011. 

 

MCD: McDonald’s reports February sales next Thursday and, according to Barron’s a good strategy is to buy March $100 calls on McDonald’s sometime soon.  The publication notes that for the past seven years, buying calls ahead of McDonald’s sales reports has been profitable.

 

 

NOTABLE PERFORMANCE ON ACCELERATING VOLUME:

 

JACK: Jack in the Box took a step back, declining -2.1% on accelerating volume after posting a +11% gain for the month of February.

 

JMBA: Jamba also posted a strong February, gaining 36%, but declined -4.2% yesterday on accelerating volume.

 

PEET: Peet’s Coffee gained on strong volume. Declining coffee costs are good for Peet’s.

 

 

CASUAL DINING

 

DIN: Dine Equity reported 4Q EPS of $0.91 versus consensus $0.87.  DIN said that food inflation and labor costs hurt 2011 margins but management stated that raising prices is one strategy that they can take to match inflation.  Debt reduction is an important goal for the company and free cash flow will continue to be dedicated to that end.

 

 

NOTABLE PERFORMANCE ON ACCELERATING VOLUME:

 

DIN: Dine Equity gained on accelerating volume following earnings.

 

TXRH: Texas Roadhouse declined on accelerating volume as beef prices continue to soar.  The supply side of beef is expected to remain constrained for a couple of years.  For now, demand for US beef remains strong.

 

THE HBM: WEN, MCD, DIN - stocks

 

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director

 

Rory Green

Analyst

 


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