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BYI YOUTUBE

In preparation for BYI's F1Q 2013 earnings release on Thursday, we’ve put together the recent pertinent forward looking company commentary.

 

Bally Technologies Announces Illinois Contracts Totaling Sales and Lease of More Than 4,000 Video Gaming Terminals (9/25)

  • BYI announced constracts with various distributors in IL to provide 4,000 Bally Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs), expected to be deployed over the next 24 months.
  • Two of the largest terminal operators in the state have signed more than 50 percent ship share with Bally

 

YOUTUBE FROM 2Q CONFERENCE CALL (8/9)

 

  • "Our fiscal year 2013 holds excellent opportunities for Bally as we are initiating earnings guidance at $2.95 to $3.30 per fully diluted share. This guidance range contemplates revenue improvement in all three areas of our business: game sales, gaming operations and systems. We also expect gross margin improvement in gaming equipment and continued growth in our web footprint. As a result of these expectations, we anticipate an improvement in our operating margin in fiscal 2013."
  • "We still expect our game equipment margin will approach 48% to 49% within the next two to three quarters due to continued reductions in material costs on each of the Pro Series cabinets."
  • "We anticipate our effective income tax rate in fiscal 2013 will be between 38% and 39%. This rate does not assume reinstatement of the U.S. Research & Development Credit."
  • "We expect to have an installed base of around 1,000 VLT units in Italy by the end of FY 2013."
  • "We should also have our first systems installation in Australia successfully completed during the next few weeks."
  • "We expect to begin initial shipments both for sale and participation-based VLTs in Illinois beginning Q2 FY 2013 pending final approval of location."
  • "With respect to Michael Jackson and GREASE, I think we have said historically that we saw both of these games as having the potential to reach total placements of 750 each, and we still feel that way. The numbers are meeting or exceeding our expectations, and... cannibalization does appear low and low partly because Bally has a pretty small WAP footprint, and because these games are quite unique."
  • "We see normal trends from seasonality, but we haven't seen any impact yet from the consumer"
  • "Average win is meeting our expectations. Overall WAP footprint is up nicely year-over-year and in line with seasonal trends."
  • [Share repurchase] "We've been rather aggressive the last two quarters and going into the first quarter as we mentioned in the press release, but we've traditionally bought back in the $15 million to $20 million a quarter range."
  • "On Italy, we have fairly modest prospects because of our delays in getting approved. So, we have said that we expect to have 1000 machines by the end of this fiscal 2013. I think there is a chance to do much better in Italy over time, but we have to sort of earn our stripes after this delayed technical approval process."
  • "We are looking at further opportunities in New Zealand; we just went live over the last few months and of course, the South Africa installs are going on schedule."
  • "With respect to particularly Canadian VLTs, those come at a slightly lower ASP. They don't have quite as many bells, and whistles. We have guided to a higher margin, so the good news is on a margin dollar basis they are still accretive. Illinois, which is a VLT market, that will come at a little cost to ASPs."
  • "The third thing we are doing is transporting our games content of course, to the internet in legal jurisdictions, which should be again generating revenue for us early on in calendar 2013."

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IS BRAZIL’S RECENT BREAKDOWN A HUGE RED FLAG FOR RISK ASSETS?

Takeaway: The Bovespa’s TREND-line breakdown diminishes our formerly positive bias and affirms our negative cyclical concerns regarding “risk assets”.

SUMMARY BULLETS:

 

  • Since late 2008, the Bovespa Index has generally led global equities on nearly every major intra-cycle rally and correction, with the exception of the most recent intra-cycle bottom and the current topping process.
  • Supported by an improving GIP outlook (chart below) and an anticipated deceleration of Big Government Intervention (there’s growing speculation that the government will allow PBR to raise prices, which would be a noteworthy step in the right direction), we have held a positive fundamental bias on the Brazilian equity market since SEP 25; that’s obviously been the wrong call (the Bovespa is down roughly -5.5% since then). Importantly, the index is flirting with a TREND line breakdown. If that holds, we would expect to see the index re-test its JUN ’12 lows – roughly -8% to -9% lower.
  • We are not smarter than the market here and are inclined to suspend our bullish bias until we receive confirmation of a TREND-line breakout. The risk of that catalyst not materializing is rising rapidly, however, given the ominous Global Macro fundamental picture staring investors right in the face at the current juncture.
  • And given Brazil’s unique qualities as a weathervane of global economic activity and reflation expectations, a failure for Brazil to recapture its TREND line would imply further weakness ahead for risk assets broadly over the immediate-to-intermediate term.

 

Since late 2008, the Bovespa Index has generally led global equities on nearly every major intra-cycle rally and correction, with the exception of the most recent intra-cycle bottom and the current topping process:

 

  • 10/27/08 the Bovespa bottoms; the MSCI World Equity Index bottomed ~4.5 months later on 3/9/09;
  • 4/9/10 the Bovespa peaks; the MSCI World Equity Index peaked 5 days later on 4/15/10;
  • 5/20/10 the Bovespa bottoms; the MSCI World Equity Index bottomed ~1.5 months later on 7/5/10;
  • 11/4/10 the Bovespa peaks; the MSCI World Equity Index peaked 6 months later on 5/2/11;
  • 8/8/11 the Bovespa bottoms; the MSCI World Equity Index bottomed ~2 months later on 10/4/11;
  • 3/13/12 the Bovespa peaks; the MSCI World Equity Index peaked 6 days later on 3/19/12;
  • 6/5/12 the Bovespa bottoms; the MSCI World Equity Index bottomed 1 day prior on 6/4/12; and
  • 9/14/12 the Bovespa peaks; the MSCI World Equity Index peaked on the same day amid mass QE-ternity hysteria.

 

IS BRAZIL’S RECENT BREAKDOWN A HUGE RED FLAG FOR RISK ASSETS? - 1

 

A couple of questions arise here:

 

  1. Why has Brazil been generally led on nearly every meaningful world equity market delta since 2008?
  2. Why has Brazil’s leadership dissipated, as evidenced by the latest cycle?

 

To address question #1, we think Brazil’s unique setup from a capital markets and economic perspective exposes it to getting pulled aggressively in both directions of global inflation expectations (reflation and de/dis-inflation). From an index perspective, the Bovespa is heavily weighted to reflation with 67.6% of its market cap having direct exposure to top line and margin leverage that stems from rising prices of commodities and risk assets (Energy, Basic Materials and Financials sectors).

 

IS BRAZIL’S RECENT BREAKDOWN A HUGE RED FLAG FOR RISK ASSETS? - 2

 

On the way down, the Brazilian economy is heavily weighted towards domestic consumption, so the tailwind of disinflation/falling inflation expectations tends to become a positive for both Brazil’s GROWTH outlook and speculation around easier monetary and fiscal POLICY in Brazil. Eighty-one percent of Brazilian GDP is consumption (household = 60.3%; government = 20.7%) and, on a comparable basis, Brazil’s Unemployment Rate (NSA) continues to make all-time lows.

 

IS BRAZIL’S RECENT BREAKDOWN A HUGE RED FLAG FOR RISK ASSETS? - 3

 

IS BRAZIL’S RECENT BREAKDOWN A HUGE RED FLAG FOR RISK ASSETS? - 4

 

Regarding question #2, which, admittedly, is much tougher to answer, we think the reason investors have appeared far less willing to stick their respective “necks” out there on Brazil early in the selloff like they were in previous Global Macro swoons is largely due to the demonstrable acceleration in perceived political risk (more on this later).

 

As it relates to the current topping process across “risky assets”  we think investors were far less willing to sell Brazil early because it would’ve been a tacit admission that the only catalyst that supported leaning long in the face of terrible fundamental data in the first place (i.e. rising inflation expectations born out of Fed POLICY) was, in fact, culminating. Again these are just our opinions, but, in talking to clients, we can confirm that many of them continue to agree with our negative fundamental conclusions but have chosen to stay long largely due to the Bernank’s explicit dare to chase yield.

 

Delving back into the aforementioned political risk, Brazilian policymakers led by President Dilma Rousseff and Finance Minister Guido Mantega have certainly been busy making Brazil a less attractive destination for international capital in the YTD. Dilma has been at the forefront of an aggressive year-long drive to lower consumer and corporate lending rates, essentially using her influence over the central bank to accomplish her goals. Mantega, on the other hand, continues to use aggressive rhetoric and IOF tax hikes/expansion (i.e. capital gains taxes for foreign investors) to boost manufacturing and export competitiveness by promoting weakness in the BRL, which has declined -13.6% vs. the USD over the past year (inclusive of a -18.9% drop from late-FEB to mid-MAY). As recently as today, Mantega was quoted in the news (Valor Economico) as saying, “the government’s ‘dirty float’ currency policy will last as long as necessary to defend the country’s competitiveness”.

 

All of this has come at a time where Brazil’s southerly neighbor Argentina is demonstrably eroding investor confidence as a result of President Cristina Fernandez’s aggressive series of capital controls. We would argue that the “Fernandez Effect” has painted a dark cloud over the economic reforms Rousseff and Mantega have sought to implement, likely making Brazil’s bout of Big Government Intervention appear worse to investors than it otherwise would have. As such, it’s no surprise that outflows of international capital have accelerated in 2012: since JAN, the Bovespa Stock Exchange has seen an average monthly net outflow of -R$7.9 billion; this compares to an average monthly net outflow of -R$1.4 billion in 2011 and an average monthly net inflow of +R$6 billion in 2010.  

 

IS BRAZIL’S RECENT BREAKDOWN A HUGE RED FLAG FOR RISK ASSETS? - 5

 

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

Supported by an improving GIP outlook (chart below) and an anticipated deceleration of Big Government Intervention (there’s growing speculation that the government will allow PBR to raise prices, which would be a noteworthy step in the right direction), we have held a positive fundamental bias on the Brazilian equity market since SEP 25; that’s obviously been the wrong call (the Bovespa is down roughly -5% since then). Importantly, the index is flirting with a TREND line breakdown. If that holds, we would expect to see the index re-test its JUN ’12 lows – roughly -8% to -9% lower.

 

IS BRAZIL’S RECENT BREAKDOWN A HUGE RED FLAG FOR RISK ASSETS? - BRAZIL

 

IS BRAZIL’S RECENT BREAKDOWN A HUGE RED FLAG FOR RISK ASSETS? - 7

 

We are not smarter than the market here and are inclined to suspend our bullish bias until we receive confirmation of a TREND-line breakout. The risk of that catalyst not materializing is rising rapidly, however, given the ominous Global Macro fundamental picture staring investors right in the face at the current juncture. And given Brazil’s unique qualities as a weathervane of global economic activity and reflation expectations, a failure for Brazil to recapture its TREND line would imply further weakness ahead for risk assets broadly over the immediate-to-intermediate term.

 

Not good.

 

Darius Dale

Senior Analyst


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View From the Battleground States

Today we held our expert call with Kenneth Bickers titled "View From the Battleground States." On the call, Bickers discussed the current state of the election, economic indicators and the role they play with voters and shared his view on what his model forecasts as the final electoral college in November. See below for the forecast and draw your own conclusion on whether Romney or Obama will take the White House.

 

View From the Battleground States - Screen Shot 2012 10 24 at 2.32.12 PM


STNR YOUTUBE

In preparation for STNR's 3Q earnings release tomorrow, we’ve put together the recent pertinent forward looking company commentary

 

 

YOUTUBE FROM 2Q CONFERENCE CALL

  • "We expect revenue to be in a range of $192 million to $197 million, with Q3 earnings per share estimated at $0.85 to $0.90. Our full year guidance remains unchanged with 2012 revenue at $800 million to $820 million with resulting earnings per share guidance at $3.70 to $3.90."
  • "We have opened an additional seven new laser centers this quarter, bringing it up to nine for year and we continue to track well on our target of 15 new centers for 2012. Cash sales generated in the quarter exceeded expectations and increased our deferred revenue liability again on the balance sheet, which is a healthy barometer of the future earnings potential of our laser hair removal division....We expect and hope to open up more than 15 next year, which will propel growth for the future."
  • "Our estimate for the third quarter is for depreciation and amortization at $4.8 million...Above the line depreciation is expected to be $3.5 million." 
  • "Capital spending is expected to be $5 million in the third quarter."
  • "The scheduled capital repayment on the term loan commenced at the end of the first quarter of 2012 – at the end of each quarter of 2012 is an amount of $4.125 million and the interest rates on this loan for 2012 is anticipated to be LIBOR plus 2.5%."
  • [Schools segment]"Hopefully, not as soft in the third quarter, but we just haven't seen a full enrollment quarter yet. We've got enrollment starting here beginning of August and September, so it's a high enrollment quarter. So we're just tempted by the fact that the second quarter was softer than we expected and that's really the primary reason for us guiding a little lower here on the third quarter number."
  • [Product margin guidance of 31-32%]  "It's possible. Certainly, we saw a much better mix on board the ships, certainly with the North American passengers and that certainly supported stronger margins here in the quarter. We also saw less discounting channel taking that we have to get product into this quarter in both Europe and the North American channels that we're distributing to, so the whole of that helped us to create those margins."
  • [Ideal Image] "Thus far, there's positive growth in the same-store at this point in time. I think as we start to take a look at metrics maybe for next year, right now, we're giving you per center average revenue growth, which moved up again this quarter, so all of it points to very positive productivity thus far."
  • "Our schools have behaved in line with both a bad economic environment and unemployment. And certainly through 2009, 2010 and some of 2011, the schools performed right in line with that. So the counter-cyclicality nature of the business was proven in those times, and certainly as unemployment gets better, and more stability and direction comes into our economy later this year hopefully, we don't expect the schools to be the highest performer in our portfolio, but that's the beauty of the schools is they perform well when things are bad elsewhere and it balances our performance in our portfolio."
  • "The Q3 and Q4 numbers on spa vessels is a 114 for Q3 and a 113 for Q4. Non-spa for Q3 is 42 and 40 for Q4."
  •  [Land-based spas decrease in average weekly revs] "Some of the bigger properties both in the Caribbean and in Vegas underperformed expectations.  They didn't obviously yield manage sufficiently to get the spend there and I think it's following along the lines of some of the other consumer spend trends."
  • "There's definitely a lot of continuing pressure in Europe, we all know that. Consumer here is also a little under pressure, and I think our guidance is in line with that."

HOT YOUTUBE

In preparation for HOT's 3Q earnings release Thursday, we’ve put together the recent pertinent forward looking company commentary.

 

 HOT YOUTUBE - HOT

 

 

YOUTUBE FROM 2Q CONFERENCE CALL

  • China:  “We have seen a deceleration, but nothing precipitous. It appears to us that the slower growth has to do with upcoming government transition and excess supply in a few cities.”
  • “You should also note that none of our 100 hotel projects has been put on hold”
  • “On track to hit net rooms growth in excess of 4%”
  • “Asia accounts for 65% of our pipeline, with China representing three-fourths of that.”
  • “We've seen an increase in active members outside the U.S. of over 50%. As of today, non- U.S. members account for 44% of the SPG active base and around the world SPG drives over 50% of our occupancy. SPG provides benefits to our guests, but also to our business. SPG Members spend more, give us business in tough times and they're our best brand advocates.”
  • “Bal Harbour …. sales momentum and pricing remain good. We now expect the complete sales of all Bal Harbour condos by the first quarter of 2014, if not earlier."
  • “Our hotels in North China continue to grow in the double digits. Eastern and Central China are growing in the mid-single digits. The South has been hurt by the slowdown in exports. Selected cities like Tianjin, Guangzhou, Hunan, which have seen a lot of new capacity, have short-term supply/demand imbalances. Tier two and tier three cities, where we have the largest footprint among the major high-end hotel companies, are experiencing double digit growth with very strong F&B momentum... through the first half of the year, our total revenue in China is up over 25% in local currency.”
  • “Our opening pace for new hotels is not slowing down. By the end of July, we expect to have opened 15 hotels and the rest of our openings this year remain on track. Year-to-date, we have signed 30 hotels versus 27 at the same time last year.”
  • “As we look ahead to Q3, momentum remains good in Asian and Middle Eastern markets, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. North Africa has tougher comparisons. We anticipate a slowdown in Latin America, driven by the worsening situation in Argentina, where we also benefited from a big soccer event last year.”
  • “High occupancies are helping us remix our transient business, raise group rates and we anticipate an even better outcome from 2013 corporate rate negotiations than the rate increases realized this year.”
  • “At this point, we have no indications global companies are either restricting or cutting travel and meeting plans. As such, our best estimate is that recent trend lines will continue through the rest of the year." 
  • "Given the issues in Canada and Argentina, we're lowering our owned-hotel REVPAR growth range at the high-end from 4% to 6% to 4% to 5% in local currencies and only 1% to 2% in dollars. Europe, Canada and Argentina account for over 33% of owned rooms and almost 40% of owned EBITDA.”
  • “We remain committed to our asset sale program… We have several conversations underway, some at advanced stages. It is our practice to announce sales only when we close and when we have received the cash. We expect to close on several transactions before the end of the year. Our goal is to sell most of our owned assets over time and we have quite a few transactions in discussion at this point.”
  • “What did help us in the second quarter, which won't help us as much in the third quarter, is the comparison in Japan. Japan was up quite a bit because it was lapping the earthquake/tsunami last year at this time that added, probably 100 basis points to REVPAR in Q2. It won't help as much in Q3. We're assuming the situation in China remains roughly where it is. You saw that some other parts of Asia were doing pretty well. So we would say that Asia still is a region that will be at the high-end, if not somewhat higher than our overall 6% to 8% range and that's our best view, at this point.”
  • “On group pace, we've continued... our run of strong mid-single digit numbers for the pace in the rest of the year. It's been something that's actually allowed us to remix the corporate transient, or the transient side of the business, where we've seen revenue increases of sort of nearing 10% and, at the same time, we've reduced our opaque and lower-rated discounted business”
  • “At this point, we have not put any hedges in for next year."

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