Trade Of The Day: GDX

Today we shorted the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) at $51.56 a share at 10:13 AM EDT in our Real Time Alerts. Gold is breaking down as Romney’s momentum breaks out. No Bernanke is bullish for the USD; bearish for Gold.


Get the dollar right and you get a lot of other things right - gold included.


Trade Of The Day: GDX - GDXchart

PCAR: Solid Quarter for Our Best Industrials Long Idea

Takeaway: $PCAR executing well and is taking market share in a cyclically depressed industry. Build schedules and Construction markets stabilizing.

PCAR: Solid Quarter for Our Best Industrials Long Idea

  • Market Share Gains:  Navistar is likely to continue to struggle with customer perceptions of its EGR engine, and possibly its financial stability.  NAV may also have difficulty meeting its target date for introducing the 15L ISX engine for Cummins.  In addition to its own solid product line-up, PCAR should benefit from Navistar’s share loss.
  • Aftermarket Parts:  To a certain extent, the truck industry relies on a razor/razor-blade model.  The continued aging of the truck fleet in PCAR’s key markets – which is driven by weak industry sales - should continue to support margins.
  • Construction Exposure:  Paccar management noted increased interest from construction groups in getting additional vehicles.  A good portion of the US Class 8 truck fleet is directly or indirectly tied to construction activity, potentially supporting new truck and aftermarket demand.
  • Cyclically Depressed with Upside:  Share gains, a record old Class 8 Fleet, improving construction activity and an effective, long-term focused management leave PCAR as a top long idea.  We see valuation upside to the mid-50s.  Please see our August 16 Truck OEM Black Book for additional information on the industry and PCAR.


Jay Van Sciver, CFA

Managing Director

120 Wooster St.

New York, NY 10012


Takeaway: We would not be long SBUX heading into earnings on 11/1

There is plenty to like but too much uncertainty to get behind this name ahead of the quarter.  Our research process is telling us to not be long SBUX for the second successive quarter. 


Starbucks reported worse-than-expected 3QFY12 earnings and we believe there is significant risk of an additional miss in 4QFY12.  We expect comparable sales to grow in line with consensus but believe that the likelihood of a substantial upside surprise is remote.   The macroeconomic environment represented a headwind for Starbucks in 4QFY12 but company-specific factors are also hampering profit growth. 



Our Stance Ahead of the Quarter


We would remain on the sidelines through the 4QFY12 earnings release.  Consensus is assuming a sequential slowdown in comps for the Americas division but we believe global macroeconomic concerns will weigh on FY4Q results and the outlook for FY13. We expect a shortfall versus sales and EPS estimates for Starbucks’ FY4Q results.





To become more constructive on Starbucks shares, as we were from March 2009 through May 2012, we would need to see management focused on a less complex web of operations.  With the core business, CPG, and the Verismo home brewer, Starbucks has more than enough growth to satisfy investors.  Increasing the number of “four-wall” concepts under the company’s umbrella is, in our view, not a promising development.


Starbucks has usurped McDonald’s as the most-loved restaurant stock among sell-side analysts.  This is not a badge of honor from the perspective of the stock price. Below are some of the key guidance metrics for the upcoming quarter and the full fiscal year 2013:

  • 4QFY12 revenue growth of 10-12% versus the street is at 11.8%
  • 4QFY12 EPS of $0.44-0.45, growth of 19-22% versus consensus of $0.45
  • FY13 targeted revenue growth of 10-13% versus the street at 11.7%
  • 1,200 net new stores – acceleration in U.S., China, possible acceleration of closures in Europe (the company has said that 25% of the store base in Europe is unprofitable)
  • FY13 EPS of $2.04-$2.14 versus consensus of $2.13, according to Consensus Metrix
  • FY13 is locked for coffee costs through 11 months at favorable prices. ~100m tailwind to operating income




The coffee tailwind is a well-documented tailwind for Starbucks.  What is less well-known is the extent to which comps have slowed and what return on investment the company has been receiving on its growth initiatives.  We believe that there is significant risk the company sets out to manage (bring down) expectations among investors ahead of FY2013 results. 


Over the long-term, we believe that Starbucks is one of the best-positioned consumer-facing companies given the growth prospects that management has outlined.  Over the near-term, we believe that expectations are overly optimistic and we would look elsewhere for exposure to restaurants on the long side.


SBUX CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE - sbux consensus



Howard Penney

Managing Director


Rory Green




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In an effort to evaluate performance and as a follow up to our YouTube, we compare how the quarter measured up to previous management commentary and guidance






  • BETTER:  The strength of the close-in pricing and bookings was a big surprise in Q3.  Prudent cost management also helped.  While management did not want to provide any concrete 2013 guidance, their outlook is much more optimistic than the past couple of quarters.



  • MUCH BETTER:  Significant close-in demand across all markets, including Europe, catapulted RCL to an impressive Q3 beat.
  • PREVIOUSLY:  "What we see is that we are in fact able to drive the late business at good volumes. Clearly not at the rates we would like to be commanding for these products, but we are able to drive the business. So that is coming from actually all European source markets....Volumes essentially will need to be higher on a year-over-year basis, the close-in volumes, because we have a larger capacity hole to fill in Europe because of the way that the market developed this year....and at this point, I can say that we are finding that."


  • SLIGHTLY BETTER:  the booking environment has stabilized in general.  North America and Northern Europe are on a normalized booking curve while Southern Europe booking remain "closer-in" than seen historically. 
  • PREVIOUSLY:  "Over the past couple of months, bookings have been running slightly ahead of this time last year from both Europe and North America. We have seen a shift to a closer in booking window in key European source markets, particularly those in Southern Europe. The booking window for North America and most other non-European countries is largely the same as it was at this time last year."


  • WORSE:  Load factor is trailing that of last year.  RCL mentioned a ship in Asia scheduled in early October that has only filled 60% of capacity due to the tensions between China and Japan.  It is one reason why 4Q yields on a constant-currency basis was lowered by 1%.
  • PREVIOUSLY:  "The fourth quarter is yet another story... as of the time of our last call, both load factors and APDs were running ahead of the same time last year. For the last few months bookings have been rather stable, and with only 28% of our inventory in the more volatile European itineraries we are hopeful to return to yield improvement in the fourth quarter."


  • SAME:  Load factors continue to be a little higher YoY.
  • PREVIOUSLY:  "Our order book is solid at this point, our load factors are running ahead of a year ago."

A Romney Landslide?

We hosted Professor Ken Bickers from the University of Colorado to discuss his economic forecast model.  His basic premise is that the economy will ultimately drive electoral decision making.  He looks at this on a state-by-state basis.  Historically, he has had a very strong track record historically and called each election going back to 1980 calling both the eventual winner, but also the coming very close to the electoral count. If he has partisan bias, we couldn’t discern it. His model currently predicts that Romney will win 330 electoral votes – a very non-consensus view.  The slides and presentation are in the video below. Alternatively, you can watch it on YouTube here.



WYNN: Going Big

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) put up a solid quarter yesterday. Las Vegas Strip volumes were surprisingly strong and it’s now clear that WYNN is taking Strip share on slots and tables. The company will likely take on more market share in Macau when Wynn Cotai opens. 


The company also announced a special dividend of $7.50 payable to shareholders of record on November 7. That’s a 50% increase compared to what was paid out in 2011. Additionally, WYNN doubled its regular quarterly dividend from $0.50 to $1.00/share.  Given the hefty 3.5% yield, the increase in dividend should attract a new set of income oriented investors.


WYNN: Going Big - wynnchart