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Don’t Freak Out About the Eurozone

This note was originally published at 8am on April 12, 2013 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.”

-Queen Victoria

 

It is seemingly hard to not freak out just a little about the Eurozone’s economic, financial, and political woes, often labeled The Eurozone Crisis, especially if you have money at work in the capital markets.  In the interconnected global world we live in with a 24/7 news cycle, crises boost air, print, and electronic media revenues, and it’s this news flow that also influences investor behaviors. Interestingly enough, the crises throughout Europe have lasted for months and years, far from the limited, “turning point” definition of the word, with the loudest headlines of fear coming from the region’s smallest economies.

 

While this state of developments come as no surprise to even a casual observer, below we’ll reinforce numerous points that suggest there’s no need to freak out about the future bailout needs from such smaller countries as Cyprus, Portugal, and Slovenia (as they’ll be easily covered), and while larger countries like Italy, Spain, and France (in particular) show material systemic risks, we ultimately see the ECB providing a full backstop to keep the Union of uneven economies together at all costs.

 

 

A Broken System with Political Resolve

To refresh, we believe the Eurozone is in no better of a structural state today than it was in May 2010 when Greece received its first bailout, with little exception. Yes, the European Commission has crafted a banking system 101, but it’s far from encompassing or focused enough to materially erode the sovereign-banking feedback loop on its own.

 

What continues to lie at the heart of the mismatch is that these uneven economies are joined by one monetary policy, therein preventing any one nation from independently debasing its currency to spur competition, or help inflate its way out of debt, which is further compounded by the ECB 2% inflation target mandate.  And even hypothetically if (say way down the line) one monetary policy equitably governed the Eurozone states, you’d still need a fiscal union (say from Brussels or Frankfurt) to oversee the budgets of the member countries to ensure (witnessed magnificently through this crisis) that countries don’t overstep their fiscal boundaries.

 

But here too you run into problems:

  • Countries don’t want to give up their fiscal sovereignty to a higher order
  • There will remain structural imbalances trying to mandate deficit quotas, especially for example with countries that historically run trade deficits and have limited economic breadth to diversify

Yet, despite the structural juxtapositions described above, and while it’s not empirical, one cannot rule out the resolve of the ECB and Eurocrats to keep the Union together. It’s a belief grounded in their desire for job security, and supported by a belief in trade benefits, freedom of borders, as a force against superpowers like the USA and China, and a post WWII desire for a peaceful collective.

 

 

It’s Not All So Bad And the Germans Are All-In

At every weak fiscal point in the Eurozone, Troika (the European Commission, ECB, and IMF) has answered the call to throw good money at bad and sweep the fears under the rug. Here we expect more of the same since it’s our intention that Eurocrats greatest fear remains a tumble weed effect in which the exit of one country can dissolve the entire union.

 

From a market perspective, despite a protracted slow growth outlook, it has not paid to sell Eurozone capital markets since Draghi issued his famous OMT put to bail out any nation that requests it in SEPT 2012. We expect the Eurozone will remain grounded on Draghi’s word and below are a number of factors that support the view that now is also no time to freak out about this continuing crisis:

  • German Checkbooks – it’s clear the Eurozone playing field is tilted in Germany’s favor via a weaker EUR and easy access to trading partners.  Writing bailout checks is a much more profitable exercise than returning to the D-mark.
  • ECB Leverage –the Bank has taken down its balance sheet -14% since SEPT 2012 due in part to the repayment of the LTROs, so it has room to lever it up.
  • ECB Rate Cut – Draghi has been tight lipped but continues to signal a weak economic outlook.  ECB executive board member Joerg Asmussen said this week that he sees more downside risks to a recovery in the Eurozone in the second half of the year, which may be an early indication of a 2H rate cut.
  • Still Liquid Credit Markets –Despite political concerns across the region, sovereign yields on the 10YR for Germany, France, and the Netherlands are low at 1.30%, 1.85%, and 1.73%, respectively.  As a promising sign, this Wednesday Italy sold €8B of 1YR bills at a yield of 0.92%, down significantly from the 1.28% it paid at the last auction in March. It also sold €3B of three-month bills at 0.24%.
  • Cyprus was a One-off Mistake – the deposit levy scheme in Cyprus was a misstep by the Eurocrats, which even Draghi admitted. It will be caged as a one-off and a similar scenario will not be carried out again.
  • Italy’s Saving Grace, its Deficit – despite a high debt, which this week was revised upward to 130.4% of GDP in 2013 vs 126.1%, and that we’re no closer to a coalition government today than we were when elections ended on February 25 (and we suspect new elections will have to be called), the country’s deficit should remain below -3% this year which may be one important saving grace in shielding against expedient rises in sovereign yields as politicians wrestle with budget promises.
  • Slovenia is a Peanut – certainly the risk signals are “on” with 5YR Slovenia CDS making a new YTD high of 369bps (vs a high of 511bps last summer) and 8YR sovereign yields at 6.36% (off a high of 7%), but the country’s economy at €35B (or 0.3% of the Eurozone) is only slightly larger than Cyprus, and nowhere near as levered to banking. If needed, a potential bailout package will likely be less than the figure Cyprus may get.  (Interestingly enough, Austria is the country with the most leverage to Slovenia according to Bank for International Settlements data.)

 

Risks Will Always Remain

IMF Head Lagarde said this week that a three speed global economy has emerged with the Eurozone being the weakest link with lots of distance to travel.  It’s clear that the Eurozone unemployment rate is ugly at an all-time high of 12% (with youth unemployment reaching 50% in many peripherals), that labor reforms on the country level are a huge uphill battle, that country resources and cultures will influence economic competitiveness, and that austerity’s bite is a significant tax on economies, but a necessary one in light of outsized fiscal positions.

 

These are not light issues, and the political scandals – from the French budget minister lying about a secret untaxed foreign bank account to Spanish PM Rajoy being accused of taking construction kick-backs, or even the head-scratcher that the most corrupt of them all in former Italian PM Berlusconi  has a chance of forming a coalition government – compound these economic ails.  That said, this “crisis” is being managed by the European Commission, which wants to extend debt and deficit reduction targets for most countries and lengthen bailout loan maturities (likely for Portugal and Ireland) so as to lessen the economic and political stresses.

 

Taken together we think there’s plenty of evidence to support a continued Eurozone capital markets rally and tactically trade the short side on time and price around catalysts; we believe that no country will be leaving the union due to the fear of contagion; and that there is plenty of powder tools to use should they be needed: the OMT, a rate cut, and possibly even the issuance of Eurobonds (which George Soros continues to be a big proponent of). We’d also say that while we don’t think the EUR is going away, or going to parity, we do think it carries some additional downside risk against our call for a strengthening US Dollar.

 

Stay calm and look to the hills for support.

 

Our immediate-term Risk Ranges for Gold, Oil (Brent), Copper, US Dollar, USD/YEN, USD/EUR, UST10yr Yield, VIX and the SP500 are now $1540-1573, $101.72-106.71, $3.29-3.46, $82.22-83.28, 97.45-100.98, $1.28-1.31, 1.71-1.87%, 11.78-14.51, and 1569-1596, respectively.

 

Congratulations to the Yale Men’s Ice Hockey team on their big win last night and advancing to the NCAA Finals. Go Bulldogs!!

 

 

Matthew Hedrick

Senior Analyst

 

Don’t Freak Out About the Eurozone  - CC.  EUR USD

 

Don’t Freak Out About the Eurozone  - CC. VP


THE M3: GALAXY PH3 & 4; LABOR SHORTAGE; UNEMPLOYMENT; IMPORTED WORKERS; MACAU BOXING

The Macau Metro Monitor, April 26, 2013

 

 

GALAXY MACAU PHASES 3 AND 4 TO FOCUS ON PREMIUM MASS Macau Business

Phase 3 and 4 of Galaxy Macau will be principally targeted at premium mass guests.  The two phases will span 1 million square metres.  The HK$50 billion (US$6.44 billion) to HK$60 billion project will include 5,500 hotel rooms, a multi-purpose 10,000-seat arena, as well as a 1,500-seat multi-purpose showroom, the company said.  It will also include a 50,000 square-metre convention centre and gaming capacity of up to 1,000 tables and 3,000 slots.

 

The plan is to start construction “by the end of 2013/in early 2014”.  Phase two, with 500 table games, 1,000 slots, and 1,300 hotel rooms are expected to open in mid-2015.


LABOUR SHORTAGE TO WORSEN BY 2016: CHUI Macau Business Daily

Macau CEO Chui said, “The lack of local talents, land plots and the economy’s reliance on gaming revenue are the hindrances” the city’s development faces.  Chui pledged to increase the non-gaming elements in new casino resorts and to put resources into developing other industries.  “The economy’s reliance on gaming will continue for a long time but this will not prevent [the development of] the non-gaming elements,” said Chui.


He pledges there will be “a closer ratio” between the gaming and non-gaming facilities within the new big Cotai casino resorts which are expected to be completed by 2015-16.  The official also said the resorts “will need a large number of employees, which will further tighten the number of workers available for the SMEs [small and medium enterprises].”  “So when there are not enough resident workers, can we absorb qualified talents from elsewhere… to serve the city and contribute to Macau’s economic development?” he questioned.  The public should discuss this possibility, he added. “We may not face this problem this year but it will become more conspicuous by 2016,” Chui said.

 

EMPLOYMENT SURVEY FOR JANUARY-MARCH 2013 DSEC

Unemployment rate for January-March 2013 held stable at 1.9% in comparison with the previous period (December 2012-February 2013).  Total labor force was 359,000 and the labor force participation rate stood at 71.9%. Total employment reached 352,000, an increase of 1,200 from the previous period. 

 

OVER 114,000 IMPORTED WORKERS IN MARCH Macau Business 

The total number of non-resident workers in Macau stood at 114,716 in March.  This is a new all-time high, up by 1,440 from February, the previous record. The majority – over 69,000 – came from the mainland.

 

PROMOTER CONFIRMS MANNY PACQUIAO IS COMING TO MACAU Macau Daily Times

Boxing star Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum revealed that Manny will likely face either Brandon Rios or Mike Alvarado, both US fighters, during November in Macau.


ADM’s Lengthy Courtship of GrainCorp Nears an End

This evening, ADM announced that it had signed a “takeover bid implementation deed” with GrainCorp to acquire the company for A$12.20 per share.  Essentially, ADM will be conducting due diligence for a period of one week and at the end of that period, will make the determination as to whether or not to proceed with a bid.  ADM has moved its quarterly reporting date to May 1st to accomodate the due dilligence timetable.  GrainCorp has announced that any such bid would be unanimously supported by the Board.  The total transaction value is A$3.4 billion including the debt at GrainCorp.  For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012, GrainCorp delivered adjusted EBITDA of A$413.9 million and $349.6 million in the year prior – so, approximately 8.2x trailing EV/EBITDA.  ADM suggested that the transaction would be “cash accretive” in its first full year (so, EPS dilutive).

 

ADM’s Lengthy Courtship of GrainCorp Nears an End - GrainCorp Activities



Our view is that this transaction makes a great deal of sense within the context of our long-term bullish call on global agricultural processing.  We believe that one of the best ways to play the increase in caloric consumption of the emerging middle class in developing markets is through companies such as ADM and BG.  ADM and BG are positioned to capitalize on the fundamental geographic mismatch that exists and will continue to grow between where crops are most efficiently produced and where the growth in consumption lies.



Further, we believe that ADM needs to expand beyond its core U.S. operations and the associated ethanol exposure.  ADM missed out on Viterra, the largest grain processor in Canada when those assets went to Glencore.  GrainCorp is the largest grain processor in Australia, a major wheat producer and exporter, well-positioned to feed the burgeoning middle classes of Asia and the Middle East.

 

ADM’s Lengthy Courtship of GrainCorp Nears an End - GrainCorp Description



These assets are unique and not easily replicated, if at all.  While it is a very capital intensive business, the investment thesis behind ADM and BG is expanding returns over time on a growing asset base.



Bottom line, we are seeing consolidation in global agricultural assets and once the train leaves the station (ability to acquire assets in a particular country), there isn’t another one coming along.  ADM hopped on a good train with GrainCorp – significant share in an attractive market that is well-positioned to exploit favorable trends in global consumption.



Call with questions,

 

Rob


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IGT REPORT CARD

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

 

 

OVERALL:  BETTER - IGT beat the Street and us pretty handily.  Interactive was a very nice positive surprise as was the number of shares repurchased.  Strong slot sales indicate higher market share and while discounting was implemented, it had a positive impact on the bottom line.  Guidance looks overally conservative.

 

GAMING OPERATIONS YIELDS

  • WORSE:  1Q gaming yields fell 6% YoY to $49.26 on lower megajackpot revenue as US GGR remain pressured.  It will be difficult to achieve flat yields by year-end. However, yields did beat Street expectations
  • PREVIOUSLY: The biggest driver of gaming ops yield for us is improvement in gross gaming revenue, which we haven't had a lot of good news in that area lately… We're going to float very closely to gross gaming revenues. We are over-indexed in Nevada and in Native American, because that's where our wide area progressive concentration is and that is the highest yielding product for us…  We're expecting a bit of a lift up in our yield, I think, on a going forward basis, expect to see kind of flat yields year-over-year when you think about it on an annual basis.

GAMING OPERATIONS CAPEX

  • MIXED:  Expect to see a decrease in game ops capex driven by a decrease in new installments
  • PREVIOUSLY: I think we're in steady state actually right now. When we look out over the next couple of years, we think that the game ops capital is kind of at a fixed number for us in our planning. 

DOUBLEDOWN

  • BETTER:  DAU climbed 25% in F2Q.  IGT thinks that they can continue to grow DAU with the launch of new language sites but that may impact average bookings.  The pace of growth may not match that seen in F2Q. 
  • PREVIOUSLY: Revenue per user…[is] now at $0.31 per day. We've launched four of our traditional titles that you would see in casinos and those games outperform anything else in the slot content world. So we feel very good about it, top to bottom. We feel good about the margins. We feel good about the track we're on to make it GAAP accretive in 2014 and we're still committed to that.

BUYBACK

  • BETTER:  Repurchased 4.4 million shares at an average price of $17.03/ share for a total cost of $75MM in F2Q.  We had $25MM in our model
  • PREVIOUSLY: We have $600 million left on our authorization for repurchasing shares. We have that kind of a window of two to four years, depending upon the valuation of the stock. We expect to resume normal open market repurchases during the remainder of 2013.

REPLACEMENT OUTLOOK

  • BETTER:  Believed they gained ship share in both new and replacement markets.  IGT also captured 40% share in the Canadian replacement cycle.
  • PREVIOUSLY: The domestic replacement market is kind of continuing to bump along… we would say cautiously optimistic with overall replacement, but increasingly optimistic with our opportunity to take more than our fair share of what comes in the market.

PRODUCT SALES MARGINS

  • WORSE:  Overall F2Q product sales margins fell 3% points YoY to 52%, mainly due to targeted promotional activity and unfavorable mix shift.  IGT expects a low 51-53% range for the remainder of FY2013.
  • PREVIOUSLY: On the margin side, the uptick in Product Sales margin was really attributable to non-box, in particular intellectual property contributions in the quarter. So we would expect margins to be more comparable to prior year excluding that one-time effect.

IGT F2Q13 CONF CALL NOTES

IGT delivers strong revs and eps, Interactive on fire, and buyback more aggressive than we thought. Guidance looks overly conservative.

 


"We are very pleased with our momentum through the second quarter, demonstrating the strength of our comprehensive strategy – leveraging our core business, broadening the distribution of our premier content, and generating shareholder returns.  As we continue to deliver on this strategy, we expect that this will be our fourth consecutive year of double digit growth in adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations."

 

-  Patti Hart, CEO of IGT 

 

 

CONF CALL NOTES

  • Estimate that they captured over 40% market share in the Canadian replacement cycle
  • IGT titles are driving more than 50% of their revenues on DoubleDown
  • Mobile gaming platform saw a remarkable increase in play
  • Remain confident that their investment in DD will more than exceed their cost of capital
  • Experienced a pivotal moment in Feb when NJ passed legislature to allow full online gaming 
  • In Canada they partnered with BCLC by hosting IGT content on BCLC's website
  • International: there is strong demand for IGT's offerings but there are systemic issues that have prevented IGT's participation in certain regions as well as economic issues.  Long term, they still expect international markets to outpace US market growth.
  • Confident that they gained ship share in both replacement and new market shipments in NA
  • Dolly Partner is doing well and was recently launched. Their skilled-based games are also gaining traction.
  • In international markets, systems products did well but product sales struggled
  • Expect that their objective of getting to flat YoY yields by year end will be challenging to achieve. 
  • Expect to see a decrease in game ops capex driven by a decrease in new installments
  • iIGT:  their online casino business grew but was negatively impacted by the absence of their European poker business
  • Double Down:  French, German and Spanish site launches should drive further growth; however, they could see declines in average bookings per user.  Still expect the transaction to be accretive by 2014.
  • Closed on a 5 year unsecured credit facility.  They lowered their borrowing costs by over 20% and extended their maturities.
  • Patti has never been more encouraged by IGT's prospects

 

Q&A

  • They wanted to be aggressive in tapping into capital budgets early in the calendar year
  • Traditionally their margins are in the low 50's range for product margins.  They expect to be there for the balance of the year.
  • Game ops: the biggest headwind is lack of stability in GGR trends across the States
  • Getting back to flat YoY yields may be a stretch unless they do something extraordinary
  • They are very excited about NJ.  They will use their content in NJ that they have been using for the past 10 years outside of the US.  The market in NJ has not matured to the point of sale yet.  For now, everyone is looking to decide which platform to use.  They expect to provide their content onto other platforms - they will be focused on casino style games only.
  • R&D and SG&A run rate?  They ticked up because of a jump in bad debt and some extraordinary costs with the proxy fight and Alabama charges. They expect that costs may tick down closer to 1Q levels aside from marketing costs related to DD.
  • Continue to see a shift towards lease operations and away from WAPs to standalones
  • They were unable to repurchase shares during the proxy battle
  • Model that they have used in Europe for online content and Canada - have all been revenue participation models. The cut for content providers have been a pretty tight range.
  • Wanted to be aggressive to taking share early in the year while their customers still had capital, especially if GGR continues to struggle
  • The decline in their NA install base has been due to heightened competition, shifting trend to standalone from WAP, and general weakness of GGR
  • Think that the introduction of a mid-tier participation products will help them (CSI, Family Guy, American Idol Encore)
  • They have not changed their approach to use of FCF  - first dollar to investment in the business then capital returns
  • Canadian VLTs:  3,500 
  • Expect that the vast majority of the balance of the units should ship this year. There may be some follow on activity as some locations top off their floors in 2014.
  • IL VGTs: only 500-600 units
  • DD - what to expect for the balance of the year in terms of momentum:  Think that they can continue to grow DAU with the launch of new language sites but that may impact average bookings.  Expect that they will continue to grow sequentially - but not necessarily at the same pace as they saw this Q.
  • Systemic issue on the international side?  Some impediments to importing into certain markets, continue to see major macro headwinds in Europe.  However, they still believe that they can grow high to mid-single digit over the longer-term internationally.
  • How many video poker machines did they ship?  It was "unremarkable."

 

HIGHLIGHTS TO THE RELEASE

  • Based on current expectations and the operating results for the second quarter of fiscal 2013, the company is increasing its fiscal year 2013 guidance for adjusted earnings from continuing operations to $1.26 to $1.32 per share. 
  • Revenues increased 11%...driven by growth in North America machine sales and social gaming
  • Non-GAAP adjusted financial measures for the second quarter ended March 31, 2013 exclude acquisition-related charges for DoubleDown, fees related to the proxy contest, Alabama note impairment and certain discrete tax benefits
  • Gaming operations revenues decreased 4%....primarily due to lower MegaJackpots revenue
    • Gross margin increased.... primarily due to lower jackpot expenses and depreciation
    • Installed base increase was driven by lease operations growth globally
    • Average revenue per unit per day ... was $49.26, down 6% ...primarily due to lower yields, most significant in MegaJackpots, and up 5% sequentially due to seasonal gaming trends
  • Product sales:  Revenues increased 16% .... and units recognized increased 40% to 14,300... primarily due to increased North America machine sales related to Canadian VLT customers, as well as an increase in North America new openings
    • Gross margin decreased... due to targeted promotional activity, unfavorable mix shift and higher non-standard manufacturing costs.
    • ASPs decreased 11% mainly due to targeted promotional activity and an increased mix of lower-priced VLT sales.
  • Interactive revenues increased 94% YoY and gross margins grew 600bps
    • Social gaming revenues...increased 31% sequentially to $54 million, primarily driven by an increase in both average DAU and average bookings per DAU
    • Average DAU were 1.7 million... an increase of 16% compared to the prior sequential quarter
    • Average bookings per DAU increased 19% sequentially to $0.37 
  • Second quarter operating expenses increased over the prior year quarter primarily due to additional expenses from DoubleDown and unfavorable bad debt provisions.
  • In 2Q, IGT repurchased 4.4 million shares at an average price of $17.03/ share for a total cost of $75MM

CRI: Let’s Put the Bull and Bear in the Octagon (Correction)

Takeaway: We can drive a truck through the Bull and Bear case on CRI. Here's our best stab at each.

Conclusion: Our bearish call on CRI is one that – especially today – has not gone our way. Let’s put on the accountability pants and see how the research call is changing – especially relative to a stock price that wants to do nothing but go up. We think that the bull/bear on this one is pretty well balanced – with a positive secular backdrop, but risky near-term positioning (and spending) to hit sales and margin targets that are already widely telegraphed. The +6% reaction showed that the market was looking for the negative momentum from last quarter to continue. We did too. Didn’t happen.   When we shake the Etch-a-Sketch clean and re-evaluating our position, we still come away with more risk than reward.

 

(Updated to include the correct e-commerce growth figures)

 

Here’s our take on the bull vs. bear research call: 

Bull:

  • Relatively high-return, defendable brand with dominant share (24%) in its core Baby business that will capitalize on a rebound in the birth rate after a 5-year buildup in the deferred birth pipeline (see Exhibits below).
     
  • The company is investing today in a) e-commerce fulfillment,  b) more company-operated stores (including outlets), c) centralizing headquarters, d) converting Canadian Operations to higher-margin dual-brand stores, and e) taking its sourcing operations back in-house – all of which should take margins to 14-15%. While we have a hard time internalizing the concept of a business with these characteristics sustaining this type of margin level, there’s arguably no reason why it can not get close temporarily if it wants to.
     
  • This suggests EPS in the $4.50-$5.00 range, or a 15%+ CAGR from current levels.
     
  • Cash flow might be bad today, but capex will ease as they start to harvest the benefit of their spending, leading to far better FCF characteristics in 2014/2015.  That’s precisely when the ‘birth boom’ should be in full swing. CRI should have the sourcing and fulfillment assets in place at that point to capitalize on the favorable operating environment with a lower cost structure.

 

Bear:

  • CRI might have dominant share in the Baby business, but that only accounts for 32% of CRI’s total. After backing out parts of its sleepwear business that we’d also consider equally as defendable, we’re looking at about 50-60%% of the portfolio has a competitive set that is no stranger to price competition and not as dependent on the birth rate.
     
  • Like for like sales in its portfolio are simply not good. CRI added $39mm in aggregate sales in the latest quarter, but $17mm-$18mm of that was in e-commerce alone. In addition, it added 14% more stores vs last year in Carters USA, which accounts for 29% of revenue.   We don’t want to ding the company for good performance in e-commerce, as it’s a critical part of growth. But with this store growth should we really be surprised that comps were up only 0.6% in Carters, down 0.5% in wholesale, and DOWN 9.5% at Osh Kosh? Not really. We’d rather the company focus on the productivity of its existing assets.
     
  • Gymboree just reported comps of -2% for it’s latest quarter (on a 2 month lag to CRI). If this ‘baby boom’ is materializing, we’re not seeing it yet in numbers. What’s interesting is that year-to date, we’ve seen a notable rebound in containerized traffic for Baby Apparel – about $3bn in retail value vs $1.9bn last year based on our math. Some of this is due to catch-up volume from last year’s port strike, but we think at least half represents real incremental shipments. Either this sales boost has yet to be realized by the major brands, or more competition is being attracted to the space – something that tends to happen when cyclical/secular trends turn positive in virtually any industry.

    CRI: Let’s Put the Bull and Bear in the Octagon  (Correction) - babyshipments
     
  • CRI’s inventories look fine – not good, not bad, just fine. The SIGMA chart shows that it’s going on its fifth quarter of improvement at a time when margin comparisons are getting more difficult. We almost never see multiples expand when this is the case. The punchline here is that the company needs to drive future stock performance by earnings upside. To its credit, that’s what it’s been doing, and our sense is that it simply set conservative expectations for the year today. But for a company that chalked up $0.08-$0.10 of a $0.10 beat to deferred SG&A and shipment timing (ie did not really beat), we’ve got to think that the Street is looking through the company’s ‘guide and beat’ strategy at least to a certain degree.

    CRI: Let’s Put the Bull and Bear in the Octagon  (Correction) - crisigma
     
  • Its' capital spending projects seem to be going according to plan, and we like the fact that more people transferred to Atlanta than the company previously thought. That suggests better continuity and more faith by the team internally in what the management team is doing. But we still can’t gloss over the fact that the sheer level of spending at this company is off the charts. Capex is going up from $83mm to $200mm this year – and we definitely are cautious towards that. SG&A growing by over 2x the rate of sales hardly puts us in our happy place. either. Not because the company should't be spending, but simply because its risky having so many balls in the air at once, and its causing free cash flow to evaporate. We’re modeling cash flow to erode from $195mm in 2012 to $30mm this year, and we don’t this we’ll see a rebound to ’12 levels until 2015.

 

 

THE BULL CASE ON AN INFLECTION IN BIRTHS

Here’s Hedgeye Healthcare Team’s overview on their expected increase in the birth rate. Contact or Tom Tobin () for additional color.

 

CRI: Let’s Put the Bull and Bear in the Octagon  (Correction) - 2

 

CRI: Let’s Put the Bull and Bear in the Octagon  (Correction) - 3

 

CRI: Let’s Put the Bull and Bear in the Octagon  (Correction) - 5


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