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HOT Q1 2014 REPORT CARD

In an effort to evaluate performance, we compare how Q1 2104 measured up to previous management commentary and guidance

 

 

OVERALL:  

BETTER - The fears surrounding an emerging markets slowdown didn't show this quarter and as a result adjusted EBITDA exceeded our our higher than consensus forecast.  Management, Franchise and Other Fees were higher than forecast as well.  No problems with management's operating ability but the company's financial policy continues to hold the stock back.

 

HOT Q1 2014 REPORT CARD - HOT Chart1

 

North America:

  • BETTER:
    • Occupancy at record highs
    • Late cycle: RevPAR should be rate driven, but several years away from new supply in most markets - especially at the high end
    • Momentum continuing into Q2, we expect North American REVPAR growth to continue to pace in the upper half of the range of 5 to 7%.
    • Adjusting for the Easter shift, into April, this momentum has continued into Q2.
  • PREVIOUSLY:
    • North America picking up steam 
    • We’ve seen three quarters in a row of record occupancy
    • The lodging recovery in North America continued unabated
    • Owned hotels saw REVPAR up nearly 10% and margins up 350 bps
    • We expect North American REVPAR growth at the upper end of our 5% to 7% outlook range, with rate accounting for 75% to 80% of the increase

Europe:

  • SAME:
    • RevPAR 2.5% but Q1 is slow season
    • We need to see better rate gains in Europe and we need more robust demand. Until that happens Europe growth will stay in the 2% to 4% range like we experienced for the past two years
  • PREVIOUSLY:
    • Ended the year well, with REVPAR up over 4% in local currencies in Q4
    • Occupancy remained high, nearly 68% for the full year 2013
    • European economies remain fragile and the euro could still be an issue, we’re hopeful that the improving trend will continue
    • In Q4, we saw mid-single digit REVPAR growth in: Spain, Italy, and the U.K - only Germany was a little soft
    • We assume Europe REVPAR growth in 2014 will be at the low end of our worldwide outlook range
    • Europe also had a good January, but it’s the low season
    • We’ll have to wait until March and April to get a better sense of the European trend in 2014

China:

  • BETTER:
    • performance stronger than expected
    • Expect Q2 slightly slower following strong Q1 results
    • RevPAR +12% driven by Sheraton Macau with 90% occupancy
    • ex Sheraton Macau (Mainland China) 6% RevPAR growth
    • promoting the company across all segments, markets, and channels
    • >70% occupancy PRC nationals
    • Results driven by increasing occupancy and not rates
  • PREVIOUSLY:
    • China now represents a meaningful piece of our global business, accounting for 13% of our fee revenues
    • China is rebounding
    • Expect Asia REVPAR to continue to grow at the high end of our global REVPAR outlook range of 5% to 7%

Latin America:

  • SAME:
    • Mixed, emerging two-tier region
    • Mexico & central:  combined revpar +14%
    • 2nd Tier: Venezuela, Brazil, Argentia - struggling, f(x) issues
  • PREVIOUSLY:
    • REVPAR is forecasted to grow in the lower half of our 5% to 7% outlook range
    • Same-store owned REVPAR to grow 4% to 6% in local currencies globally, with margin gains of 75 to 125bps
    • Disparate results across the region
    • Mexico continued to rebound, starting with resorts and followed by urban locations
    • Brazil’s the outlook remains unclear but The World Cup should help Brazil and the Sheraton Rio is coming out of renovation
    • Argentina was still a mess and reaching the acute stag
    • Even with the most recent peso devaluation, the gap between the official and unofficial exchange rate remains large

Group:

  • SAME:    Group business continues to pace in the mid-single digits with smaller group corporate business especially strong while larger group Association business remains weak.  All in all rates are in the mid-single digits in some of these corporate negotiated rates certainly corporate groups are the healthiest of all the group business. Corporate group business does tend to be booked were shorter lead times
  • PREVIOUSLY:
    • Negotiated corporate rates are up in the mid-single digits for 2014
    • Group pace for 2014 is pacing in the mid-single digits
    • We are starting to see the return of incentive travel

 Costs:

  • SAME: SG&A are expected to increase by approximately 3% to 5%.
  • PREVIOUSLY:
    • SG&A growth is expected to stay in the 3% to 5% range, even as we make infrastructure investments in growth markets and in new capabilities

Share buyback/dividends:

  • WORSE:
    • no share repurchase activity during Q1 nor QTD in Q2 - investors disappointed, as they should be - ridiculously low leverage
    • constantly recalibrating how to return to shareholders will use dividend, special dividend and share repurchase avenues
    • special dividends: not adverse to one-time, like flexibility of quarterly
  • PREVIOUSLY:
    • For 2014, we’ll work hard to continue returning cash to shareholders via - Ordinary dividends, Special dividends, and share repurchases
    • Four planned special dividends associated with the $500 million in cash from the completion of the Bal Harbour project.
    • We have a healthy dividend with an almost 50% payout ratio and a 1.8% yield
    • The Company’s share repurchase authorization has increased by an additional $250 million. As of October 30, 2013, the total amount available under the authorization is approximately $614 million.

 Asset sales:

  • SAME:
    • Asset sales
      • now have more asset for sale since the global financial crisis
      • North American portfolio, as well as assets in Europe and Asia
    • Asset buyer profile
      • Europe/Large one-offs:  UHNW family or person, sovereign wealth
      • US: portfolio sales to PE, funds, or private buyer
      • Geographic:  Middle East and ethic Chinese around the world
  • PREVIOUSLY:
    • The (buyers) markets are becoming deeper, and there are more buyers now seeking to deploy larger amounts of money.
    • Used to be the public REITs buying single assets, we now see portfolio buyers, and we believe private equity buyers have returned and soveigns are definitely back.
    • This is prime time for asset sales and we intend to fully take advantage of it.
    • Cap rates: we’ve seen sub-5% cap rates on some of our better hotels and 6% to 7% on some of the more suburban and airport hotels.
    • We certainly don’t want to wait until the 11th hour. On the other hand, being patient in selling assets up until now, I think, has worked in the interest of shareholders, not the other way around

PENN Q1 2014 REPORT CARD

In an effort to evaluate performance, we compare how the quarter measured up to previous management commentary and guidance

 

 

OVERALL:

  • WORSE:  Sloppy quarter and worse guidance.  Removing Sioux City surprisingly surprised some people.  We think regional trends will improve sequentially from here but for now there is not much to get excited about.  Problems seem concentrated with Indiana and West Virginia.

 

Consumer trends:

  • WORSE:  Very soft visitation and revenue environment, particularly at Charles Town and L'Auberge.  Poor demand from the <$100 segment.
  • PREVIOUSLY:  Relatively soft and cautious consumer environment, particularly at the lower end worth statements of our rated database, those who typically spend a $100 or less per gaming visit.

Promotional environment:

  • BETTER:  Promoting less in St. Louis region. Other regions are still promotional but steady. 
  • PREVIOUSLY:  Promotional environments remain mostly rational in our competitive markets

Plainridge:

  • SAME:  Expect to open 2Q 2015
  • PREVIOUSLY:  
    • Feel comfortable with a 20% stabilized ROI
    • (03/14/14) broke ground on the property

New Competitors:

  • WORSE:  Competition is becoming more fierce in Lawrenceburg and Charles Town.  Mgmt blamed underperformance in these two markets for the lowered guidance.
  • PREVIOUSLY: 
    • Starting in Charles Town, clearly the opening of Horseshoe Baltimore in the August-September time period will have far less effect from what PENN saw with Maryland Live opening up in 2012 and then adding table games in 2013. 
    • Similarly in Lawrenceburg, the Horseshoe Cincinnati effect on Lawrenceburg will certainly have a much greater effect on the Miami Valley opening, which occurred about a little less than two months ago, and a less of effect of what's going to happen with River Downs or Belterra Park opening up. 

Cost efficiencies:

  • BETTER:  1Q corp expense and stock comp was better than forecasted
  • PREVIOUSLY: 
    • There are still some additional operating efficiencies out there to pursue...That includes, obviously, payroll. We still have approximately 25% of our labor costs remain variable, so there's opportunities there. 
    • [Marketing] tend to be very disciplined.

Toledo/Columbus:

  • SAME:  Toledo was impacted by the most snowfall on record in 1Q.  Absent weather, mgmt was encouraged by the property performance. 
  • PREVIOUSLY:  
    • Expect Toledo to grow bc PENN don't really any other supply affecting that business as they go into the balance of 2014 into 2015
    • (Columbus):  Dayton and Miami Valley operation will have some dampening effect on Columbus as PENN absorb that supply

Dayton/Austintown: 

  • SAME:  continues on budget and scheduled to open early this fall
  • PREVIOUSLY:
    • Fall 2014 opening
    • Opening up with 1,000 in Dayton and about 850 in Austintown and be able to grow beyond that as demand warrants.
    • Still looking at margins in those two racinos in the high 20%s or better.

Jamul:

  • SAME: Will open 1Q 2016 
  • PREVIOUSLY:  Early 2016 opening

Housing: Hiccup or Harbinger?

Takeaway: We expect the slope on housing activity to remain negative.

Housing: Hiccup or Harbinger? - house

#HousingSlowdown

 

We recently detailed our expectation for a #HousingSlowdown in our Q2 2014 Macro themes call. Incidentally, we’ll be launching comprehensive coverage of housing in the next few weeks. 

 

The housing data of the last few days continues to offer further, positive confirmation of the marked, and geographically pervasive, slowdown in housing demand. 

 

Home price growth follows the slope of demand and current demand measures (Existing/Pending/New Home Sales) continue to flag while mortgage application data through mid-April is signaling a further deceleration in forward transaction activity.   

 

That the deceleration in activity is occurring in the face of both the positive shift in weather and declining interest rates makes it that much more notable. 

 

While weather probably exaggerated some of the underlying weakness to start the year, we continue to think that the collective impact of stagnant income growth, declining affordability, a reversal in institutional interest, and the implementation of QM regulations will serve to pressure housing demand over the intermediate term. 

Summary highlight of recent data  

 

APRIL DATA:  The NAHB HMI and weekly MBA mortgage data represent a couple of the most real-time measures of existent demand/sentiment trends and both continue to signal weakness.

  • Mortgage Applications: The composite mortgage application index declined 3.3% week-over-week as the Purchase Applications and Refinance sub-indices hit new lows in year-over-year growth.  As it stands, Purchase Applications are down -19.3% off peak and -18.5% YoY while refinance activity is down -71% YoY! 

Housing: Hiccup or Harbinger? - Mortgage Apps 042314 large

  • NAHB HMI: Headline NAHB confidence increased 1 point month-over-month in April versus the downwardly revised March print with builder confidence flat or down across geographies with the exception of the Northeast. Confidence in the West region slid for a third consecutive month, continuing its expedited 26 point drawdown from a peak reading of 71 just three months ago. The composite index is now down 10 points off its December peak of 57.

Housing: Hiccup or Harbinger? - NAHB April

Housing: Hiccup or Harbinger? - NAHB Regional

 

MARCH DATA:  Home price growth decelerated and both Existing and New Home Sales slowed sequentially in March. The slowdown, coming post the weather inflection, was again pervasive across geographies, further confuting the "its the weather" in isolation thesis.   

  • Existing Home Sales: Existing Home Sales declined -0.2% MoM and -8% YoY – accelerating 70 bps versus the -7.3% decline in February. Sales were down across geographies with the West region again leading the declines.

Housing: Hiccup or Harbinger? - Existing Home Sales by Region march

  • New Home Sales: New Home sales declined -13% YoY, marking the 1st month of negative year-over-year growth since September of 2011. The Northeast was the lone region recording a MoM increase in sales while year-over-year sales growth declined across all geographies.

Housing: Hiccup or Harbinger? - New Home Sales by Region

Housing: Hiccup or Harbinger? - New Home Sales by Region march

  • Corelogic HPI: The preliminary estimate is for a sequential deceleration of 160bps in home price growth in March – the slowest pace of growth in 13 months and the largest sequential deceleration since June of 2006.  As a reminder, the March/April data will be the first to reflect any early impacts of QM implementation, which went into effect on January 10.    

Housing: Hiccup or Harbinger? - Corelogic March 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *


Editor's Note: This note was originally sent to subscribers on April 23, 2014 by Hedgeye Macro Analyst Christian Drake. Follow Christian on Twitter @HedgeyeUSA.

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FB: 3 Quick Takeaways

Takeaway: We're not actively covering FB at this time, but these are the main points we are taking away from the release

 

  1. 1Q14 Was Solid: FB beat revenues by 6%, producing its strongest y/y advertising growth in ~3 years. Mobile now represents the majority of Ad revenue (~58%) vs. 30% in 1Q13. Growth in Monthly Active Users (MAUs) & Daily Active Users (DAUs) continued at a double-digit pace; with engagement (DAUs as % of MAUs) hitting a new high of 63%, continuing an upward trend that has persisted since at least 1Q10.  
  2. 2014 to Revenue Growth to Slow "meaningfully": Management suggested that the timing of the ramp in News Feed Ads last year will lead to tougher comps through the rest of the year, and ad revenue growth rates will be meaningfully lower by 4Q14.  Further, the user shift to mobile will pressure its Payments & Other Fees segment since the games that drive this segment are desktop only. Consensus is already assuming decelerating growth; we're not deep enough on the name to take a stance once way or the other.
  3. Trading at Massive Premium to the Group: We value the social media players by discounting their P/S Ratios by consensus growth expectations.  In this respect, the street is paying a much higher premium for FB's growth than the rest of the group, which suggests FB has less room for error moving forward.

FB: 3 Quick Takeaways - FB DAU MAU

 

FB: 3 Quick Takeaways - FB revenues

 

FB: 3 Quick Takeaways - Social Media Valuations

 

Hesham Shaaban, CFA

@HedgeyeInternet

 


HOT Q2 2014 CONF CALL NOTES

Strong secular tailwinds, but one major headwind...

 

 

CONF CALL

Q1 2014 Results:

  • Global economy "bouncing along" and slightly improving
  • Worldwide presence makes HOT more susceptible to global gyrations
  • Watching Thailand, Egypt, Russia, and Emerging Markets carefully...

North America

  • RevPAR >7%
  • Occupancy at record highs
  • Late cycle: RevPAR should be rate driven, but several years away from new supply in most markets - especially at the high end
  • Momentum continuing into Q2, RevPAR expected in 6-7%

Europe

  • RevPAR 2.5% but Q1 is slow season

Africa/Middle East

  • Outlook doesn't include a dramatic improvement
  • 11 hotels pulled results lower
  • Saudi Arabia stronger

Latin AM

  • Mixed, emerging two-tier region
  • Mexico & central:  combined revpar +14%
  • 2nd Tier: Venezuela, Brazil, Argentia - struggling, f(x) issues

China

  • Expect Q2 slightly slower following strong Q1 results
  • RevPAR +12% driven by Sheraton Macau with 90% occupancy
  • ex Sheraton Macau (Mainland China) 6% RevPAR growth
  • performance stronger than expected
  • inbound travel to china dropped and Central Gov't austerity
  • promoting the company across all segments, markets, and channels
  • >70% occupancy PRC nationals
  • Fewer large customers, few long lead time clients, booking window short/close in
  • Results driven by increasing occupancy and not rates

Other Asia

  • Bangkok: riots hurt results
  • Thailand: much stronger
  • Asia ex China continue growth trends

Bal Harbour:

  • only two condo remain unsold

Secular Growth in Cities:

  • Top 100 Cities = 40% of global GDP
  • Next 500 Cities = almost 40% of global GDP
  • these 500 Cities = new development opportunity (Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis)
  • 200 cities global that could support at least one Sheraton and not have a Sheraton today

Q&A - 5 of the 12 questions focused on share repurchase strategy or capital plans.  The natives are getting restless...

  • Share repurchase vs. special dividends:
    • constantly recalibrating how to return to shareholders will use dividend, special dividend and share repurchase avenues
    • special dividends: not adverse to one-time, like flexibility of quarterly
  • Asset sales:
    • now have more asset for sale since the global financial crisis
    • North American portfolio, as well as assets in Europe and Asia
  • Asset buyer profile
    • Europe/Large one-offs:  UHNW family or person, sovereign wealth
    • US: portfolio sales to PE, funds, or private buyer
    • Geographic:  Middle East and ethic Chinese around the world
  • Stock under performance due to lack of share repurchase vs. Emerging Market issues...
  • NA system wide vs. owned RevPAR differential:  less than 20 NA owned, skewed to NYC and Canada = Q1 under performance, purely geographic
  • Corp Negotiated:  mid single digits rates
  • Corp Group:  stronger and healthiest of all group
  • Corp Group F&B:  still focused on keeping costs down
  • US:  1/3 group with long lead time vs. 2/3 non-group
    • Non-US: 1/4 group with short lead time
  • Airbnb:  real phenomenon, disruptive, concern is similar to OTA onset 10 year ago.
  • Termination Fees:  anticipated for Q1 2014, 8%-10% growth for Q2 and FY 2014
  • Underlevered Balance Sheet indicate interest in reinvesting through a brand acquisition?
  • Europe:  70-75% business traveler world-wide, but destination hotels in Italy, France, Spain so summer mix is skewed to leisure - summer will tell if Europe bounces strongly higher. 

RCL Q1 2014 REPORT CARD

In-line with trends seen from our pricing survey

 

 

OVERALL

  • MIXED:  As expected, the Caribbean continues to be the major risk that faces RCL and its competitors over the near-term.  Expectations were high heading into the print and while RCL underwhelmed on the yield side, particularly in 2Q as we warned, it was offset by better cost controls and a strengthening recovery in Europe.  

Bookings:

  • BETTER:  Post-Wave bookings in March/April have exceeded seasonal expectations
  • PREVIOUSLY:  Entered 2014 in a very strong book position with 5% more revenue on the book YoY

Caribbean:

  • WORSE:  Despite efforts by management to touch this topic from different angles, the truth is Caribbean has underperformed their expectations since the beginning of the year and continue to be pressured by the promotions from NCLH and CCL. 
  • PREVIOUSLY:  
    • Booked load factors and rates for the Caribbean are lower than the same time last year, and expect yields for 2014 to be down for the Caribbean by low single digits.
    • The Caribbean is weaker due to two factors: firstly, it's the areas hardest hit by the media storm of 2013; and secondly, a large capacity increase here, for both the company and the industry of 13%.
    • Longer-dated itineraries holding better than shorter-dated ones

Europe:

  • SAME:  RCL continues to display pricing power in this market.  The recovery of the Southern Europe pricing is reassuring.  RCL expects double digit yield growth for 2014.
  • PREVIOUSLY:  Booked load factors and APDs are significantly higher YoY.  Expecting another year of significant yield improvement in Europe and expect yields to surpass pre-recessionary levels.

Asia-Pacific:

  • SAME:  Expects double digit yield growth in 2014
  • PREVIOUSLY:  Booked load factors and APDs remain ahead YoY despite a 12% increase in capacity. Expect yields to be up nicely for our Asia-Pacific itinerary.

Alaska:

  • SAME:  Expects low-mid single digit yield growth in 2014
  • PREVIOUSLY:  Feel fairly confident on how Alaska shapes up 

Pullmantur:

  • SLIGHTLY BETTER:  There was no mention of further deterioration in this brand.  The strength of the Spanish market should also provided a boost to Pullmantur.
  • PREVIOUSLY:  Expect the greatest relative benefit
    • Most visible changes involve the shift to having a Latin American headquarters and the recent sale of Pullmantur's non-cruise businesses
    • Immediate growth in Latin America should be significant. Expect this transformation to take some time, and for 2014, the year will be a transitional year.  Expect the biggest benefits of Pullmantur's changes to occur in 2015 and beyond.

Onboard revenue:

  • SAME:  Gaming and beverages led the 3.4% growth in Q1 onboard yields
  • PREVIOUSLY:  
    • Benefits from ship revitalization program, packaging initiatives, as well as shore excursion enhancements, drove onboard revenue
    • Seeing strength across every single revenue stream and from every single market. So the entire story is positive. There's just a general uplift across all brands.

Promotional environment:

  • WORSE:  Ever after normal Wave promotions, the Caribbean continues to discount.
  • PREVIOUSLY:   Regular, nothing unusual

Ship incidents:

  • WORSE:  6 ship incidents in Q1 (oil spill in Gulf, damaged propeller in Tokyo affected 2 sailing, norovirus, etc.) impacted Q1 earnings by 5 cents and yields by 0.5%
  • PREVIOUSLY:  Don't expect that the impact of this event (norovirus) will be significant or meaningful to the company or its result.

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