Client Talking Points
As the “Ides of April” come to a close, US Consumer (XLY) and Financials (XLF) lead the losers down -1.8% for April. On the other hand, slow-growth-yield-chasing Utilities (XLU) are up +4%. If buying inflation and slow growth ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The Wall Street Journal is “cautious” on Twitter (TWTR) now – thanks for coming out. TWTR, YELP, and FB remain in Bearish Bubble Formations at Hedgeye! Buy in May, and pray? Not on the US consumer, social bubbles, or housing stuff – no thank you!
There’s a nasty weekly mortgage demand print this morning out of MBA (total, purchase + refinance, index) slammed for another -5.9% loss after last week’s -3.3% drop. Rates Down = Demand Down – Janet? Our Q2 Macro Theme of #HousingSlowdown remains intact.
|FIXED INCOME||20%||INTL CURRENCIES||20%|
Top Long Ideas
Hologic is emerging from an extremely tough period which has left investors wary of further missteps. In our view, Hologic and its new management are set to show solid growth over the next several years. We have built two survey tools to track and forecast the two critical elements that will drive this acceleration. The first survey tool measures 3-D Mammography placements every month. Recently we have detected acceleration in month over month placements. When Hologic finally receives a reimbursement code from Medicare, placements will accelerate further, perhaps even sooner. With our survey, we'll see it real time. In addition to our mammography survey. We've been running a monthly survey of OB/GYNs asking them questions to help us forecast the rest of Hologic's businesses, some of which have been faced with significant headwinds. Based on our survey, we think those headwinds are fading. If the Affordable Care Act actually manages to reduce the number of uninsured, Hologic is one of the best positioned companies.
Construction activity remains cyclically depressed, but has likely begun the long process of recovery. A large multi-year rebound in construction should provide a tailwind to OC shares that the market appears to be underestimating. Both residential and nonresidential construction in the U.S. would need to roughly double to reach post-war demographic norms. As credit returns to the market and government funded construction begins to rebound, construction markets should make steady gains in coming years, quarterly weather aside, supporting OC’s revenue and capacity utilization.
Darden is the world’s largest full service restaurant company. The company operates +2000 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, including Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn and Capital Grille. Management has been under a firestorm of criticism for poor performance. Hedgeye's Howard Penney has been at the forefront of this activist movement since early 2013, when he first identified the potential for unleashing significant value creation for Darden shareholders. Less than a year later, it looks like Penney’s plan is coming to fruition. Penney (who thinks DRI is grossly mismanaged and in need of a major overhaul) believes activists will drive material change at Darden. This would obviously be extremely bullish for shareholders and could happen fairly soon driving shares materially higher.
Three for the Road
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"The ability to honestly and quietly reflect on one's life is one of the most powerful tools for personal growth." - Richard Carlson
STAT OF THE DAY
Venezuela will raise the minimum wage by 30% on May 1, President Nicolas Maduro has announced. The increase is below the level of annual inflation, which official figures put at 56.2% for 2013.The announcement comes after almost three months of mass protests against Mr. Maduro's government triggered by rising inflation, shortages of some basic goods and a high crime rate. (BBC)