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New Best Idea: Short DFRG

We are adding SHORT Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group (DFRG) to our Hedgeye Best Ideas list.

 

DFRG develops, owns and operates three fine dining restaurants: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, and Del Frisco’s Grille.  The full-service steakhouse company currently operates 40 restaurants in 20 states and primarily caters to the high end consumer.  The stock is up 36.8% over the last 6 months.

 

DFRG is a high-conviction short given slowing trends, concerns over the core business, rising commodity costs, positive sentiment, valuation, and more.  Our sum-of-the-parts analysis suggests significant downside.

 

We will hold a conference call Thursday, June 12th at 11am EST to discuss the key points of our thesis and field questions.  Hedgeye Restaurants subscribers will receive both the report and conference call dial-in information on Thursday morning.

 

For more details email

 

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director

 

Fred Masotta

Analyst


One-Way Central Planning Train

Client Talking Points

EURO, CENTRAL PLANNERS

$1.35 is my long-term TAIL risk line for the EUR/USD. A dovish Fed meeting is next.

COMMODITIES

Down Euro move into the news = Up Dollar, Down Commodities (for a whopping 2.5% one-month correction in the CRB Index from its +12% year-to-date highs). EUR/USD holding $1.35 = buy more commodity. #InflationAccelerating.

UST 10YR

The yield had its dead cat bounce to 2.59%, but remains below all lines of Hedgeye resistance so I’d be buying A) more inflation protection (TIP) and B) moar slow-growth bonds (TLT) or C) anything that looks like a bond.

Asset Allocation

CASH 14% US EQUITIES 0%
INTL EQUITIES 12% COMMODITIES 26%
FIXED INCOME 26% INTL CURRENCIES 22%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
HOLX

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.

OC

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.

LM

Legg Mason reported its month ending asset-under-management for April at the beginning of the week with a very positive result in its fixed income segment. The firm cited “significant” bond inflows for the month which we calculated to be over $2.3 billion. To contextualize this inflow amount we note that the entire U.S. mutual fund industry had total bond fund inflows of just $8.4 billion in April according to the Investment Company Institute, which provides an indication of the strong win rate for Legg alone last month. We also point out on a forward looking basis that the emerging trends in the mutual fund marketplace are starting to favor fixed income which should translate into accelerating positive trends at leading bond fund managers. Fixed income inflow is outpacing equities thus far in the second quarter of 2014 for the first time in 9 months which reflects the emerging defensive nature of global markets which is a good environment for leading fixed income houses including Legg Mason.  

Three for the Road

TWEET OF THE DAY

“The storytelling on why we need moarrr central-planning-cowbell is so absurd now that it’s funny.” @KeithMcCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle and giving 110% all the time." – Don Zimmer, the legendary baseball great who passed away last night at the age of 83.

STAT OF THE DAY

4:36, the time in overtime that the LA Kings' Justin Williams flicked past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to give the Kings a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on Wednesday night. (Los Angeles Times)


Retail Callouts (6/5): JCREW, PVH, ASOS, COST, VNCE, Breach Survey

Takeaway: JCREW miss calls out why Drexler was trying to sell. Lot's of hope in PVH's guidance. COST/hi-end crushes it again. Survey on data breaches.

COMPANY NEWS

 

Key Call Out Of The Day Belongs to a Company That's Not Even Public -- J.CREW

 

J CREW 1Q14 Earnings

"Revenues increased 5% to $592.0 million, with comparable company sales decreasing 2%."

"Gross margin was 38.7% compared to 44.7% in the first quarter last year."

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $195.2 million, or 33.0% of revenues, compared to $178.4 million, or 31.6% of revenues in the first quarter last year.

Operating income was $34.0 million, or 5.7% of revenues, compared to $73.6 million, or 13.1% of revenues, in the first quarter last year.

 

Takeaway:  This quarter was a disaster for J Crew. If you didn't know why Mickey Drexler was trying to unload this company to Fast Retailing four months ago, now you know. If you didn't know why Fast Retailing pulled out of the bidding a month later, now you know that too. This is a serious ding to Drexler's otherwise  bullet-proof credibility.

 

 

PVH - 1Q14 Earnings

Takeaway: The company's Heritage brands were the big reason behind the EPS shortfall and guide down. The big question in our minds is how PVH gets to such an aggressive (20%+) ramp in EPS growth for the remainder of the year after being down 23% in the first quarter. Inventories look like they are in decent shape, and we just saw the fourth consecutive quarter of margin contraction, which PVH will now start to anniversary. That's at least not bearish. But for a company with this little momentum, we're extremely cautious about the 'easy margin compare' game. There's no fundamental reason why margins can't be down again and again, and again.

 

Retail Callouts (6/5): JCREW, PVH, ASOS, COST, VNCE, Breach Survey  - pvhsigma

 

 

COST - Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports May Sales Results

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=83830&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1937545&highlight=)

 

"Inflation in gasoline prices had a positive impact on comparable sales for the four-week period, but a negative impact for the thirty-nine week period; foreign currencies had a negative impact for both periods. Excluding these effects, comparable sales were as follows:"

 

Retail Callouts (6/5): JCREW, PVH, ASOS, COST, VNCE, Breach Survey  - cost

 

Takeaway:  COST just put up good 3Q numbers a week ago, so today's news is no surprise. But the fact is that the headline beat again -- 6% comp vs 4.5% expectations.  If anything, this is another sign that the high-end consumer is doing just fine -- in start contrast to the WMT's and TGT's of the world. Yes, COST is hi-end, even though so many people wrongly lump it in with WMT. COST average customer income is $100k.

 

VNCE - 1Q14 Earnings

- Net Sales increased 32.4%

- Operating Income increased 174%

- Diluted EPS increased to $0.04

- Company raises guidance for fiscal 2014

 

Takeaway: Good numbers out of VNCE. But truth be told, 6 months out of the gate it should be crushing expectations.  This is hardly a KORS-like trajectory. That might be a tough one to compare it to, but when you come racing out of the IPO gate, trade at a 28x p/e all while selling $300 silk blouses, you'd better be outcomping Costco by more than 500bp.

 

OTHER NEWS

 

ASOS - Asos Warns on Profit

(http://online.wsj.com/articles/asos-warns-on-profit-1401953929)

 

Shares in Asos PLC dropped by more than 40% in early trading Thursday after the online fashion retailer warned full-year profit would fall short of forecasts because of the strong British pound, higher promotional activity and infrastructure investments.

"In an unscheduled trading statement, Asos reduced its [EBIT] guidance to 4.5% from 6.5% for the current financial year after the strong pound resulted in a slowdown in international sales growth to 17%..."

"Australia was the company's biggest international territory six months ago but now has fallen to third place, with about 8% of total sales. International retail sales account for 62% of total sales. Total retail sales increased by 25%, with U.K. sales up 43%, in the period."

"The strong pound meant that customers in some territories have faced price increases of more than 25%, and the company said it used promotions to try offset the worst of it."

 

SKX - Skechers Signs Matt Kuchar for GoGolf Line

(http://www.wwd.com/footwear-news/business/skechers-signs-matt-kuchar-for-gogolf-line-7710545)

 

"Seven-time PGA Tour winner Matt Kuchar will be the face of the GoGolf line, Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Skechers USA Inc. announced today."

"Kuchar, who is currently ranked fifth in the world, will have a signature shoe line and will represent the brand in global TV, print, outdoor and digital ads under the multiyear agreement."

 

Alibaba - Alibaba Buys Half of Soccer Team

(http://www.wwd.com/business-news/mergers-acquisitions/alibaba-buys-half-of-chinese-soccer-team-7713190)

 

"E-commerce giant Alibaba Group said Thursday it has bought a 50 percent stake in China's reigning soccer champions Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club for approximately 1.2 billion yuan, or about $192 million, diversifying its investment portfolio beyond retail and logistics."

 

VNCE - Vince Names Natalie Ratabesi Creative Director

(http://www.wwd.com/markets-news/ready-to-wear-sportswear/vince-names-ratabesi-creative-director-7712521)

 

"Natalie Ratabesi, who stepped down as creative director of Philosophy last month, has been tapped as creative director of women’s design at Vince, the contemporary sportswear firm. She begins June 16 and will relocate from Milan to Vince’s design studio in Los Angeles."

"Ratabesi’s initial input will be seen in the women’s pre-fall 2015 season."

"Prior to becoming creative director of Philosophy in October 2012, Ratabesi held key design roles at houses including Christian Dior under John Galliano, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci and Ralph Lauren, where she did two tours and became senior creative director."

 

AMZN, WMT - 24% of Americans stopped buying online because of breaches

(http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/06/03/internet-security-survey/9907947/)

 

"A USA TODAY survey finds that almost a quarter of Americans have at least temporarily stopped buying online because of security concerns."

"A full 24% of those surveyed said they had stopped buying anything online in recent weeks because they were concerned about the safety of information they might put online."

"Most surprisingly, 56% said they had cut back on the number of Internet sites they used and were only going to large, well-known companies they were confident were safe."


Attention Students...

Get The Macro Show and the Early Look now for only $29.95/month – a savings of 57% – with the Hedgeye Student Discount! In addition to those daily macro insights, you'll receive exclusive content tailor-made to augment what you learn in the classroom. Must be a current college or university student to qualify.

June 5, 2014

June 5, 2014 - 1

 

BULLISH TRENDS

June 5, 2014 - 2

June 5, 2014 - 3

June 5, 2014 - 4

June 5, 2014 - 5

June 5, 2014 - 6

June 5, 2014 - 7

June 5, 2014 - 8

 

BEARISH TRENDS

 

June 5, 2014 - 9

June 5, 2014 - 10

June 5, 2014 - 11
June 5, 2014 - 12

June 5, 2014 - 13

 


THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK

TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – June 4, 2014


As we look at today's setup for the S&P 500, the range is 44 points or 1.76% downside to 1894 and 0.52% upside to 1938.                                                            

                                                                   

SECTOR PERFORMANCE

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 1

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 2

 

EQUITY SENTIMENT:

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 10

 

CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:

 

  • YIELD CURVE: 2.20 from 2.21
  • VIX closed at 12.08 1 day percent change of 1.77%

 

MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):

 

  • 7am: Bank of England seen maintaining 0.50% bank rate
  • 7:30am: Challenger Job Cuts y/y, May (prior 5.7%)
  • 7:30am: RBC Consumer Outlook Index, June (prior 50.1)
  • 7:45am: ECB seen cutting benchmark interest rate to 0.1% from 0.25%, marginal lending facility to 0.6% from 0.75%, deposit facility rate to -0.1% from 0%
  • 8:30am: ECB’s Draghi holds press conference, releases macroeconomic forecasts
  • 8:30am: Init Jobless Claims, May 31, est. 310k (prior 300k)
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, June 1 (prior 33.3)
  • 10am: Freddie Mac mortgage rates
  • 10:30am: EIA natural-gas storage change
  • 12pm: Household Change in Net Worth, 1Q (prior $2.954t)
  • 1:30pm: Fed’s Kocherlakota speaks in Boston

 

GOVERNMENT:

    • President Obama attends G-7 meetings in Brussels, meets with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in afternoon, travels to Paris for dinner with French President Francois Hollande
    • Sec. of State Kerry meets with Russian FM Lavrov in Paris
    • Senate in session; House meets in pro forma session
    • U.S. Chemical Safety Board releases investigation reports on Deepwater Horizon disaster in Gulf of Mexico
    • 9:15am: Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation panel holds hearing on “Preserving Public Safety and Network Reliability in the IP Transition”
    • 9:50am: Obama, Cameron hold joint press conference
    • 10am: Senate Foreign Relations Cmte hearing on events in Ukraine
    • U.S. ELECTION WRAP: Competitive Race Outlook; Miss.; Calif. 31

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

  • GM’s Barra prepares to release details of Valukas review
  • Draghi preparing negative rates seen piquing demand for QE
  • ECB decision day guide
  • May U.S. Retail Sales seen “okay,” may slow vs April
  • Medtronic said to evaluate takeover offer for Smith & Nephew
  • Sprint, T-Mobile said near accord on price, termination fee
  • Amazon said to be ready to unveil smartphone to vie with Apple
  • BP, Anadarko may face billions in fines after oil spill ruling
  • Microsoft faces China backlash to Windows as U.S. spat escalates
  • Hollande says big BNP penalty could hit Europe bank stability
  • Eurozone April retail sales up 0.4% m/m; est. unchanged m/m
  • Adelson says new recruit could be player in succession at Sands
  • J. Crew says declining operating results may trigger impairment
  • Turner Networks said to consider departing Fox official for role
  • “Too many people on trading floors” may force layoffs: WSJ
  • Google said to seek streaming music service purchase: NY Post
  • Dave & Buster’s considers IPO after sale fails: Reuters

 

EARNINGS:

    • Analogic (ALOG) 4:15pm, $0.94
    • Canadian Western Bank (CWB CN) 8:30am, C$0.61 - Preview
    • Ciena (CIEN) 7am, $0.13 - Preview
    • Cooper (COO) 4:01pm, $1.60
    • Diamond Foods (DMND) 4:05pm, $0.17
    • JM Smucker (SJM) 6:30am, $1.17
    • Joy Global (JOY) 6am, $0.71 - Preview
    • Navistar (NAV) 7:02am, ($1.27) - Preview
    • Saputo (SAP CN) 12:46pm, C$0.75
    • Seachange (SEAC) 4:02pm, ($0.03)
    • Thor Industries (THO) 4:15pm, $1.07
    • Transcontinental (TCL/A CN) 8:05am, C$0.43
    • Vail Resorts (MTN) 4pm, $2.92
    • Vera Bradley (VRA) 8am, $0.13
    • VeriFone Systems (PAY) 4:01pm, $0.33

 

COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATION (HEADLINES FROM BLOOMBERG)

 

  • EU Wheat Crop at 6-Year High Compounds World Glut as Prices Drop
  • WTI Falls a Second Day on U.S. Fuel Inventories; Brent Declines
  • ETF Securities Joins LME in Proposing Silver Fixing Replacement
  • Storms Follow Bugs to Florida as Orange Crop Slumps: Commodities
  • Iron Ore Miners in China Seen Shuttering After Price Tumbles 30%
  • Gold Trades Near Four-Month Low Before ECB Decision, U.S. Data
  • Port Hedland Tug Deckhands Say Teekay Talks Were Constructive
  • Wheat Rebounds From Three-Month Low as Decline May Revive Demand
  • Aluminum Rebounds as Copper Slips Before ECB Policy Announcement
  • ICE Coffee Extends Drop as Dryness Seen Aiding Crop; Cocoa Falls
  • Qingdao Port Said to Investigate Volume of Metals in Warehouses
  • EU Gas-Market Push Strengthens as Oil-Link Widest Since 2009
  • Gold Leaves Investors Bored as Volatility Drops to 14-Month Low
  • Widodo to Keep Indonesia Ore Ban, Limit Plantation Expansion

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 5

 

CURRENCIES


THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 6

 

GLOBAL PERFORMANCE

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 3

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 4

 

EUROPEAN MARKETS

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 7

 

ASIAN MARKETS

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 8

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 9

 

 

The Hedgeye Macro Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Inflation Is a Lie

This note was originally published at 8am on May 22, 2014 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“Inflation is taxation without legislation.”

-Milton Friedman

 

It’s a good thing for Janet Yellen that Milton Friedman isn’t around to call her out. Ben Bernanke can get paid another $400,000 to spew to a bunch of head-nodders that there’s no inflation at $110/barrel oil and the all-time high in US rents too, I guess.

 

Friedman also said that a “government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.” #Agreed. But the Federal Reserve is becoming a much larger problem than that. These people aren’t even elected.

 

“So”, after Soybeans, Oil, and Orange Juice prices inflated another +2.4%, +1.7%, and +1.3%, respectively, yesterday, Mr. Macro Market took the Fed’s commentary (Federal Reserve Minutes were released intraday) that there is no #InflationAccelerating risk as a sign to buy more inflation. 

Inflation Is a Lie - Inflation 04.29.2014

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

On US rents (34% of Americans have to rent, and like it) and cost of living hitting all-time highs this week, this is what one of the most uninformed members of the US Federal Reserve, Bill Dudley, had to say:

 

“prices look likely to firm, somewhat”

 

Thanks for coming out Bill. And yes, I’m calling you out. When our kids look back on this period of US economic history, they’ll call you a lot worse than that. They might even call guys like you Jimmy Carter.

 

While it’s part of winning a hockey game, name-calling is no way to win a debate. Alongside #RentRipping, here’s more YTD #InflationAcclerating data:

 

  1. CRB Foodstuffs Index +21.9% YTD
  2. CRB Commodities Index +10% YTD
  3. Coffee +57.6% YTD
  4. Nickel +42.1% YTD
  5. Lean Hogs +28.3% YTD
  6. Soybeans +19.2% YTD
  7. Cattle +15.4% YTD
  8. Palladium +15.4% YTD
  9. Orange Juice +10.9% YTD
  10. Oil +7.9% YTD

 

Oh, right. Oil is only +8% YTD vs. US growth stocks (Russell 2000) and US Consumer Discretionary (XLY) down -5.7% and -3.9% YTD, respectively. No worries. Ben Bernanke said there was no inflation with Oil at $150 in Q2 of 2008 either.

 

It’s one thing for me to rant about this using real-time prices paid. It’s going to be an entirely different thing when the 80% of people in this country getting jammed by the Fed’s Policy To Inflate revolt.

 

As the late Robert Heinlein astutely observed, “there is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” But he’s dead now too. So Janet doesn’t have to deal with him either.

 

Inflation Is a Lie - Chart of the Day

 

In other real-time (price, volume, volatility) news:

 

  1. PRICE – SP500, Nasdaq, and Russell all bounced to lower-highs (down -0.6%, -5.2%, and -8.7% from their bubble highs) yesterday
  2. VOLUME – total US Equity market volume was DOWN again on the UP-day (-9% and -31% versus its 1 and 3 months averages)
  3. VOLATILITY – front month VIX got smashed to a fresh YTD closing low of 11.91

 

And you buy stocks when volatility is at its oversold lows, right? Only if you are doing it with other people’s money! Must #chase daily #performance. Must short low and cover high. Must bang head against Old Wall.

 

No thanks.

 

If you bought US stocks at this level in the VIX in August of 2013, you were down -3.5% (in the SP500) in less than 2 weeks after that. The most recent time-spanking you’d have had buying US growth stocks (Russell 2000) with a “low VIX” in Jan-Mar 2014 is more like -7-9%.

 

But, if you play this game with real-ammo, you already know that.

 

Other than front-month-frustration for growth bears trying to express their fears in VIX (which has not been a recommendation in the Hedgeye Macro Theme playbook in 2014 due to 6,000 hedge funds trying to do the same, at the same time), where is US stock market sentiment at?

 

  1. II’s Bull Bear Survey just flashed a fresh new Q2 high in consensus bullishness
  2. After another no-volume bounce, Bulls have chased back up to 57.2% (from low 50%s at the YTD lows)
  3. The Bull/Bear Spread has widened +30% to the Bullish side since mid-April to +3890 basis points wide

 

In other words, the point here isn’t that 65-70% of people are bullish. It’s that only 17-19% will admit they are bearish! Do not underestimate the #behavioral risk to this US stock market that is called career risk management.

 

Not only has the Fed implicitly imposed a short-term performance chasing hyperactivity on equity fund managers being forced to chase yield, bubbles, etc., they’ve made a large % of the hedge fund business a levered long beta strategy.

 

But I digress. Having someone at the Fed explain what that means to Maxine Waters will be as difficult as these people trying to convince you that cost of living isn’t at all-time highs. While lies about inflation in Washington can most definitely live, they can’t live forever.

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

RUT 1085-1121

VIX 11.84-14.02

USD 79.61-80.23

Brent Oil 109.05-110.99

Gold 1285-1315

Copper 3.08-3.19

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Hedgeye Statistics

The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.

  • LONG SIGNALS 80.33%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.51%
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