The Best of This Week From Hedgeye

Takeaway: Here's a quick look at some of the top videos, cartoons, market insights and more from Hedgeye this past week.


Chris Whalen, Senior Managing Director and Head of Research at Kroll Bond Rating Agency, explains why he's bearish on housing, how Washington is failing America, and opportunities he sees with Hedgeye Financials Sector Head Josh Steiner in Real Conversations


Restaurant Analyst Howard Penney details the three key reasons why he’s short the stock of Del Frisco’s, a high-end casual dining steak chain.


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The Best of This Week From Hedgeye - Fed cartoon 6.19.2014

The Best of This Week From Hedgeye - Inflation cartoons 06.17.2014


 The Best of This Week From Hedgeye - chart of the week




On Monday morning, the WSJ printed that “a raft of unsettling events have shattered the relative calm of the U.S. stock market and put investors on edge.” Concerns over Iraq and rising oil prices, Fed Policy jitters and other worries helped trigger a 12% jump in the VIX fear gauge and sent the S&P 500 down 0.7% last week, its worst performance in two months.


We wanted to know what you thought: Are we entering a new phase of market turbulence?


Click Here to see our readers' reactions.

The Best of This Week From Hedgeye - turbulence





From Associate Analyst Christian Drake:  "Our 1Q14 Macro Investment theme #InflationAccelerating called for ~100 bps increase in reported CPI into the easiest inflation comps in 3Q14.  With inflation running just above 1% into 2013 year-end, a +100 bps increase was effectively a call for a doubling in the rate of price growth." Read more here.

The Best of This Week From Hedgeye - inflation 1811026b




Retail Sector Head Brian McGough dives into $TGT's apology to Canadian consumers, and still thinks its Canada stores have a rough road ahead of them. Read more here. 

The Best of This Week From Hedgeye - Target Canada Stores


Investing Ideas Newsletter

Takeaway: Current Investing Ideas: GLD, HCA, HOLX, LM, LO, OC, OZM, RH, and TIP

Below are Hedgeye analysts' latest updates on our NINE current high-conviction investing ideas and CEO Keith McCullough's updated levels for each.


*Please note that we added OZM to Investing Ideas earlier this week. We will send out a full report next week.


We also feature two institutional research notes from earlier this week, as well as Keith McCullough's Friday morning macro call, all of which offer valuable insight into the markets and economy.


Investing Ideas Newsletter  - levs


Trade :: Trend :: Tail Process - These are three durations over which we analyze investment ideas and themes. Hedgeye has created a process as a way of characterizing our investment ideas and their risk profiles, to fit the investing strategies and preferences of our subscribers.

  • "Trade" is a duration of 3 weeks or less
  • "Trend" is a duration of 3 months or more
  • "Tail" is a duration of 3 years or less


Investing Ideas Newsletter  - Inflation cartoons 06.17.2014 


GLD –  This past Thursday Gold broke out of Hedgeye's immediate-term TRADE resistance of $1285 with the new risk range at $1285-$1336/oz. and intermediate-term upside from to TREND resistance of $1381. 

The repetitive call to front-run the Fed’s response to worse-than expected economic data finally manifest this week:


  • Headline CPI prints +0.4% vs +0.2% expected (inflation accelerates)
  • Full-year GDP forecast from the Fed lowered to 2.1-2.3% from 3% (growth misses and warrants a response)

As inflation accelerates, and growth expectations decrease, the likelihood of an easier Fed increases:


  • GLD Surges 3.5% on Thursday
  • Spot Volumes: 62%, 52%, and 49% above 1, 3, and 6-Month averages respectively
  • The 1-Week negative correlation tightens significantly to -0.91  

Meanwhile, divergence in the equity markets between consumer-based growth and inflationary sectors continues to take hold:


  • Energy (XLE) (+13.5% YTD); Utilities (XLU) (+14.9%)
  • Consumer Discretionary (XLY) (-1.00%)


HCA – Healthcare sector head Tom Tobin has no update on HCA whose shares were up almost 5% this week. He reiterates his high-conviction call on the stock.

HOLX ­­– (Editor's note: The following update was sent in from Healthcare sector head Tom Tobin earlier today.


I was running around San Francisco yesterday meeting with clients and again got a fresh round of questions about the upcoming 3D reimbursement announcement from CMS.  Apparently my questioners had seen a note from “my guy in DC” regarding Hologic.  This DC consultant’s business is to know what is coming out of DC regulators before news is officially announced, which is dubious for obvious reasons, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. 


The call is that when the reimbursement is announced at the beginning of July, 3D Tomography will not receive any additional dollar amount over 2D.  This is a problem for how long it takes HOLX and GE to penetrate the market where even an extra $25 per scan across 4 scans per hour and 8 hours a day, tallies up to a big number which can easily offset equipment cost.


If “my-guy-in-DC” is right, and has the inside view of what CMS will say, there will be a few sequential outcomes.


  1. HOLX trades down to $21-$22, or returns to the multiple it was at before HOLX announced they were finally receiving a code this year.
  2. Sellside makes no change to their estimates, since numbers have only moved higher to incorporate the March quarter upside and company guidance
  3. Breast cancer advocacy groups, facilities, and GE/HOLX pressure politicians and ultimately CMS to increase 3D reimbursement by the time the final rule is announced in November, or GE/HOLX launch a legislative initiative as they did to gain incremental reimbursement for 2D.  Either way, 3D will ultimately get a reimbursement increase over 2D

Even if I adjust my 3D facility adoption curve to a slower penetration pace to reflect $0 incremental  reimbursement increase, HOLX should trade in the $30-$38 range over the coming 12-18 months.  Street estimates for the June quarter are too low regardless.  Regardless of the reimbursement outcome, I’ll be able to see how many facilities are buying a 3D system, so if there is an impact, I’ll see it.


If we’re wrong on reimbursement, we still see several tailwinds for 3D


  • Mammography is competitive and facilities need to upgrade to maintain market share
  • A replacement cycle will accelerate as 2D systems from the last replacement cycle reach the end of their useful lives of 7-10 years
  • Mammography capital market is expanding
  • ACA is accretive to mammography demand
  • Dense Breast legislation drives conversion
  • A lower callback rate for 3D is accretive to the practice profits


LM – Deal activity in the asset management sector has taken a noticeable leg up during the course of the second quarter with several recognizable AUM transactions occurring in this week alone. Second quarter 2014 deal tallies have aggregated to $44 billion globally on 282 transactions amongst global asset management firms, the highest level since the $45 billion that transacted in the 4th quarter of 2007.


Generally, we estimate that nascent deal flow facilitates incremental transactions as empirical comps are created which can accelerate the deal process of pending negotiations in the pipeline.


We remind investors that part of our rationale for recommending Legg Mason as a long on our Best Ideas list is the company has been a successful roll up of various asset management properties over the past 20 years with the accretive integration of investment managers employing everything from quantitative strategies to domestic small cap equities to European hedge funds.


Historically, LM stock has reacted quite favorably to its roll-up strategy with substantial outperformance against the market after employing M&A. In analyzing the acquisitions of the main affiliates that still surivive under the LM umbrella (Batterymarch, Brandywine, Royce, etc), Legg stock has outperformed the S&P 500 by 900 basis points on average in the 6 and 12 month time periods after deal announcements. Thus if the recent amend and extend within Legg's long term capital structure does allow the company more financial flexibility coincides with what we believe is management's threshold to only do an immediately accretive deal, LM may soon finally pull a new affiliate under its umbrella which has been historically positive. 


Investing Ideas Newsletter  - lm


LO – Lorillard enjoyed a nice 6.5% pop this week, finishing Friday up 1.5%. There was little news on the week concerning the stock, yet the "animal spirits" surrounding a potential take-out from Reynolds American (RAI) continue to boost shares. We suggest staying on for the ride higher.


In related news, there was a Senate hearing on e-cigarettes earlier in the week. One key takeaway from it is that should the FDA finalize its proposed regulations for e-cigs –  which did not ban the marketing of e-cigs  – big Tobacco companies like LO stand to benefit over smaller independents given their deep pockets.


We continue to outline the long-term fair value price of the stock at $80/share.  We do not think LO will be imminently purchased and are staying long the stock that we added to Investing Ideas on 3/7/14. It is up over 24% since then.

OC – Owens Corning lowered its operating profit outlook Friday morning from $500 million to above $416 million, a move it hinted to in first quarter results. The roofing market is facing excess production, depressed demand from this past winter and a large competitor behaving aggressively in the market. Even in this environment OC’s roofing segment is still earning a respectable 18.4% TTM operating margin. OC’s roofing segment makes up ~30% of sales. OC’s other segments insulation and composites are still showing strong signs, which management noted in the same press release.

Investing Ideas Newsletter  - oc

As of right now we reaffirm our long term outlook. We will want to get a better sense of the roofing market dynamics if we need to adjust our view. We continue to expect the shares to perform well longer-term if the company can come anywhere near consensus expectations.    


RH – (Editor's note: Shares of Restoration Hardware were up over 18% last week, followed by an 11% gain this week, bringing its total gain to 32% over the last two weeks. Hedgeye retail sector head Brian McGough still thinks RH is the best idea in retail and has major upside potential from here.)


We were initially caught off guard in seeing the announcement from Restoration Hardware that it would sell up to $350mm in convertible notes. But after going through the numbers and the logic, we think it makes all the sense in the world. Here’s what we’re thinking…

  1. The company is, in effect, creating $350mm of low-cost liquidity through a convertible note offering.  It currently has only $149mm outstanding on a $417.5mm credit facility. So why would it need to do this deal?
  2. First off, because it can. We’d like to see the company tap the capital markets for lower cost financing from a position of strength rather than from a defensive position if the long-term growth plan is thrown a curve ball.
  3. The cost of the debt is not the issue at hand. Yes, it’s nice that the structure of this deal suggests that there is no dilution until the stock is $172 – about 95% above Thursday's closing price. And even then, we’re only talking about 1-2% dilution.
  4. No, the KEY ISSUE here is duration matching. The company just started what will be a 5+ year store growth plan where it will take square footage from 825k to about 2.3mm. It is signing leases today for 2H16. Its current credit facility expires in August 2016. One of the bear cases we hear is that the company would be locked into expensive leases in 2017/18 without having liquidity protection. Then we go into a recession, which would hurt cash flow and close the window for the company to find liquidity to finance its growth. That argument is officially shot in the foot.

The punch line on this financing deal is that it de-risked the growth strategy, and took out one of the key bear arguments on this stock. If there’s any bad news, it’s that that there will be dilution at some point over the next few years – because we think that RH trades through $172.


TIP – The Federal Reserve targeted rates lower again this week, adding to our #InflationAccelerating theme and burnishing our high-conviction, inflation-protection TIP idea.  We see cyclical and structural inflationary pressures, with commodity inflation accelerating to fresh YTD highs.

  • CRB (19 component) Commodities Index = +11.4% YTD
  • CRB Food Index up another +2.1% this week = +22.8% YTD
  • Nickel +2.9% this week = +33.1 % YTD, and
  • Gold +3.5% this week = +9.5% YTD 

If we’re right and the inflation-accelerating-slows US growth setup is similar to 2011, Gold can go a lot higher, and yesterday it broke out above Hedgeye’s immediate-term TRADE resistance of $1285/oz.  Tuesday’s data reported CPI MoM up to 0.1% to 0.4%, CPI YoY up 0.1% to 2.1%, and CPI Core Index up 0.2% to 2.0%, all of which were higher than estimates. 


Investing Ideas Newsletter  - grannis


The chart above (courtesy of Scott Grannis) shows inflation accelerating from 1.5% in February to 2.6% in May and core inflation accelerating from 1.6% to 2.1% in the same time frame.  Additionally, with the dollar quite weak, and gold and commodity prices elevated, the economy is symptomatic of rising inflation.  All of the aforementioned data points confirm our stance on iShares TIPS Bond ETF TIP being a high-conviction investment idea.


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Click on each title below to unlock the content.


All-Time Highs: Can Livestock and Poultry Prices Go Higher?

We continue to field arguments against the inflationary read-through on the commodity squeeze. Sharp increases in livestock and poultry prices over the last ten years in the face of stagnant wage growth, a decline in savings rates, and a declining U.S. dollar illustrate this reality in staggering fashion.

Investing Ideas Newsletter  - beef


ICI Fund Flow Survey: Bonds Are Running, Stocks Are Choppy

Taxable bonds just put up their 18th consecutive week of inflow assisted by tax-free inflows at 22 consecutive weeks. Conversely, equity funds had another choppy week with domestic stock fund outflows, the 7th consecutive week, offset by international stock fund inflows.

Investing Ideas Newsletter  - flows


Keith McCullough's Morning Macro Call 7.20.14

Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough takes a deep dive into what's going on in the markets and economy with a close look at commodities, gold and utilities.

Investing Ideas Newsletter  - call

Dale: Here's How to Make Money From Rising Inflation

Hedgeye senior macro analyst Darius Dale discusses his latest market and economic thoughts with Liz Claman on Fox Business' "Closing Bell," including how investors can protect themselves and profit from rising inflation.

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 80.43%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.34%

The Week Ahead

The Economic Data calendar for the week of the 23rd of June through the 27th of June is full of critical releases and events.  Attached below is a snapshot of some of the headline numbers that we will be focused on.


The Week Ahead - 06.20.14 Week Ahead

The Gold Synchrony: Eat IT

Takeaway: Takeaway: Gold broke out of @Hedgeye’s immediate-term TRADE resistance level of $1285 on Thursday

Gold's refreshed immediate-term TRADE risk range is $1285-$1336 with intermediate-term upside to TREND resistance at $1381.


With the +3.4% gain week-over-week the consumer is lucky he won't be eating gold at the dinner table this weekend. Unfortunately, the CRB food index appreciated +3.10% to +22.8% YTD.


The repetitive call to front-run the Fed’s response to worse-than expected data undoubtedly manifest this week:


  • Headline CPI on Tuesday printed +0.4% vs. +0.2% expected (inflation accelerating)
  • Full-year GDP forecast from the Fed downwardly revised for the SEVENTH year in a row (growth slowing):

-        2.1-2.3% from 3.0% (predictable response)

-        2015 estimates held constant (possibly foreshadowing an 8th year?)


As inflation accelerates, and growth expectations decrease, the likelihood of an easier fed increases. We believe Thursday’s session was anything but coincidental:


  • Gold Surges 3.44%
  • Spot Volumes: 62%, 52%, and 49% above 1, 3, and 6-Month averages respectively
  • The 1-Week negative correlation tightens significantly to -0.91.
  • The 1, 3, and 6-month correlations have remained in the -0.60s from the March top in the Euro


The Gold Synchrony: Eat IT - GLD Levels Chart


Divergences in the equity market between consumer-based growth and inflationary sectors continues:

  • XLE (+13.5% YTD); XLU (+14.9%)
  • XLY (-1.00%)
  • SPX (+6.1%)

The Gold Synchrony: Eat IT - XLU XLY SPX chart


American consumption habits remain the driving force in our economy. Open-ended discussions on the flow through from fed policy, to credit growth, to spending are regularities on our team. We are continuously stuck with the assumptions from central planners:


Last ten Years:

  • Trailing 1-year personal savings rate: -9.0%
  • Median consumer net income margins have decreased over last 5 years of data availability (Net Income % After-Tax Earnings--> BLS PCE survey):
    • 2008: 1.88%
    • 2009: 1.94%
    • 2010: 1.94%
    • 2011: 1.61%
    • 2012: 1.38%


  • U.S. Private Sector Real Hourly Earnings Growth (Y/Y % Change): -43.7%
  • USD Index: -10.0%
  • CRB Index: +16.44% (+11.7% YTD)


The Gold Synchrony: Eat IT - Consumer Margin Compression


Unfortunately U.S. dollar devaluation and commodity inflation require fiscal subsidization when the wealth effect does not flow-through in the assumed capacity. Sure, the top 20% with the opportunity to own fixed assets and chase inflation in stock and commodity markets continue to take a larger portion of the total "wealth creation" from interest, dividends and property related income. This increase in wealth would arguably induce more spending. Reiterating the aforementioned point, exploring the validity of the central government’s assumptions on the trickle-down effect of a monetary increase is paramount to understanding the state of the consumer. Our analysis suggests the assumptions are much too high. More easily observed is the basket of goods we consume everyday:


The Gold Synchrony: Eat IT - CRB vs. USD


Despite the Fed’s revision yesterday, consensus expectations for growth in 2H remain comparatively optimistic in our opinion. We continue to like utilities, treasuries, and commodities on the long-side.


The Gold Synchrony: Eat IT - GIP Model


Ben Ryan






Poll of the Day Recap: 73% Believe Gold Is Heading to $1,500

Takeaway: 73% believe Gold is headed to $1500; 27% see downside towards $1100.

How high can gold go? If we’re right and the inflation-accelerating-slows U.S. growth setup is similar to 2011, gold can go a lot higher.


“Reality is that very few of the world’s savants made Gold one of their top Global Macro LONG positions in 2014,” Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote in today’s Morning Newsletter. “It’s still nowhere in the area code of consensus. And yesterday it broke out above @Hedgeye immediate-term TRADE resistance of $1285/oz.”


In the video below Keith discusses the key catalysts for continued momentum in Gold and what the breakout line will be important for further upside.



In the poll we asked: Whats the next stop for gold? $1100 or $1500


At the time of this post, 73% believe Gold is headed to $1500; 27% see downside towards $1100.


Those who see Gold heading higher to $1500 had this to say:

  • Since all the Fast Money guys are still bearish and skeptical about gold. I'm betting higher.
  • No matter what anyone says there is a price to pay for money printing & ZIRP rate policy & it can't be avoided by any power known to man.  It's really just about that simple.  Currency pricing power destruction is absolutely the worst thing a central banker can ever do and the FED/other central bankers have done a huge amount of it.  As the world moves away from dollars which it has & is, lots of this evidence exists, the world has huge excesses of dollars plus what the FED has printed out of thin air, the petro-dollars time is ending over the next few years & this will change the reserve currency status over time which will lower the dollar spending power even further, this can't be stopped now as leadership of the U.S. has made their bed.
  • The shorts have had their day in the sun. They've beaten gold into the dirt and with wars all over the world they try it again! China isn't selling back the hundreds of thousands of tons shipped their way in the last year. It's no time to be short even if you're in cahoots with the Fed.
  • $1500 is just a stop on the way to higher prices. Of all the experts nobody called the price of gold correctly lately.
  • Its building a great base so if this current run clears $1350 then we proceed to $1500 - next major resistance level.
  • See



Those who believe Gold is moving lower to $1100 reasoned:

  • Long-term TAIL prediction: The 2016 election cycle could be very hawkish (i.e. negative for both the Fed and Gold) if Brat's victory over Cantor is anything resembling a canary in the coal mine.
  • I simply don’t get gold investors .. demand is down and will go down more .. why invest in something that is in less demand.

investing ideas

Risk Managed Long Term Investing for Pros

Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough handpicks the “best of the best” long and short ideas delivered to him by our team of over 30 research analysts across myriad sectors.