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Is Indonesia's Export Ban on Copper Bauxite Nearing Resolution?

Indonesia moved to ban the exporting of unprocessed minerals in January bringing the expectation of a -$3Bn decrease in annual exports:


Nickel: +36% YTD

Copper: -8% YTD


Recent developments concerning Indonesia’s largest copper producers, Freeport McMoRan and Newmont Mining, suggest that the two companies may be at the negotiating table with the Indonesian government. This apparent optimism, coupled with China’s move to seek additional sources of production, suggest the market needs to continue absorbing a multi-year supply increase.

  • A shipment of 10,000 tons of copper concentrate left Indonesia for China on Aug. 8.

By the end of June, talks between Freeport McMoRan and the Indonesian government appeared to breakdown, fueling speculation over whether the country’s biggest miner even had a future in Indonesia.

Simultaneously, Newmont also reached an impasse as the U.S. miner decided to file for international arbitration. Jakarta retaliated by threatening to terminate Newmont's contract if the company did not withdraw its legal challenge.

Freeport chose to continue negotiations…

The government agreed to a framework valid for at least six months that could be used to renegotiate the contract under the next administration.

Now Newmont appears to be following suit to begin friendly negotiations…


Newmont announced Tuesday it has withdrawn an international arbitration claim against the government after a breakthrough in negotiations with the government.


Just how important is Indonesian mineral production?


Without a doubt, more important for nickel than copper…


Nickel +36% YTD (ETF: JJN)  

  • Indonesia accounts for 20% of global production
  • China and Japan are two of the largest buyers of Indonesian nickel ore


Government officials have emphasized they have no plans to lift the ban on unprocessed nickel ore….


Defending his case, chief economic minister, Chairul Tanjung said that producing and refining and smelting within Indonesia is much more productive and lucrative than doing the same for unprocessed copper.

A recent report from Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board showed that they are in fact investing in the second-leg of the production process:


  • $8Bn was being spent to build three alumina refineries and two ferronickel projects
  • 102 Nickel Smelters were in the process of being constructed

Indonesia’s share of global copper production is smaller but still significant…


Copper -8% YTD (ETF: JJC) Bullish TREND ($3.16 Spot Resistance)

  • Grasberg copper mine in the Papua province is one of the top ten largest copper mines
  • Proximity to China and Japan provides is an advantageous supply source

According to the Copper Development Association the 2012 global production rankings are as follows:


Chile: 5.37MM tons (36% global total)

Reserves: 190MM tonnes


China: 1.5MM tons

Reserves: 30MM tons


Peru: 1.2MM tons

Reserves: 76MM tons


United States: 1.1MM tonnes

Reserves: 39MM tonnes


Australia: 970K tonnes

Reserves: 86MM tonnes


China is one of the largest producers, but it doesn’t have nearly the reserves compared to the rest of the top 5 which explains their sense of urgency in moving to secure supply lines elsewhere:

  • China’s MMG closed on a $7Bn acquisition of the Las Bambas copper project in Peru in July
  • Chinese backers are now behind one-third of all Peru’s new mining investments by value

Copper Quant Set-UP --> Testing the Trend line On Heavy Selling


Is Indonesia's Export Ban on Copper Bauxite Nearing Resolution? - Copper Levels Chart

  • BULLISH @Hedgeye Trend set-up --> $3.16 support (CURRENTLY TESTING)
  • Today’s close marks the fourth consecutive close in the RED
  • Volume +30% d/d in the active contract month
  • Volatility +90%, +116%, +105.8% above 1/3/6-month averages



  • So much of understanding of the base metal outlook is to develop a view on the demand outlook for the larger EM countries, namely China, which is a very difficult space to navigate (see below for China’s share of global base metal consumption)

Near-Term Expectations

  • Copper basis between front and second month is currently +70 bps (expectation for 0.70% higher prices in 1-month)
  • Copper basis between front and 1-year is +1.64%     
  • The largest copper basis is Sep 14-Aug15 basis which is slightly wider than spot-1Yr

Copper continues to trade on the outlook for the Chinese economy, and for good reason based on their share of global copper consumption. We published a note on July 28th, outlining the uncertainty behind the China catalyst.

An excerpt from that note is included below along with the link:


Copper: A Scary Short


“Consensus macro leans on the strength of the Chinese economy as a leading indicator for base metal demand (as it should). China consumes over 40% of the world’s industrial metals (up from 5% in 1980).

2013 Consumption (% global demand):

  • Nickel: 47.4%
  • Aluminum: 46.1%
  • Zinc: 45.6%
  • Copper: 42.4%

An equally weighted index of Chinese GDP and industrial production to industrial metals prices (CRB metals index) is running an r-squared of 0.50 currently, down from a December 2011 peak. Although diverging from the 2011 highs, the relationship cannot be ignored as a market catalyst.”



We will be watching the following factors in the coming weeks for a read-through on the supply outlook:

1)      Chinese economic outlook takes a more definitive turn positive or negative

2)      The Indonesian copper bauxite export picture reaches a long-term resolution

3)      Continued confirmation in a late-cycle mining cap-ex push from the largest miners

4)      A continued positive Trend for the USD


With these fundamental factors in play, copper may be interesting on the short-side if our @Hedgeye $3.16 TREND line breaks and confirms.

Please feel free to ping us with comments or questions.


Ben Ryan


P: User Penetration Survey (N=20,000)

Takeaway: Purpose: Determine P's actual US penetration levels (excluding duplicates). Results: P could see declining users/hours as soon as 2015


  1. Hedgeye Pandora User Survey: We surveyed 20,000 people in the US to determine Pandora’s user penetration and runway.  We filtered the data down to roughly 14,000 users where demographic data was available.  The most surprising takeaway is the number of P's duplicate accounts, which we estimate at over 50% of its total registered accounts.
  2. The User Growth Runway is Shorter Than We Thought: After backing out duplicate accounts, we estimate that P has penetrated 53% of the US adult internet population. More importantly, the majority of its unpenetrated TAM are adults over 45 year old, which will be tougher to penetrate and monetize.  Further, we estimate the teenage cohort is over 70% penetrated.
  3. Declining Users/Hours in the Intermediate Future?: P has historical retention issues; more so than its duplicate accounts could explain.  P's limited runway for new user growth may not be able to compensate for its churn much longer.  Declining users is a very real possibility, and may occur as early as 2015.
  4. Sell-Through is the Bigger Question: Even if users/hours decline, P can still generate revenue growth by improving sell-through rates of its ad inventory.  The question is how much of this opportunity lies with improving sell-through rates in the major ad markets vs. the minor ones.  Answering this question is the next leg of our analysis; stay tuned.



We ran a single-question poll using Google Consumer Surveys: "How many Pandora Internet Radio accounts have you ever created for your own use (Unique Usernames/Log-Ins)”?.  The purpose of this question was to determine P's actual penetration levels, and the impact that users with multiple accounts had on P's registered user metrics. 


We surveyed 20,000 people in the US; we then filtered the data down to 13,899 responses where demographic data was available (Google inferred). We present the data both as reported (unweighted), and weighted to represent the US Internet population.


At face value, the results are don't appear too surprising.  But the total number of duplicate accounts is staggering.

  • Penetration skews younger, 76% of 18-34 year olds have P accounts
  • Most users only have one Pandora account (75%) 
  • The remaining 25% of users with multiple accounts are responsible for roughly 55% of P's total registered accounts.  

While the duplicate percentage may seem too high to make sense, remember that P has over 250M registered accounts, which by most external estimates is almost the same size of the entire US population accessing the internet.  


P: User Penetration Survey (N=20,000) - P   Survey Distribution

P: User Penetration Survey (N=20,000) - P   Survey Penetration

P: User Penetration Survey (N=20,000) - P   Survey Response   

P: User Penetration Survey (N=20,000) - P   Survey Duplicates


After backing out duplicates, and marrying the survey results with Census data, we estimate that Pandora is roughly 54% penetrated into the US Adult Internet Population.  While that may sound like a lot of runway, the demographics of its remaining addressable market skew much older, which will make incremental user growth more challenging.  

  • Roughly half (49%) of the total number of survey respondents that didn't have a Pandora account were over the age of 55; roughly 73% were over 45.  
  • When comparing our survey against demographic internet data from the Census, we estimate that 66% of P's remaining US TAM among adults are over 45 years old.

We haven't discussed teenagers yet, which are an inherently easier group to penetrate.  However, we estimate that P has already penetrated a considerable portion of this segment.  The table below details our analysis here.  In short, P has likely penetrated over 70% of the non-adult US internet user base. 


P: User Penetration Survey (N=20,000) - P   Survey Distrubtion 0

P: User Penetration Survey (N=20,000) - P   TAM analysis 


We have previously identified that P has historical retention issues, which we detail in the chart below.  Over the last 3.5 years, P has added more than 160M registered accounts, yet only grew active users by 44M, suggesting total churn of at least 116M accounts, or 72% of its gross account gains during this period.  


We do not have enough data to explicitly calculate its quarterly churn rate after 1Q11.  However, we estimate using a rough back-of-envelope calculation that quarterly attrition over the past 3.5 years has averaged somewhere in the mid to high-teens as a percentage of its active users.  


Currently, P has 76.4M active users as of 2Q14.  If we a assume mid- to high-teen churn rate, then the company would need to sustain a run-rate of gross new quarterly account adds of 11M-13M to maintain its active user base.  Even If that run-rate was possible over the long-run, and P could penetrate every internet user in the US, we estimate that P would exhaust its unpenetrated TAM within 7-10 quarters.  


In a more likely scenario, we expect gross new account adds to slow given the high concentration of older users within P's unpenetrated TAM, which should lead to y/y declines in user and/or listener hour growth sometime in 2015.


 P: User Penetration Survey (N=20,000) - P   Attrition 2Q14


We want to be extremely clear: Declining users and/or hours does not mean that revenues will decline.  Even if users/hours decline, P can still generate revenue growth by improving sell-through rates on its ad inventory, which remains below 50% of total hours according to management.  


The question is how much of this opportunity lies with improving sell-through rates in the major advertising markets vs. the minor ones (e.g. New York City vs. Topeka).  


Put another way, if users in New York City are already receiving peak ad load (sell-through rate), then losing those users would likely outweigh any benefit of improving sell-through rates in Topeka.  


Answering this question is the next leg of our analysis; stay tuned.  In the interim, let us know if you have any questions, or would like to discuss in more detail



Hesham Shaaban, CFA




Portfolio Rebalancing of Sorts

We've made several changes to our bench of longs and shorts on the Consumer Staples Ideas list.


Portfolio Rebalancing of Sorts - 1


Current longs are WWAV, DEO and THS

Current shorts are BNNY, K and HAIN


Changes to the long and short bench include:

  • Adding MO and PM to the short bench
  • Adding STZ to the long bench
  • Removing RAI from the long bench
  • Adding WFM, TFM and BDBD to the long bench
  • Adding MON to the short bench

Mixed Consumer Picture

Today Bloomberg reported that the Consumer Comfort Index climbed to a five-week high on the back of an improving labor market.  Two days ago the Conference Board reported that their sentiment gauge registered a seven-year high, saying that “Americans are finding more reasons to be upbeat about their prospects for the rest of the year as recent reports pointed to a pickup in the job market and stock prices advanced to records.”


There are no major changes in recent trends across the consumer staples space:

  1. U.S. packaged food sales were relatively flat in early August with salty snacks and chocolate leading the way, according to IRI data.  On the downside, cold cereal and soup continue to lead the category losers. (short K)
  2. Carbonated beverages are lagging spirits trends.
  3. M&A is driving valuations in the food and beverage space to unwarranted levels.  When will the contagion spread to the household product space? (long DEO)
  4. Private label is taking incremental share in household products.
  5. Organic continues to be a category of significant growth.  Private label also continues to make inroads into the organic space. (long WWAV, THS)


Portfolio Rebalancing of Sorts - 2

Portfolio Rebalancing of Sorts - 3

Portfolio Rebalancing of Sorts - 444


Feel free to email or call with questions. 


Howard Penney

Managing Director


Fred Masotta


Attention Students...

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Cartoon of the Day: No Volume

Takeaway: No volume? No worries! Right?!

Cartoon of the Day: No Volume - Trading volume cartoon 08.28.2014


Takeaway: Housing demand remains middling as PHS & Purchase Apps continue to tell divergent stories. We still think you follow the slope in HPI.

Our Hedgeye Housing Compendium table (below) aspires to present the state of the housing market in a visually-friendly format that takes about 30 seconds to consume.


*Note - to maintain cross-metric comparability, the purchase applications index shown in the table above represents the monthly average as opposed to the most recent weekly data point.






Today's Focus: July Pending Home Sales Index

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) today released its Pending Home Sales Index for the month of July.


THE DATA:  PHS increased +3.3% MoM vs a downwardly revised June print, taking the index level to 105.9 -  its best level since July of last year.  On a YoY basis, growth remained negative for a 10th consecutive month although the rate of change improved to -2.1% YoY from -7.5% prior. 


KNOWN UNKNOWNS:  We’ve commented on the burgeoning divergence between the MBA Purchase App series and the PHS data the last few months.  While the MBA data suggests an almost unprecedented collapse in purchase demand, the PHS data suggests more modest softness.   


A share shift in the origination channel due to QM implementation is a known although there’s a dearth in hard, real-time quant around the magnitude of the shift (newsflow on the topic has been accelerating of late: WSJ: Nonbank Mortgage Lenders Bounce Bank, WSJ: Mortgage Market Tightness is Standard Issue, FT: WFC Chief Warns on Mortgage Lending). 


The known unknown is the magnitude of impact the shift may be having on the intertemporal reliability of the MBA survey if, in fact, QM rules have shifted some purchase market share away from the originators that are surveyed by the MBA.


In short, the principal demand series continue to offer conflicting signals and while the PHS data have come in better than feared, the broader reality of ongoing softness in housing demand remains.    


BOTTOM LINE:  Demand comps get progressively easier from here through 1Q15 while HPI comps get progressively harder.  It remains our contention that 2nd derivative trends in HPI are the predominate driver of prices in the housing complex and with inventory rising, demand middling, and comps steepening, we expect housing related equities to track sideways to down alongside ongoing deceleration in home price growth.  















About Pending Home Sales:

The Pending Home Sales Index is a monthly data release from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and is considered a leading indicator for housing activity in the US. It is a leading indicator for Existing Home Sales, not New Home Sales. A pending home sale reflects the signing of a contract, but not the closing of the transaction, which occurs 1-2 months later. The NAR uses data from the MLS and large brokers to calculate the Pending Home Sales index. An index value of 100 corresponds to the average level of activity during 2001.



The NAR Pending Home Sales index is released between the 25th and the 31st of each month and covers data from the prior month.


Joshua Steiner, CFA


Christian B. Drake

BOBE: Leaving Much to be Desired

BOBE remains on the Hedgeye Best Ideas list as a long.


We continue to believe there is significant upside in BOBE, but it is likely that this upside will not be realized until we see several changes at the senior level.  Despite an uninspiring quarter, we find solace in the fact that we are one step closer to this becoming a reality.  The 1QF15 earnings call was simply painful to listen to.  Management's vision for the future of this company is outdated and will not materially improve the company or generate the level of returns shareholders deserve.


The comments from CEO Steven Davis speak to how disconnected he is from reality -- "Bob Evans Restaurants and Bob Evans Farms Food are making meaningful progress as both businesses leverage the significant capital investment each has made over the last several years."  To put this in perspective, BOBE's EPS has declined from $2.39 to $1.68 over the past year and 1QF15 EPS just declined 83%.


Mr. Davis goes on to say that both of BOBE's operating segments remain challenged by macroeconomic factors such as the continuation of a competitive promotional environment and weak consumer confidence.  Two days ago, the Conference Board said that consumer confidence in the U.S. climbed to its highest level in nearly seven years in August.  To be fair, however, we do suspect that BOBE's core customer (lower-middle to middle income guests in the Midwest) remains financially challenged.


Bob Evans restaurants same-store sales declined 2% in 1Q15, underperforming the Knapp-Track Family Category which declined 1.6% during this time.  Mr. Davis went into great detail to explain that a closer look into their core markets suggests they are outperforming their most comparable competitors.  Nitpicking statistics is a tired practice that we don't typically value.  The truth is, you're either transforming the business to grow customer counts or you're not!


Management provided the following points to suggest the future is brighter for Bob Evans Restaurants:

  1. The key to achieving the expected results relies upon the successful rollout of the Broasted Chicken platform
  2. Day-part expansion
  3. Expanded holiday operating hours
  4. Normalized weather


While these are all big question marks, one thing is clear: management hasn't identified a differentiated strategy to drastically improve its positioning in a fast-changing restaurant landscape.  Day-part expansion will be particularly challenging.  The lunch business is weaker with lower guest satisfaction scores and the dinner business is also weak -- operations are more challenged, the staff is subpar, carry-out orders are at their highest and it’s the most competitive day-part.


Management has consistently proven that they have a difficult time managing a complex business; they can't even come up with an effective marketing strategy!  Improving the marketing of take-out is not the silver bullet here.  They still expect to achieve 2015 sales goals which they slashed significantly last quarter, but 2HF15 guidance looks aggressive to us.


As silly as it seems, management believes that the Broasted Chicken platform will be its saving grace.  Although the Broasted Chicken platform represented 11% of sales mix in the Cincinnati market it's important to remember that a significant portion of this is likely driven by initial trial.  Repeat business will be critical and we're not certain they'll get it.


It's difficult to get excited about this company until the new board members complete their "initiation" to every aspect of the business.  After a short honeymoon period, we'd expect to see more changes to the operating structure of the company.  There's much to be done.


BOBE: Leaving Much to be Desired  - 1


Feel free to email or call with questions.


Howard Penney

Managing Director


Fred Masotta


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 80.46%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.35%