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Takeaway: MAR set some lofty projections at its analyst day yesterday - similar to mostly failed targets given in 2010 and 2012

How did MAR’s long range projections from 2010 and 2012 fare?


Taking a step back to evaluate MAR’s 2010 "Plans for Ambitious Growth" covering 2011, 2012 and 2013, we found that actual results generally disappointed vs. Marriott’s goals. In addition, on June 19, 2012, MAR senior management hosted an investor meeting in Beijing, China during which management rolled forward their growth plan through 2014.  Similar to the 2010 plan, the 2012 growth plan is trending toward the low end of the company’s forecast range.  Certainly, with yesterday's investor meeting, MAR was once again ambitious in its communicated plan.  While we are positive on the hotel sector over this period, we would err to the low end of MAR’s forward guidance range given the track record.  Further, with MAR’s recent stock outperformance and relatively and historically high valuation, we prefer the stocks of the other branded hotel companies with HOT being our favorite near term idea.


On October 27, 2010, Marriott gathered investors and analysts for an investor conference titled "Marriott Outlines Plans for Ambitious Growth". Yesterday, simultaneous to MAR stock reaching a new 52-week high, MAR senior management hosted a full-day analyst meeting in Washington DC, titled "Marriott International Charts Future Success".  Similar to 2010, MAR once again laid out some aggressive financial targets, the high end of which may be difficult to achieve.  We note, Marriott’s historical forecasts were predicated on forward three year looks; however, yesterday's forecast and outlook included 2014 as well as 2015, 2016 and 2017.  This change in interval timing is important because 2014 includes the Protea acquisition as well as line item trends that are stronger or higher in 2014 than 2015, 2016 and 2017.


The table below compares the 2010 forecasted metrics versus actual and then yesterday's new projections.  Here are some observations: 

  • Actual 2011-2013 compounded RevPAR was 6.25%, only modestly above the low end 5% assumption, but below the midpoint of 7%
  • Year-end 2013 EPS was $1.99 versus the implied $2.10-2.15 guidance based on actual RevPAR growth of 6.25% 
  • Conversely as well as surprisingly, MAR forecasted total fees of $1.57 billion (low-end based on 5% RevPAR growth) yet 2013 total fees were $1.511 billion – less than the low end forecast even with higher than 5% RevPAR growth.  
    • Base management fees in 2013 of $621 million were significantly below MAR’s midpoint projection of $765 million. 
    • Franchise fees were definitely the bright spot with actual of $634 million, slightly above the high-end 2010 projected range of $560-$625 million. 
    • Incentive management fees of $256 million during 2013 were below MAR’s low end guidance of $285 million.
  • Total gross room openings from 2011-2013 were 83,643 versus a projection of 80,000 to 90,000 rooms
  • Total capital returned to shareholders from 2011 to 2013 via share repurchases and dividends were also below the midpoint totaling $3.925 billion versus MAR’s forecast of $3.3B - $5.3B.





On June 19, 2012, MAR called investors to Beijing, China for an informative update on the Company’s Asia Pacific growth strategy as well as providing an update and roll forward on key metrics and growth strategy.  The 2012 plan focused on the calendar years 2012, 2013 and 2014. Similar to the 2010 Growth Outlook, results are trending below the mid-point of Marriott’s forward look. 


The table below compares the 2012 forecasted metrics versus Hedgeye’s forecast for cumulative and year-end 2014 results. Here are some observations: 

  • 2012-2014 compounded RevPAR growth is developing toward 5.6%, below the low end 6% assumption and 140 bps below the midpoint of 7%
  • Year-end 2014 Hedgeye EPS is $2.47 versus current company guidance of $2.40 - $2.51 and the implied $2.30-2.35 guidance based on estimated RevPAR growth of 5.6% 
  • MAR forecasted total fees of $1.795 billion (low-end based on 6% RevPAR growth) and 2014 total fees are estimated to be $1.73 billion – less than the low end forecast.
    • Base management and franchise fees of $1.44 billion in 2014 (based on 6% RevPAR) are above the Hedgeye estimate of approximately $1.42 billion and significantly below MAR’s midpoint projection of $1.47 billion. 
    • Incentive management fees of $355-405 million during 20134 were forecasted but Hedgeye currently forecasts $311 million of IMFs in 2014, $44 million below MAR’s low end guidance of $355 million.
  • Total gross room openings from 2012-2014 were estimated at 90,000 to 105,000 and Hedgeye forecasts 90,500 gross additions.



While we believe the sell-side will "reaffirm" their optimistic ratings on MAR following today's meeting, we are less impressed based on historical results. Don't get us wrong, we are favorably inclined on the lodging sector and its strong underlying fundamentals as well as the likelihood for positive near-term revisions.  However, we prefer some of the less expensive branded hotel stocks with more near-term catalysts such as HOT, H, and HLT. 

CHART OF THE DAY: When This Market Crashes, Will You Be Able to Get Out?


CHART OF THE DAY: When This Market Crashes, Will You Be Able to Get Out? - Chart of the Day

Crossing The Bubble

“First there is a mountain – then there is no mountain. Then there is.”

-Zen Proverb


Replace the word #bubble for mountain and you’ll be right where I think the US stock market is right about now. While April-May of 2014 (when social-cloud-bubble stocks were imploding) may seem so 4-5 months ago, if you want to review the risks, there they were.


The aforementioned quote comes from the beginning of chapter 2 in a Tech #bubble book I’ve been re-reading for the last week, Crossing The Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore. The chapter is called High Tech Marketing Enlightenment.


Originally written in 1991 and re-published in 1999, it was one of the first books that the Quatrone boys in the bubble department at CS First Boston told me that I had to read. So I did. And within 6 months, the entire thing went poof…

Crossing The Bubble - Hindenburg


Back to the Global Macro Grind


What we called the internet back then is now called the “cloud.” And my former employer (CS First Boston) is now called Credit Suisse. Their new head of investment banking ran the Alibaba #bubble road-show at the Waldorf yesterday. If you were there, congratulations – you were crossing the 3rd US stock market bubble I have seen in my career.




On our research desk yesterday I was using the term freely. Not having any conflicts of interest (banking, brokerage, advertising, etc. fees), it was kind of fun – you know, being honest and stuff…


“But Keith, Alibaba is a big company that makes money.”


At 27-30x revenues, imagine they didn’t? (Amazon came public at 10x revs in 1997)


BREAKING: Facebook’s Value Tops $200B –Bloomberg


Oh and today Apple (AAPL) is going to host an Obama-like rock star concert (U2, who I love, will be there!) today at the Flint Center (where Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh in 1984) with larger screens, wearables, and stuff… #cool.


That stock is “cheap” though. Its market cap is only $600B. That’s with a B, as in bubble or beelion dollars, bros.


Since we’re throwing around billions in one hundred dollar clips right now, why shouldn’t Alibaba be worth $200B? Exxon (XOM) is only worth $400B (and they make money too!).


*PS. If you think I am nuts. Please re-read this 1 year from today.


In yesterday’s Early Look, for some reason this sentence got a lot of attention/feedback: “I haven’t been this bearish since the fall of 2007.” So I’ll reiterate that this morning with one caveat – I haven’t been this bearish on US stocks since yesterday.


In other news, the #bubble formerly known as Bitcoin dropped to $469 today.


And everyone and their brother seems to think that bonds are finally going to prove them right (going down). So I’ll reiterate the bullish on US #Q3Slowing call (bullish on the Long Bond, in TLT, EDV, and BND terms) too this morning.


Since no one on consensus TV will be watching anything but AAPL today, here are some Bond Market levels to monitor:


  1. Immediate-term TRADE risk range of the 10yr UST Yield has widened to 2.31%-2.51% (widening ranges are bearish)
  2. Intermediate-term TREND resistance line for the 10yr Yield = 2.81%
  3. Immediate-term TRADE risk range for the 30yr UST Yield has widened to 3.03-3.29%
  4. Intermediate-term TREND resistance for the 30yr Yield = 3.46%


That’s why I am taking our allocation to Fixed Income (Hedgeye Asset Allocation Model) to 91% of its max this morning. My “max” allocation to any asset class is one-third of total assets.


If I was running my hedge fund, what the 0% US Equity allocation implies is a net neutral (fully hedged on a beta-adjusted basis) book. And my net long position to International Equities would be 16% (and rising) on pullbacks to the low-end of my risk range.


If you’re at CS telling people it’s different this time – best of luck. Crossing the bubble is a big business, so make sure to get either a big allocation or commission! Forget 2007, the drawdown risk in billions of #bubble market cap terms is more epic than it was in 2000.


My immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 2.31-2.51%


RUT 1154-1179

VIX 11.34-13.56

EUR/USD 1.28-1.30

Pound 1.61-1.64

Gold 1


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Crossing The Bubble - Chart of the Day

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BNNY: Closing Best Idea Short

We added short BNNY to the Best Ideas list on 4/7/2014 at $37.16/share.  Since this time, FY15 EPS estimates have been revised down from $1.13 to $0.90.  However, we knew the biggest risk to our thesis was a potential takeout by a much bigger player in the food space.  Last night, this happened.


Yesterday, GIS agreed to buy BNNY for $820 million or 3.3x NTM sales and 24x NTM EBITDA.  We understand why GIS would be inclined to acquire BNNY.  Annie's is a strong brand that will benefit from being a part of the GIS distribution machine.


The downside of having shorts in the market, and especially in the consumer staples space, is excess liquidity and large companies, such as GIS, starving for growth.  The question now is when will K or CPB make a transformation acquisition, if at all?  We wouldn’t view the BNNY acquisition by GIS as a transformation, but rather a slight act of desperation.  With $200 million in revenues and $28 million in EBITDA, BNNY is a rounding error to the financial performance of GIS.  The only way GIS can make this deal look good is by excluding transaction expenses associated with it – otherwise, the deal is dilutive to GIS shareholders.


GIS is looking to the convenient meals and snacks category to help diversify its product portfolio.  The acquisition does not help solve the issues the company is having with its core cereal business.


Obviously, the deal will highlight HAIN and BDBD as other potential targets in the organic space.  While BDBD is a company with a strong brand (Udi’s) in the organic space, HAIN is a conglomerate with an unconventional business model.  This makes HAIN, in our view, an unattractive and complicated potential acquisition.  At the very least, we know the GIS will not be buying HAIN anytime soon!


Howard Penney

Managing Director


Fred Masotta




TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – September 9, 2014

As we look at today's setup for the S&P 500, the range is 25 points or 0.98% downside to 1982 and 0.27% upside to 2007.                         













  • YIELD CURVE: 1.95 from 1.94
  • VIX closed at 12.66 1 day percent change of 4.71%


MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):

  • 7:30am: NFIB Small Business Optimism, Aug., est. 96.0 (pr 95.7)
  • 7:45am: ICSC weekly sales
  • 8:55am: Redbook weekly sales
  • 10am: JOLTs Job Openings, July, est. 4.7m (prior 4.671m)
  • 10am: Fed’s Tarullo testifies to Senate Banking Cmte
  • 11:30am: U.S. to sell $35b 4W bills
  • 1pm: U.S. to sell $27b 3Y notes
  • 4:30pm: API weekly oil inventories



    • Primaries in states including Del., Mass., N.H., R.I.
    • President Obama, congressional leaders meet on foreign policy
    • Sec. of State Kerry travels to Jordan, Saudi Arabia
    • 8am: Blackstone President James speaks at Politico breakfast
    • Confirmation hearings:
    • 10am: NRLB nominee Sharon Block  at Senate Health, Education and Labor Cmte
    • 10am: NRC nominees Jeffrey Baran, Stephen Burns at Senate Environment and Public Works Cmte
    • 10am: Fed Gov. Tarullo, FDIC Chair Gruenberg, Comptroller of Currency Curry, CFPB Dir. Cordray, SEC Chairwoman  White, CFTC Chairman Massad at Sen. Banking Cmte on Wall St. reg. system
    • 10am: VA Sec. McDonald testifies before Senate Veterans’ Affairs Cmte on investigation findings from Phoenix medical ctr
    • 10am: IRS Commissioner Koskinen, CMS’s Slavitt at House Ways and Means Cmte on Affordable Care Act implementation status
    • 10:30am: Senate Homeland Security Cmte hearing on federal programs for equipping state and local law enforcement
    • 2pm: House Science panels hold hearing on oversight of Bakken petroleum
    • U.S. ELECTION WRAP: Primaries Tomorrow; Brown, Lessig Battle



  • Apple Event: Focus on Payments, Sapphire, Smartwatch
  • McDonald’s Aug. comps seen declining for third month
  • CFTC Said to Alert Justice Department of Criminal Rate Rigging
  • U.S. Planning Tougher-Than-Basel Capital Rules, Tarullo Says
  • U.K. industrial output exceeds forecast with 0.5% increase
  • EU slows new Russia sanctions as Ukraine cease-fire gauged
  • Rakuten to acquire Ebates in Japan’s biggest e-commerce deal
  • JAB’s Jimmy Choo said near IPO to value shoemaker at $1b
  • Telefonica Germany to raise $4.7b in stock for E-Plus
  • America Movil to weigh joint bid for Telecom Italia unit
  • ABB plans $4b buyback to return cash from disposals
  • FX traders said to be surprised by narrow scope of BOE probe
  • Trump Casinos plan bankruptcy in new blow to Atlantic City
  • Home Depot confirms computer data systems have been breached



    • Barnes & Noble (BKS) 8:30am, ($0.68)
    • Burlington Stores (BURL) 7am, ($0.08)
    • Francesca’s (FRAN) 7:30am, $0.26
    • HD Supply (HDS) 6am, $0.47 - Preview
    • John Wiley & Sons (JW/A) 8am, $0.53
    • Leidos (LDOS) 6am, $0.62



    • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD) 4:05pm, $0.16
    • Oxford Industries (OXM) 4pm, $0.90
    • Palo Alto Networks (PANW) 4:04pm, $0.11
    • Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM) 4:01pm, ($0.06)
    • Science Applications Intl (SAIC) 4:01pm, $0.68



  • Hedge Fund Merchant Advances 16% as Crude Declines With Iron Ore
  • Wheat Harvest Forecast Cut by Australia as Farms Need More Rain
  • Commodities Drop to Lowest Since January as Dollar Cuts Demand
  • Soy Yields Set for U.S. Record as Rains Fatten Pods: Commodities
  • Brent Crude Near 16-Month Low as Ukraine Truce Holds; WTI Rises
  • Lingering Ice This Year Delays Opening of Northern Sea Route
  • OIL DAYBOOK: Crude Inventory Draw Fcast; Buzzard Said Shut Again
  • Cold to Grip Northern U.S. Offers a Preview of Chills to Come
  • Corn Extends Decline as U.S. Yields Seen Topping USDA Forecast
  • Indonesia Palm Exports May Become Tax-Free as Prices Drop: Gapki
  • Chinese Hot-Pots Stir Imports of Beef, Mutton: Chart of the Day
  • Gold Is Little Changed Near Three-Month Low on Dollar to Ukraine
  • India July Coal Imports Rise 9% Y/Y to 17.95 Mln Mt: Interocean
  • Rubber Falls to 5-Year Low as China Supplies Compound Thai Glut


























The Hedgeye Macro Team

















September 9, 2014

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