Takeaway: Investors across the globe await the monetary proclamations from our un-elected central planning overlords.
Takeaway: NKE unveils the Lebron 12 - little new in this release. Hainer feeling the heat at Adi. UPS boosting staff for Holiday demand.
- PIR - Earnings Call: 4:30pm
- RAD - Earnings Call: 8:30am
NKE - NIKE LEBRON 12: ENGINEERED FOR EXPLOSIVENESS
- "The LEBRON 12 is designed to enhance James’s explosiveness while combining three key benefits: superior cushioning, harnessed support and natural flexibility."
Takeaway: The Lebron 11 sold about $300mm at retail despite the fact that King James wore the shoes only 35 times during the 2013-14 NBA regular season and playoffs, 36% of the time. The new 12's feature a few surface tweaks, but for the most part look very similar to last year’s model. The one notable addition - hexagonal Nike Zoom air bags on the sole. Not the type of innovation we are used to seeing from NKE around these releases, which allow the brand to take up AUR because of new technology. The new model will retail for $200, flat when compared to the Lebron 11, after a 10% price hike last year.
AdiBok - Adidas Shares Jump on Report of Hedge Funds’ Interest in Stakes
- "Adidas AG rose the most in more than 10 months in Frankfurt trading on a report that hedge funds including Third Point LLC may take a stake and are pushing to remove Chief Executive Officer Herbert Hainer."
Takeaway: Hainer has been feeling the heat since the big guide down at the end of July. The golf business is a big black eye for the CEO, but let’s not forget that NKE has been eating Adi's lunch in in almost every category and geographic region across the globe…including its own back yard. Over the last 6mnths of reported results for each company Adi has grown sales in W. Europe 6%, compare that to Nike at 24%. Not a big shock that investors are calling for Hainer's job given that he has started to divert his attention towards other interests including the role of President and Business Chairman of the Bayern Munich football club (a role he stepped down from on 9/8). That, and the fact that he's been unable to consistently grow the core brand in key markets on a sustainable basis without relying on acquisitions.
TGT, JWN, HBC - Comments on Entering Canada
HBC’s CEO explains why Target botched its Canadian launch—and why Saks will do better
- "I’m opening up two stores, not 100-and-whatever stores. They paid $1.8-billion for leaseholds, then they paid $10-million per store to fix them up. They had no office, they had no buyers, they had no planners, they had no distribution centre, they had no POS [point-of-sale] system, they had no IT backbone. They created everything from scratch while we’re coming in very quietly opening up two stores with existing infrastructure."
Starting with one store was a good idea: Nordstrom
- "'It’s been surprising, the amount of work to be done to open in another country. We knew it going in, but it is literally every business function … the complexities of opening, just operationally, have been challenging,' he said."
- "'We’re opening one store. I feel good about that decision because we can respond to one store and see what happens. We will open our doors and we will look to respond to customer comments right off the bat.'"
NKE - Nike pulls Adrian Peterson merchandise off Twin Cities shelves
- "Another NFL sponsor clearly is getting uncomfortable with the recent Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson incidents."
- "This time, it's Nike, which, according to the Associated Press, has pulled Peterson's merchandise off the shelves of its Twin Cities store."
TGT - TargetExpress to open in San Diego
- "Target plans to open its sixth TargetExpress store, in the South Park area of San Diego, in July 2015."
- "At approximately 19,000 sq. ft., the store will be about 14% of the size of a standard Target store (135,000 sq, ft.). Similar to other TargetExpress locations, it will offer an edited assortment that is locally relevant."
WMT - Wal-Mart Under Fire by Xinhua for Dismissed China Workers
- "'Wal-Mart Stores Inc. sent a chilling message to whistle-blowers by firing four Chinese staff who accused it of food-safety violations, and authorities should intervene, a state-media commentary said."
- "'Relevant authorities need to step in quickly, and not let such suspected acts of revenge be carried out with impunity,' Xinhua reporter Zhang Chen said in a four-sentence post to the official Xinhua News Agency’s microblog.
AMZN - UPS Boosts Seasonal Hiring, Plans for Surge in Deliveries
- "United Parcel Service Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to hire between 90,000 and 95,000 seasonal employees this year and is taking additional steps to support an expected surge in deliveries during the holiday season."
- "Last year, the company had initially expected in October to hire 55,000 seasonal workers, but it ended up actually hiring 85,000 for the season."
- "The logistics company said much of the sharp increase in package deliveries this year will be driven by e-commerce purchases, and the surge will begin in October and continue through January 2015. Last Christmas season, nearly 60% of all U.S. deliveries by UPS were e-commerce packages to consumers, compared with about 40% for all of 2012."
WMT - Wal-Mart Spokesman Quits Over Falsified Resume
- "On Tuesday, it was learned that Tovar’s departure was precipitated by the fact that he falsified his résumé. Wal-Mart found out that Tovar had never finished school at the University of Delaware, but claimed on his résumé to have earned a bachelor’s degree."
MW - Men's Wearhouse promotes Blake to president
- "The Men's Wearhouse board of directors has promoted Mary Beth Blake to the position of president and chief merchandising officer. She was previously EVP and chief merchandising officer, and will continue reporting to CEO Doug Ewert."
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Takeaway: Caution is advised for Twitter bulls.
Editor's note: This is a brief excerpt from a recently released Hedgeye report.
Hedgeye Internet analyst Hesham Shaaban says “2Q14 was a monster quarter” and notes the company raised guidance by $100M, “a considerable raise relative to prior implied 2H14 guidance of $700M.” A massive driver for the quarter was ad content around the World Cup.
How much of TWTR’s 2Q14 strength was driven by the World Cup – a month-long global event without a comparable event in the prior-year period, or its public history. Also unclear is how much TWTR is relying on its recent acquisitions – ones already closed, plus three more announced for 3Q14 – to pump its increased guidance. Shaaban says the Street is not likely to pay up for an increase in revenues that comes inorganically – from a mix of acquisitions and one-off events.
The Unknown Unknown:
For the first time, TWTR growth in ad engagements lagged user activity, meaning users are fading Twitter ads at an increasing rate. Since TWTR gets paid when users actually engage with ads, this implies the company will have to push more ad volume, as ad engagement declines. In fact, Shaaban says TWTR’s growth has been driven more by surging ad load, and less by high volumes of user engagement. If TWTR can't get its users to engage with its ads at historical rates, it will need to introduce a disproportionately larger number of ads to continue to deliver results. This risks pushing the less loyal users away, especially since TWTR is largely dependent on mobile (smaller screen) users.
What We Expect:
Shaaban expects a marked 2H14 deceleration in organic advertising revenue growth, though we could still see 2H14 revenues rise from its latest acquisitions. Shaaban doesn’t believe this is what the Street is expecting, or is willing to pay for. If TWTR's 3Q14 results reflect these expectations, Shaaban says it would cast serious doubt on the story.
Tickers: BYD, WYNN, HOT, H, HLT, HST, CCL
- Sept 17: PENN at Credit Suisse Small & Mid Cap Conference
- Sept 17-18: Hedgeye Cruise Pricing Survey mid-Sept
- Sept 18: CLSA Investor Forum - Bloombergy
- Sept 18: PENN at Craig-Hallum Alpha Select Conference
- Sept 18: Imperial Capital Global Opportunities Conference
- BYD, PENN, GLPI
- Sept 18: WYN & VAC at MKM Entertainment, Leisure Conference
BYD – announced that Chief Operating Officer Paul Chakmak will leave the Company, effective September 19. Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, will assume Chakmak's responsibilities. Additionally, the Company reaffirmed its previous guidance for the full-year 2014, projecting total Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $580 million to $600 million
Takeaway: A step in the right direction given the track record. We've consistently said that BYD could add $5-7 in value per share by improving its operations. We would've preferred a qualified replacement rather than the CEO assuming the COO duties. Reaffirmation of guidance an on the margin positive.
577:HK Louis XIII – Louis XIII Holdings Ltd. just made the biggest single order in the history of British luxury car maker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, plopping down $20 million for a 30 car fleet of bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantoms. The fleet is to be delivered in 2016. The deal will give Louis XIII the largest fleet of Rolls’ Phantom model car in the world, and two of the cars featuring “external and internal gold-plated accents” will be the most expensive Phantoms the company has ever produced and sold.
Takeaway: Building out the infrastructure to support the super VIP, by invitation-only clients.
WYNN – Wynn Resorts topped Mohegan Sun for the Boston-area casino license. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 3-to-1 to award the license to Wynn based largely on the strength of its $1.6 billion project’s economic development potential.
Takeaway: Now WYNN has to please the Boston Mayor and wait for the resolution of the November Repeal referendum. The Everett casino will take 36 months to construct and contain 504 hotel rooms, 3,242 slots and 168 gaming tables.
HOT/HLT/H – Cabo San Lucas Hotel Update following Hurricane Odile
- Starwood Hotels & Resorts said that the Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar and Westin Resort and Spa Los Cabos sustained enough damage to prevent the properties from accepting new guests until at least Oct. 31.
- The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort said that all guests and employees were safe but that the property would be closed “until a definitive assessment of the damage is complete.”
- Hyatt Place Los Cabos and Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos are closed and not accepting reservations for the next 30 days.
- The One&Only Palmilla will be shut down until Sept. 25.
Takeaway: Risks to operating hotels in tropical latitudes.
HST – The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has issued a preliminary order of forfeiture and a restitution order in regards to the guilty plea filed by Robert Koger. Koger pleaded guilty on Jan. 16, 2014 to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to the restitution order Koger is required to pay back a total of ~$40.7 million of which ~$20.3 million is to be paid to Host Hotels and Resorts.
Takeaway: A small one-time windfall and recovery.
Seatrade Med Conference Takeaways (Seatrade Insider, Hostelur)
- David Dingle (Carnival UK chairman): "I'm starting to feel good for the first time about all the European markets as a whole. In Spain, the economic situation has bottomed and there are signs of growth, while the strong passenger volumes in France are encouraging."
- In 2013, a record 6.4m Europeans cruised, a 4% increase over 2012, and Europe's appeal as a destination drew 1m people from overseas to cruise in continental waters.
- <3% of European population cruised
- <1% of Asia population cruised
Kyriakos Anastassiadis, CEO of Louis Cruises: "Greece has really come back strongly" with close to 2m total tourists. "For the next two to three years there will be continued demand for the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Greece and Turkey."
"China effect" helping growth
Oasis of the Seas handled record 58k passengers last weekend
Of last year's 27m passenger movements, 19m were in the Western Med, 5m in the Adriatic and 3m in the Eastern Med.
Jorges Vilches (Pullmantur CEO):
- Spain showed signs of recovery on demand side
- Western Med and the Med itself have tremendous growth potential, with Europe source market outsizing US's
- Additional ship in 2016 for Pullmantur
Eastern Med can be a growth opportunity
Urging ports to consider reduced off-peak tariffs
Risks: lack of infrastructure in ports, civil unrest, and geopolitical tension
Takeaway: Europe for the most part has been a bright spot in 2014. Can the momentum be sustained in 2015 given the emerging macro headwinds?
CCL – (Travel Weekly) Carnival Cruise Lines is renewing its Great Vacation Guarantee for another year, after guests used it 47 times to get refunds since its debut in September 2013. The guarantee provides for a 110% refund, complimentary transportation home and a $100 shipboard credit on a future cruise if guests are dissatisfied with their vacation for any reason. The guarantee must be invoked within the first 24 hours of the cruise.
Takeaway: If it worked before, do it again.
Chinese Advised to Avoid the Philippines – (Macau Business) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned Chinese against traveling to the Philippines.
The ministry issued a written statement saying this is because the Philippine police recently found that a criminal gang planned to attack the Chinese Embassy in Manila, Chinese interests in the Philippines and public places there, including shopping malls. It advised Chinese already in the Philippines to be extra cautious
Takeaway: A significant headwind for Chinese visitation and gaming spend. A warning from the Ministry will not be taken lightly.
Forefront of Macau Gaming Leaders Investigated – (SCMP) Four Macau casino workers are believed to be under police investigation after they took part in a string of protests for better pay and benefits. They were being accused of "aggravated disobedience". Forefront of Macau Gaming co-founder and secretary general Cloee Chao, a casino supervisor, became a criminal suspect on September 10, though no charges were specified, a Public Security Police Force document. Chao said three other union members were under investigation, including: Union President Ieong Man-teng, Lei Kuok-keong and Ung Kim-ip.
Takeaway: The operators and authorities strike back at Forefront of Macau Gaming. Macau's Basic Law states residents have freedom to demonstrate, strike and organize trade unions. However, Macau does not have a collective bargaining law.
Clark County To Examine Slot Parlors (Restricted Gaming License) – Under Nevada and Clark County laws, slot machines can only be an amenity at taverns, like a pool table or dart board, not the main attraction. The Clark County Commission passed regulations in 2011 that forced slot parlors to start acting more like bars - revised rules required at least 2,500 square feet of public space, seating for 25, a kitchen that’s open at least 12 hours a day and a bar with at least eight embedded slot machines with no more than 15 total slot machines. However, some slot parlor operators have not complied with the revised rules. As a result, the Clark County Commission is returning to the issue of tavern gaming in an effort to stamp out slot parlors that have proliferated across the greater Las Vegas Valley. Commissioner Steve Sisolak will introduce an ordinance on October 7, 2014 amending the county’s tavern gaming law to make sure bars that offer slot machines are also selling food and beverages to their customers.
Takeaway: Could be indirect pressure from the larger local gaming operators (i.e., Boyd & Stations) to reduce competition.
Trump SoHo Grand Foreclosure – Real-estate investor CIM Group, which holds a junior loan on Trump SoHo, the upscale Manhattan hotel and condominium tower is taking control of the building through a foreclosure process and has hired brokerage Eastdil Secured to auction off the property. Mr. Trump has a licensing arrangement with Trump SoHo and manages the property, but doesn't have an equity stake.
Takeaway: Developed near the peak of the prior real estate and economic cycle. Condo sales have been hampered by the restrictions preventing full-time occupancy.
China Bank Lending – (Bloomberg) The Chinese Central Bank will provide China's largest five banks - ICBC (601.398.CH), China Construction Bank (601939.CH), Ag Bank (601288.CH), Bank of China (601988.CH), and Bank of Communications (601328.CH) - with CNY500B in liquidity via standing lending facilities with three month tenors. The banks will each receive CNY100B, and the process is due to be completed Wednesday.
Takeaway: After much promises, the central bank finally acted. While not a 0.5% RRR cut, the effects may be similar. Our research suggests a lag response of 9-11 months for VIP gaming.
Hedgeye remains negative on consumer spending and believes in more inflation. Following a great call on rising housing prices, the Hedgeye
Macro/Financials team is turning decidedly less positive.
Takeaway: We’ve found housing prices to be the single most significant factor in driving gaming revenues over the past 20 years in virtually all gaming markets across the US.
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