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CAT: Game Time (Earnings Preview, Revised)



Thursday’s earnings report should shift attention to 2015 expectations, with the market likely to focus on backlog and preliminary 2015 revenue guidance.  While we expect management to provide a very wide guidance range for the segments, we also expect 2015 EPS to eventually come in near or below 2014 EPS.  Last year's initial 2014 revenue guidance took a significant bite out of both consensus sales and EPS estimates.  CAT will be giving initial 2015 guidance following a period of weakness in key energy, mining, and construction end-markets.  As a result, we think there is a heightened likelihood that 2015 estimates resume their march lower in the near-term.


CAT:  Game Time (Earnings Preview, Revised)  - asj1



Key Points


Wind Changing Directions?  Dealer inventory builds, a short-lived surge in coal production, and Tier 4 pre-buy activity supported 1H 2014 results, but the environment going forward looks far less supportive.  Commodity prices, particularly in iron ore, oil and gas, and coal are generally much lower than 1H 2014 or 2H 2013.  Dealers are expected to reduce inventories in 2H 2014 at a similar painful pace to that of 2H 2013, with guidance for drawdowns of ~$1.6 bil vs. ~$1.3 bil in 2H 2013.  Construction equipment demand may also have slowed, as preannouncements from TEX and MTW suggest.  It is hard to see order rates improving sequentially, pointing to either weak revenues or, more likely, further draws on the order backlog into 2015. 



CAT:  Game Time (Earnings Preview, Revised)  - asj2


CAT:  Game Time (Earnings Preview, Revised)  - asj3



Expect Wide Guidance Range:  While we do not know where management will place 2015 revenue guidance, we do expect that guidance will provide plenty of flexibility.  A wide guide would likely allow management to avoid another 2013-esque series of credibility damaging guidance cuts.  CAT’s markets have weakened in an increasingly uncertain global economy and recent growth concerns should provide a good pretext for incorporating ‘wide-ness’ into the 2015 outlook.  Of course, a wide guidance range may be interpreted as the market as ‘we don’t know, but it doesn’t look all that good’, anyway.


Energy & Transportation Exposed:  Increasingly, we expect the ‘action’ to shift into the Energy & Transportation (E&T) segment.  Of course, mining capital spending has declined to more normal levels, and may worsen a bit given commodity price weakness and equipment pricing trends.  Over time, we would look to the credit side of CAT for incremental interesting negatives in mining equipment.  With oil prices near the lows of recent years and Tier 4 Final implementation in large engine in 2015, we expect to see pressure on E&T order rates and margins.  


CAT:  Game Time (Earnings Preview, Revised)  - asj4



Tier 4F Beyond Locomotives:  While gas compression is likely to remain robust, the other energy end-markets may be less so into 2015.  CAT does not have a Tier 4 compliant US locomotive offering, and does not expect one, last we checked, until about 2017.  Prime power gensets frequently go into off-grid applications like mining, oil  production, rail, coal, steel, and agriculture.  Reciprocating engine sales to other oil and gas applications, like rig engines, may also soften amid lower energy prices.  


CAT:  Game Time (Earnings Preview, Revised)  - asj5

Source: Hedgeye Call with Jeff Leigh, Former Head of Finning Power Systems April 11, 2014



Our Expectations:  We think a more reasonable 2015 EPS and E&T revenue expectation is at or below 2014.  We expect an E&T downshift leading the decline on a softer energy market and Tier 4 Final implementation.  We also see pricing in mining equipment continuing to weaken, with credit developing into a more relevant factor.  Construction Industries may continue to perform on the top line, but faces record margin compares in 1H 2015.  That doesn’t sound to us like a recipe for the 5% ($55.1 bil to $57.8 bil) sales growth or 13% 2015 EPS growth ($6.26 for 2014 to $7.08) implied by consensus estimates. 


Where We Could Be Wrong:  CAT could have a larger cost reduction program than we currently expect.  Share repurchases boost EPS, and large or numerous acquisitions can impact reported sales and EPS.  Significant stimulus, particularly in China, could help re-inflate commodity prices.  Dealer inventory changes can also be a bit of a wild card, and may help 2015 after years of mostly destocking.


Some Questions on the Quarter and Guidance

  • What oil price is baked into the 2015 outlook?  Crude oil prices may be down on the Saudi’s trying to disrupt U.S. shale oil, or in an effort to pressure Russia over Ukraine, or steeply lower Chinese demand, or some combination of those factors, or none of those factors.  In any case, 2015 end use demand by ‘petroleum’ has a less clear outlook than it did a few months ago.
  • How much impact will Tier 4 Final have on E&T in 2015?  Interestingly, the company took a pass on a version of this question in the last conference call, with the analyst confessing that he “should have sent it before”.  Staged conference calls aside, the T4F standards matter for other high horsepower engines beyond locomotives.
  • Given the recent pressure in iron ore and coal, how are you managing the credit risk at CAT financial and are there any noteworthy trends?  It seems widely expected now that many coal and iron ore miners will be forced to exit. 
  • What is happening with mining equipment pricing in the market today relative to what is being recognized from backlogged orders in revenue?  Last we heard, pricing was slipping at a slow rate. 
  • How much of change in Construction Industries sales related to changes in dealer inventories (destock) vs. so-called end user demand?  The company has been doing a much better job with the disclosures around dealer inventory changes. Destock may overstate end-market weakness. 


CAT:  Game Time (Earnings Preview, Revised)  - asj6





TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – October 21, 2014

As we look at today's setup for the S&P 500, the range is 105 points or 3.89% downside to 1830 and 1.63% upside to 1935.                                                             













  • YIELD CURVE: 1.85 from 1.84
  • VIX closed at 18.57 1 day percent change of -15.55%


MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):

  • 7:45am: ICSC weekly sales
  • 8:55am: Redbook weekly sales
  • 10am: Existing Home Sales, Sept., est. 5.10m (prior 5.05m)
  • 11:30am: U.S. to auction 4W bills
  • 4:30pm: API weekly oil inventories



    • Senate, House out of session
    • Sec. of State John Kerry travels to Berlin
    • 10:30am: American Petroleum Institute media briefing
    • 11am: Foreign Policy Initiative briefing call on Ebola policy
    • 11:30am: Michael Lewis speaks at Mortgage Bankers Assn
    • 12pm: Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., speaks at U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Legal Reform Summit
    • 12:15pm: SEC examinations dir. Drew Bowden luncheon interview at Natl Society of Compliance Professionals conf.
    • U.S. ELECTION WRAP: Comparing Sen. Models; Fundraising Reports



  • Total CEO De Margerie Dies in Moscow Plane Crash
  • Actavis Said to Bid for Omega Pharma Joining Sanofi, Perrigo
  • AbbVie Scraps $52 Billion Shire Deal on U.S. Tax Changes
  • Paulson Said to Urge Shire-Allergan Merger as AbbVie Talks End
  • Apple’s Forecast for Holiday Quarter Tops Analyst Estimates
  • Texas Instruments Quarterly Profit Outlook Exceeds Estimates
  • Staples Says It’s Probing Potential Customer Credit-Card Breach
  • Yahoo Said to Be in Talks to Buy BrightRoll: TechCrunch
  • Tudor’s Jones Said to See U.S. Stocks Beating Globe Rest of Year
  • China’s GDP Growth Bolsters Case for Stimulus Restraint
  • Guardrail Maker’s Faulty Secret Changes Cheated U.S. Government
  • Pimco’s Former Parent Pacific Life Switching Accounts to Janus
  • FBI Warns of Hacks by Moonlighting Foreign Government Agents
  • Dudley Warns Banks to Fix Culture or Be ‘Dramatically Downsized’



    • Allegheny Technologies (ATI) 7:30am, ($0.06)
    • AO Smith (AOS) 7am, $0.57
    • Apollo Education (APOL) 7:30am, $0.27
    • Brinker Intl (EAT) 7:45am, $0.50
    • Canadian Pacific Railway (CP CN) 7:30am, C$2.36 - Preview
    • Carlisle Cos. (CSL) 6am, $1.22
    • Coca-Cola (KO) 7:30am, $0.53 - Preview
    • Graphic Packaging (GPK) 7:30am, $0.20
    • Harley-Davidson (HOG) 7am, $0.59
    • Illinois Tool Works (ITW) 8am, $1.23
    • Kimberly-Clark (KMB) 7:30am, $1.54
    • Lexmark Intl (LXK) 6:30am, $0.91
    • Lockheed Martin (LMT) 7:25am, $2.72 - Preview
    • Manpowergroup (MAN) 7:30am, $1.50
    • McDonald’s (MCD) 7:58am, $1.37 - Preview
    • Omnicom Group (OMC) 7am, $0.90
    • Pentair (PNR) 7am, $0.94
    • Regions Financial (RF) 6am, $0.21
    • Reynolds American (RAI) 6:58am, $0.91 - Preview
    • Synovus Financial (SNV) 7:47am, $0.37
    • Travelers (TRV) 6:57am, $2.26
    • United Technologies (UTX) 6:59am, $1.81 - Preview
    • Verizon Communications (VZ) 7:30am, $0.90 - Preview
    • Waters (WAT) 7am, $1.29



    • ACE (ACE) 4:05pm, $2.33
    • Broadcom (BRCM) 4:05pm, $0.84
    • Canadian Natl Railway (CNR CN) 4:01pm, C$1.05 - Preview
    • Celestica (CLS CN) 4pm, $0.24
    • Cree (CREE) 4:01pm, $0.34
    • Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) 4pm, $0.08 - Preview
    • Discover Finl Services (DFS) 4:05pm, $1.34
    • E*TRADE Financial (ETFC) 4:05pm, $0.22
    • FMC Technologies (FTI) 4:01pm, $0.74
    • Fulton Financial (FULT) 4:30pm, $0.20
    • Interactive Brokers (IBKR) 4:01pm, $0.03
    • Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) 4:05pm, $3.81 - Preview
    • Nabors Industries (NBR) 5:30pm, $0.36
    • Pinnacle Finl (PNFP) 5:15pm, $0.50
    • Robert Half Intl (RHI) 4:02pm, $0.58
    • Sonic (SONC) 4:01pm, $0.34
    • VMware (VMW) 4:01pm, $0.83
    • Waste Connections (WCN) 4:05pm, $0.55
    • Yahoo! (YHOO) 4:05pm, $0.30 - Preview



  • Codelco Puts Faith in China to Resolve Metal Collateral Case
  • Gold Buying Rebounds in India as Diwali Sales Shine: Commodities
  • Oil’s Plunge Snares Nigeria Seeking to Defend Naira: Currencies
  • Palm Oil Reserves in Indonesia Seen Shrinking Most in 19 Months
  • Aluminum Rebounds as Copper Extends Gains in London Trading
  • Brent Crude Rises as China’s Growth Exceeds Estimates; WTI Gains
  • China’s ‘Aggressive’ Electric Car Ambitions to Boost Aluminum
  • Soybeans Rise From 1-Week Low as Investors Assess Harvest Pace
  • Rebar Drops to One-Week Low on China Economic Growth Concerns
  • WTI Crude Seen Supported Near $75 a Barrel on Drop Below $80
  • Arabica Extends Biggest Slump in Five Weeks as Sugar Declines
  • Palm Growers Raised by Hong Leong to Neutral as Worst Seen Over
  • Codelco Not Affected by China’s Metal Collateral Case (Video)
  • Codelco to Sell $8 Billion Bonds for Record Copper Mine Spending


























The Hedgeye Macro Team


















October 21, 2014

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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%

CMG: Dip Presents Buying Opportunity

CMG continues to be on our Investment Ideas list as a long.


CMG: Dip Presents Buying Opportunity - 1


Brief Analysis: 3Q14 marked another impressive quarter for Chipotle, which managed to grow same-store sales by nearly 20% at a time when the majority of quick service and fast casual restaurants would be pleased to deliver a low-single digit comp.  The company continues to thrive amid what appears to be a secular shift in the way people, and particularly Millennials, eat out.


The stock traded down after hours, however, as low to mid-single digit comp guidance for 2015 came in well below the street's 7.2% estimate.  We believe this was a concerted effort by management to temper aggressive expectations.  This guidance may very well prove to be conservative, but CMG will be lapping the strongest period of comp growth since being spun out as a public chain in 2006.


Underlying food inflation was up +8% in the quarter, which is quite possibly the only red flag we could find in the quarter.  The fact of the matter is, this is an incredibly strong company, with strong management, best-in-class unit economics, a robust balance sheet and unparalleled momentum.  We believe any sell-off today would be a nice buying opportunity.


Comps: CMG delivered 19.8% comp growth in the quarter, beating estimates of 17.2%, led by traffic growth and, to a lesser extent, an +8.5% increase in average check.  Management guided to low to mid-single digit comp growth in FY15.  Revenues of $1,084 billion (+31.1% y/y) beat consensus estimates by 2.34%.


Margins: Despite an accelerating top line trend and a price hike, cost of sales squeezed profits in the quarter, coming in at 34.31% of sales (+75 bps y/y) vs. expectations of 33.58%, as beef, avocado and dairy inflation persists.  Fortunately, Chipotle benefitted from sales leverage throughout the rest of its P&L as labor costs, other restaurant expenses, and general & administrative costs all came in well below expectations.  Operating margins came in at 19.13% (+255 bps y/y), beating estimates by 55 bps.


CMG: Dip Presents Buying Opportunity - 2


Earnings: Adjusted EPS of $4.15 (+56% y/y) beat expectations of $3.83 by 8.26%.


What We Liked:

  • Revenues of $1,084 billion (+31.1% y/y) beat estimates by 2.34%
  • +19.8% same-store sales growth; +13.0% two-year average
  • Restaurant level margin expanded 201 bps y/y
  • Operating margin expanded 255 bps y/y
  • Adjusted EPS of $4.15 (+56% y/y) beat estimates by 8.26%
  • Throughput continues to improve; this quarter by 6 transactions at peak hour lunch and 6 transactions at peak hour dinner
  • AUVs for restaurants in the comparable base reached an all-time high of $2.4 million
  • Strong transaction growth with minimal price resistance and trade-downs
  • Only repurchased $13 million of stock in the quarter; $127 million remaining on current share buyback program
  • Comps momentum in September has continued into October
  • Brand and food continues to resonate with consumers; particularly with Millennials who are increasingly rejecting traditional fast food


What We Didn't Like:

  • Management guided to low to mid-single digit comp growth in FY15 vs. current consensus estimates of +7.2%
  • Cost of sales ratio (34.31%) came in 73 bps above estimates and continues to march higher; beef remains an issue, while avocado could moderate, and dairy has likely peaked
  • ACA costs will hit the P&L next year; impact unknown, but costs unlikely to exceed 1% of sales
  • Catering took a step back from a favorable, in-season 2Q; only 1% of sales in 3Q


CMG: Dip Presents Buying Opportunity - 3


Call or email with questions.


Howard Penney

Managing Director


Fred Masotta


BABA: Leaning Short, But...

Takeaway: We put together a 40-page deck outlining our bearish long-term view on BABA.  But we don't have a near-term catalyst, so we're staying on the sidelines for now.  High level themes below.  More detail to follow.



  1. TOO LARGE TO CONTROL ITS OWN DESTINY:  BABA is essentially China’s E-commerce market, with over 80% of all E-commerce GMV, and over 75% of traffic flowing through its sites.  Without room for share gains, which historically have been tenuous, BABA will become increasingly dependent on the China Growth Story to drive its business moving forward.
  2. CHINA CAN’T GROWTH FAST ENOUGH: While BABA cites this as an opportunity, there is a reason why China lags many major economies in terms of both e-commerce and internet penetration: the Chinese consumer is relatively weaker in terms of both incomes and discretionary spend.  There is naturally room for new user growth, but it will come with a declining yield since these users have less to spend, which means the average GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) of the BABA consumer is facing decline.
  3. GROWTH WILL COME AT A PRICE: Roughly 60% of BABA’s revenues come from vendors marketing to BABA consumers; over 75% of which from P4P (Pay for Performance) ads that require user engagement (clicks) to generate revenue for BABA.  If the average GMV/Active Buyer is facing decline, then the average buyer (and their ad clicks) are worth less to BABA’s vendors. We’re expecting pricing pressure across its Marketing segment, which we’re already seeing signs of today due to the rise of mobile (low-cost vehicle to internet access in China).  Further, if the mix of mobile users continues to grow, then it may also mean less ad inventory since BABA currently isn’t offering a comparable number of ads (vs. desktop). 
  4. NEAR VS. LONG-TERM OUTLOOK: Feasible vs. Lofty Consensus Estimates (40% and 35% revenue growth in F2015 and F2016, respectively).   A strong 1Q15 (up 46% y/y) makes F2015 estimates within reason, but we’re not expecting much upside.   F2016 is a different story; the question is whether growth in Commission Revenue (~25% of total) can compensate for our expectations for a marked slowdown in growth in Marketing Revenues (~60% of total).  Commissions have a very strong tailwind from GMV (transactions) mix shift of to branded products on Tmall (where BABA collects commissions), while Marketing revenue is facing headwinds across a number of fronts (see #2 & 3 above).   We’re expecting F2015 and F2016 revenues of ¥73.0B and ¥94.5B vs. consensus of ¥73.7B and ¥99.6B, respectively.
  5. WHY WE’RE ON THE SIDELINES: First, we don’t have a catalyst in sight near-term (we don’t even have an event yet).  Second, our view here is longer-term, and we’re not as bearish on F2015 as we are F2016 and thereafter.  The stock currently trades at ~20x forward revenue, which means this is a sentiment story.  That makes the stock highly sensitive to immaterial news flow outside a fundamental catalyst, which once again we don’t have near-term, making BABA a dangerous short near term.

BABA: Leaning Short, But... - BABA   vs. China GMV 2

BABA: Leaning Short, But... - BABA   Urban Per Cap3

BABA: Leaning Short, But... - BABA   Internet Income Distribution 2

BABA: Leaning Short, But... - BABA   GMV buyers 2

BABA: Leaning Short, But... - BABA   P4P ads



Let us know if you have any questions, or would like to discuss in more detail.  


Hesham Shaaban, CFA



Cartoon of the Day: No Russell Muscle

Cartoon of the Day: No Russell Muscle - Russell 2000 cartoon 10.20.2014


Don’t forget that even though the Russell was up for the first week in seven last week, over 60% of stocks in the Russell 2000 are currently crashing (-20% from their 12-month highs).


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