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MAR Q3 2014 CONFERENCE CALL NOTES

Takeaway: Nothing wrong with this story and execution - except the valuation

Proving consistency wins the race


PREPARED REMARKS

CFO - CARL BERQUIST

  • Better results due to stronger RevPAR growth
  • RevPAR: Transient >8% while Group >10%  IQFQ very strong
  • Leisure demand extraordinary:  RevPAR 10% for Marriott, 9% for Courtyard
  • Catering +6% in Q3, increasing F&B minimums and catering prices as well
  • Washington DC:  strong special corp group business IQFQ
  • Europe:  Paris, Vienna, Munich & Istanbul strong
  • Profit Margins:  Domestic +240 bps while Worldwide +200 bps
  • IMF: driven by strength across North America
  • OL&O Revs: strong RevPAR 
  • G&A: did not assume $4m Venezuela currency nor $6m bonus compensation
  • Group Rev: improvement steady but flat YoY; less occupancy compression; 
  • Strong Transient demand = 5-7% RevPAR in 2015, largely coming from rate
  • Indonesia weak
  • Caribbean & Lat AM bookings +15%, Mexico very strong (Cancun) but Central America weak
  • Africa: Protea on track and expect $12m EBITDA for 9 mos 2014 - but Ebola risk.  Occupancy at 11 Nigerian hotels declined. 
  • Middle East: Egypt recovering, mid-high teens in MEA region

ceo- ARne Sorenson

Overview:

  • Room Rates - compression driving room rates, rooms booked in Q3 for future periods rates +7%
  • Supply - don't believe supply >2% until 2016 or 2017   
  • Transactions - result in renovations and relicensing fees
  • Brands - Q3 Ritz RevPAR index increased >200 bps vs comp set = add'l incentive fees
  • Signed 60k rooms YTD, expect 80k-90k rooms by year end

Next Generation of Travelers:

  • Opened first Moxy, 40 Moxy by 2017
  • AC Hotels, 37 hotels in NA pipeline, 30 more in talks
  • Mobile: mobile booking & mobile check in

Outlook 2015

  • Global uncertainties = No EPS guidance yet
  • NA occupancy rates strong;  Group booking +4% for MAR brand, NA room rate expansion, transient demand, improvement Rate driven
  • Europe: supply growth but stable; weakening Germany; soft France; strong Group from Rugby and World Cup
  • Asia: middle single digits constant $ similar to 2014, China remain good/strong, not reigning in expectations on RevPAR
  • Caribbean & Latin Am: mid-single digit RevPAR growth
  • MEA: mid-single digit/high-single-digit easy Egypt comps
  • Remain bullish: strong/great demand, price aggressively.

 

Q&A

 

Q: Transient demand, Group demand - how balance?

  • Business transient very close-in, virtually no business transient on the books for 2015.  At record occupancy levels today.  Upside to group, building demand trends. See nothing to moderate demand trends.

Q: International outlook - what gives confidence vs. macro backdrop?

  • RevPAR outside U.S. modestly lower, more difficult to predict global RevPAR. Europe muddle along. Russia weakest market (17 hotels, -20% RevPAR in Q3) not assuming Russia changes for better. Egypt: expect RevPAR better, during Q3 Egypt +100% RevPAR). Mexico very strong.  Central Am & Brazil less well.  Solid performance in China & India.

Q: China/India differential opinion?

  • Impact of supply growth - nothing new, supply increasing with middle class and global tourism. Supply trends stable to contracting.
  • Impact residential real estate/new intakes - watching, concerned, but not escalating to watch list. Domestic travel and outbound travel growing strongly.

Q: Lifestyle Brands - activity/desire for MAR lifestyle brands?

  • In stage where competitor launches new brand and sign conditions. Not seeing impact to AC, Edition, Autograph or Moxy - still strong appetite. Autograph growing in U.S. and Europe.

Q: Group business vs prior comps?

  • Group pace built over last three quarters, building today, plenty of runway, up 4% YoY

Q: Transient demand, leisure demand strong - ability to push down against OTAs?

  • OTAs more relevant to leisure than business/group. Leisure demand recovering but sell rooms the way customers want to purchase.

Q: Key money/incentive concerns?

  • Highly competitive, trends not new, longer term focus and more disciplined in value/ROI calculation.  Branded co's are managed with long-term view.

Q: Timing of fees Q3 vs. Q4?

  • Some movement between quarters but expectations about the same.  But on a full-year basis, quarter ago looking at full 2% RevPAR range, now narrower RevPAR range results in lower fee range.

Q: Int'l RevPAR higher than competitor's view?

  • Different distribution systems/network and different asset footprint

Q: Unit growth for 2015, how much is US/Int'l?

  • US 50-60% and Int'l 40%-50%, actual 54% and 46% outside at the moment.

Q: China, if slip, change to RevPAR outlook?

  • 8% of total fees Asia and ~50% from China, so 2014 could see more than 4% from China, not likely to move the outlook if China RevPAR changes

Q: Group commentary 2015 for Marriott brand - % booked in 2013 vs. 2014?

  • For 2015: 35-40% on books before 2013; 60% booked in 2014, and in the year for the year.

Q: Group bookings in 2014 for 2015:  higher rate, F&B, etc?

  • Every month group ADR for 2015 improved.  Up 2% in rate alone at current time.  Group bookings in Q3 14 for all future periods, all rates up 7%.
  • F&B influenced by volume and current conditions than pricing at time booking
  • Booking pace one year ago 4% at flat ADR, today similar pace but up ADR

Q: CapEx for Miami EDITION and Marriott Residences?

  • $230m for EDITION Hotel and $100m for Marriott Residences (65% of units sold today).  Hotel scheduled to open next week.  Total on Residences will be $150-$170m.

Q: IMFs - in 2007 included $70m Courtyard fees, how close to receiving IMFs from Courtyard?

  • Currently receiving $1.6m from 120 Courtyard Hotels in Q3 2014, large portion not likely to pay in Q4 due to timing.  During Q3 about 50% of hotels paying IMFs

Q: O&L renovations, how many of leased hotels under renovation and impact in 2015 as they come out of renovation?

  • Entire leased portfolio is 35 to 40, have about 6-10 hotels under renovation - no significant disruption or addition to revenues

Q: 2015: is there an inflection for higher IMFs across portfolio?

  • Look back to analyst day slide deck for trajectory

Q: Group - what's happening in market, cancellations?

  • Always a bit of arbitrary, seasonality, perfect Q3 holiday timing in calendar. It would be wrong to think that a weaker Q4 is a precursor to future trends.  Early 2015 looks strong and better.  Sept 2015 not as good a calendar as Sept 2014 for group.

Q: Fee guidance and deferral items?

  • Deferred base fees from sale of an asset are rare and will call out. Not include in assumptions, projections

Q: US supply growth acceleration - what percent capturing?

  • MAR opening more into limited service, approvals increasing.  Believe 25% of all hotel construction is headed to MAR affiliated brands.

Q: China pipeline to fruition? 

  • 65% of pipeline is under construction, matter of timing of delivery. Not seeing any fallout trend. 
  • Added 3700 rooms to development pipeline in Q3. MOUs might be slower but warnings not proving out. But at the moment, developers likely to take longer to get to opening. So could be some risk to delayed/extended opening dates.

Q: Deferred base fees in prior guidance?

  • $6 million in guidance, $9 million subordinated not in guidance

Q: Deferred fees - how much of base portfolio is subject to performance minimums?

  • Related to one or two limited service portfolios, relates to how portfolios perform over time, could be choppy. 

Q: Int'l inbound travel up 8% in H1 2014 - seeing any change in the velocity of in bound travel?

  • Not seeing any slowdown in inbound U.S. Int'l travel either on the East nor West Coasts.

Q: Ebola impact?

  • Impact: couple of million dollars of hotel revenue which is a rounding error in overall schematic. Not seeing impact to travel trends nor bookings.

Q: Special corporate rate negotiations - expectations from buyers?

  • Special corporate rates were up less than their hotel as whole special corporate volumes would've been flattish maybe down a little bit and rack rated business would have been up substantially both in terms of room nights and in terms of rates
  • Thinks that will continue into 2015 

Q: Where were group room nights rate compared against last peak in 2007/2008?

  • Group volume still as mix of total hotel business still 100 bps lower than prior peak not by a lot but rate unsure. 

Q: Group pace for 2015?

  • Revenue pace up 5% for 2015

Q: China exposure - less exposed to mixed use projects?

  • Current distribution at the top end with Ritz, JW Marriott and much less in upscale area and limited service sectors.  More heavily concentrated in Shanghai and Beijing followed by Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

Q: Mobile penetration?

  • Booking more, more widely adopted, expect greater usage especially higher if Marriott reward member.

Q: Market to market on fee differential on hotels that have changed hands/traded?

  • Franchise fees up 50 bps over past couple of years and apply only to new development or new owners. 

Cartoon of the Day: Birds of a Feather

Cartoon of the Day: Birds of a Feather - Fed cartoon 10.29.2014

 

The Fed, led by Janet Yellen, concludes its two-day policy meeting today. 

 

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Ebola In New York City; Should We Be Worried? [Key Takeaways From Our Call Yesterday]

Takeaway: It gets worse in West Africa before it gets better, but the risk remains low for migration of ebola outside the current outbreak zone.

This note was originally published October 29, 2014 at 10:53 in Healthcare

Our call yesterday afternoon with Dr. Jeffery Shaman helped put the ongoing ebola outbreak into a realistic perspective. Below is the link to the materials, as well as our takeaways.

 

Materials: CLICK HERE 

 

Ebola In New York City; Should We Be Worried? [Key Takeaways From Our Call Yesterday] - ebola virus verge outbreak usa

 

Takeaways:

  • CDC reports new cases by country.  The rate of change drives forecasting models (with adjustments) and small changes matter.  The forecasting models Dr. Shaman uses are based on those used in weather modelling.  http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/case-counts.html
  • Before there is a change in the trajectory of the outbreak, we need to see a “massive influx” of equipment, care workers, and money (i.e. pictures of transport planes on TV) 
  • Things will get much worse in West Africa in the near term before we can contemplate the 12-18 months it will take to bring the ongoing outbreak under control.  This story will be around well into 2015.
  • The risk is low, but will rise, for migration of ebola out of West Africa.  This outbreak is unique in terms of the high population density and mobility versus the location of prior outbreaks.  Dr. Shaman included some interesting data on this topic.
  • Donate money to Doctors Without Borders; they seem to be the only ones who know what they are doing.   

 

ABOUT JEFFREY SHAMAN, PhD

Dr. Shaman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Colombia University, a junior faculty fellow of the Earth Institute, a faculty fellow of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, and a member of the Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan. He is also affiliated with the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.  Dr. Shaman received a BA in biology from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA, M.Ph. and PhD in climate science from Columbia University. He was a NOAA post-­-doctoral fellow in climate and global change at Harvard University.

 

His research interests include: infectious disease, vector and pathogen ecology, health in the indoor and built environment, large-­-scale climate dynamics, the hydrologic cycle, and climate and disease forecast. Much of his present research focuses on developing model-­-inference systems for the forecast of infectious diseases, including influenza, West Nile virus and Ebola. 

 


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Keith's Macro Notebook 10/29: Japan | Europe | Russell 2000


LEISURE LETTER (10/29/2014)

Tickers: MGM, PEB, BX, NCLH

EVENTS

  • Oct 29: 
    • MAR Q3 earnings 10 am  , ID 59390131
    • H Q3 earnings 11:30 am code 95150754
  • Oct 30:
    • HST Q3 earnings 10 am
    • NCLH Q3 earnings 10 am
    • MGM Q3 earnings 11 am , pw 6307991
    • BYD Q3 earnings 5 pm , pw 8021592
  • Oct 31: HLT Q3 earnings 10 am , ID 11936190
  • Nov 3:
    • BEE Q3 earnings 11 am , pw 37266467
    • SHO Q3 earnings 12n , ID 75906336
  • Nov 4: RHP Q3 earnings 10 am
  • Nov 6:
    • PNK Q3 earnings 10 am , code 27759617
    • BEL Q3 earnings 10 am , ID 12457691

COMPANY NEWS

MGM & 2282:HK: Pansy comments – (GGRAsia, Macau Daily Times) Pansy Ho, co-chairperson of MGM China, said the Macau government must lessen restrictions on the hiring of migrant workers.  Otherwise, the city’s new tourism and gaming developments will face staffing problems. Ho also believes that mainland China’s visa restrictions to Hong Kong have had an impact on the tourism flow to Macau too. Early this month, mainland China suspended visas for tour groups heading to Hong Kong, as a huge pro-democracy protest started to take shape in the HKSAR.

Takeaway:  We couldn't agree more. That doesn't mean it will happen anytime soon

 

Macau Legend 577:HK – announced the Director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (the ‘‘DICJ’’) confirmed 35 additional gaming tables will be granted to Macau Legend. Macau Legend expects that the additional gaming tables will increase its gaming capacity and support the current development of Macau Fisherman’s Wharf. 

Takeaway:  CEO David Chow is very well connected politically so this shouldn't be a surprise.

 

PEB – announced an offering of 3.2 million shares plus shoe with approx net proceeds of $127 million.

Takeaway:  While the use of proceeds was listed as "general corporate purposes" most investors believe the company will use the proceeds to purchase a full service hotel in Boston for $261 million. 


BX – the world's largest private equity investor in real estate, is preparing to seek around $13 billion for its next flagship global real estate fund - Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII, in line with its predecessor fund, according to people familiar with the matter. Its latest fund, Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII, which raised $13.4 billion in 2012, reported a net internal rate of return of 27 percent as of the end of September. Blackstone has sought to moderate expectations, telling potential investors that it will be hard for the new real estate fund to beat the high returns of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII.

Takeaway:  With approximately $40 billion in levered assets - that's a lot of cash chasing real estate assets. Could be good for hotel asset pricing.  Also, given BX's recent involvement in various Las Vegas assets, could gaming assets be of increased interest? 

 

NCL/GENTING CRUISES – (Seatrade Insider) The new Star Cruises' ship due be delivered in 2016 may be called the Genting World, and may look very similar to the Norwegian Breakaway class of ships, according to an ad run by Star Cruises in Asia.  Genting Hong Kong, which owns and operates Star, continues to be a major shareholder in Norwegian Cruise Line.

Takeaway:  The Genting overhang on NCL shares will not disappear but we think it is not a near-term risk.

 

Hurtigruten(Reuters) Norwegian cruise line operator Hurtigruten has recommended a takeover offer from a group of investors led by several board members, valuing the firm at about 2.94 billion crowns ($444 million).  Investors led by Chairman Trygve Hegnar and board member Petter Stordalen, a wealthy hotel tycoon, offered 7.00 crowns per share for Hurtigruten, which operates scenic cruises along the fjords of the Norwegian coast.

Takeaway:  Scandinavia has done well for the cruise lines the last several years. The offer price is >50% share price premium.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Macau Public Works Director Immediate Retirement(GGRAsia) Macau’s Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau director Jaime Carion will retire on November 1.  Deputy director Chan Pou Ha will step in as acting director, it added.  Macau’s Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io gave assurances that the bureau had mechanisms in place to guarantee that the current projects would not face delays.

Takeaway: Despite assurances, it would seem more construction delays are now more likely given the permit delays and new Director transition.

 

Chinese Outbound Tourism –  (China Daily) China is the fastest-growing market of outbound tourism in the world with an annual growth rate of 18.8%, according to Qunar.com. In 2013, the number of outbound Chinese tourists reached 98.2 million.

Takeaway: All tourism industries fighting for their fair share of this growing tourism segment. 

  

Chanos & Kynikos Associates Betting Against Macau – (Reuters) Chanos is betting against Macau. He likened Macau to the overbuilding in Las Vegas and warned that Macau businesses were putting up more capital than ever for less in return.

Takeaway:  We agree in general with Chanos on his negative Macau call although we are more positive long term on Macau and the ultimate ROIs on the new builds.


Atari Launches Social Casino– Classic console games developer Atari unveiled its social casino vertical Atari jackpots, in a move that sees the developer enter the social gambling market. The popular gaming brand will look to merge its iconic console/arcade content with casino slots and games. Atari has partnered with social games engine Flowplay, in order to transform its gaming content into casino led content for social and mobile channels. The Atari Jackpots social casino vertical will offer a collection of single and multiplayer games, including slots, blackjack, video poker and bingo. With the help of Flowplay, Atari has converted retro gaming titles such Asteroids, Missile Command, Tempest and Crystal Castles into social slots and games inventory.

Takeaway: All that is old is new again...

 

Las Vegas Strip Development – the project jointly owned by James Packard and Oaktree Capital Management announced the hiring of Rob Oseland, who was previously President and COO at SLS Las Vegas.  Oseland is leaving to join former Wynn Las Vegas President Andrew Pascal in developing a new hotel-casino project on a 35-acre Strip parcel (across from Encore) on which the New Frontier once stood. Pascal is co-chairman of a company that includes Australian billionaire James Packer and investment firm Oaktree Capital Management.

Takeaway: Packard and Oaktree moving forward with their development.

 

SLS Las Vegas – following Rob Oseland's resignation, announced Scott Kreeger will join SLSLV.  Kreeger was most recently chief operating officer of the since-closed Revel hotel-casino in Atlantic City. Before heading to Atlantic City, Kreeger spent the bulk of his gaming career in Las Vegas at MGM Mirage (now MGM Resorts International) and Station Casinos. Kreeger was the first general manager of Station Casinos’ Red Rock Resort, overseeing the property’s debut in 2006. 

 

The Gramercy Park Hotel Listed For Sale – in an offering likely to test the limits of what investors are willing to pay to get into the business of operating one of the city’s best-known hostelries. Real estate investors Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs hired brokerage firm Eastdil Secured to market the 186-room Gramercy Park Hotel.  Messrs. Rosen, Fuchs and Schrager purchased the property, at 2 Lexington Ave., in 2003 and invested more than $200 million gut-renovating it. It reopened in 2006. By comparison, earlier this year, another popular boutique hotel, the Standard High Line, in the meatpacking district, sold for about $400 million, or $1.2 million per room.

Takeaway: Another hallmark hotel trade in the making. We look forward to the sale for another NYC comp.  If the Gramercy Park Hotel traded at $1.2 million per key = ~$223 million sale price. 

 

 

MACRO

China real estate market slowing (China Daily)

  • Loans to China's real estate sector slowed in the first three quarters as the housing market cooled. At the end of September, financial institutions in China had lent 16.7 trillion yuan ($2.73 trillion) to the property sector, up 18.2% year on year, 1% slower than the pace at the end of June, according data released by the People's Bank of China.
  • Outstanding loans for real estate development amounted to 5.39 trillion yuan at the end of September, while loans for individual home purchases increased 17.5% to 11.1 trillion yuan, down 0.9% from the end of June.
  • Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that commercial housing sales in term of floor space dropped 8.6% in the first nine months, widening by 0.3% from the first eight months.
  • Prices for new homes in 69 out of 70 major Chinese cities dropped month on month in September, compared with 68 cities in August.

World Bank urges China to cut growth target: the World Bank said China can cut its economic growth target to 7% next year without hurting its labor market, as it urged Beijing to get rid of its growth objectives. The bank warned China against carrying its ambitious 2014 target of 7.5% growth into next year, saying that such a move would detract from the government's reform plans. It also predicted that property prices could fall further in coming months due to an over-supply of homes. 

 

Singapore Property Values – Resale prices fell 0.7% in September from the preceding month, a reversal from August's revised 0.2% increase, according to the Singapore Residential Price Index.

 

Hedgeye Macro Team remains negative Europe, their bottom-up, qualitative analysis (Growth/Inflation/Policy framework) indicates that the Eurozone is setting up to enter the ugly Quad4 in Q4 (equating to growth decelerates and inflation decelerates) = Europe Slowing.

Takeaway:  We're seeing bottoms up slowing in Europe cruise pricing in our monthly survey. Europe has been a tailwind for CCL and RCL but a negative pivot here looks increasingly likely. Following CCL's earnings release, we recently turned negative on those stocks based on the negative European thesis. 

 

Hedgeye Macro Team remains negative on consumer spending and believes in muted inflation, a Quad4 set-up.  Following  a great call on rising housing prices, the Hedgeye Macro/Financials team is 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.


*Short CHUY Call Today @11AM

Takeaway: We recently added CHUY to our Best Ideas list as a short. We'll be hosting a call today @11AM EST to review our thesis and field questions.

Call Details:

  • Toll Free Number:
  • Direct Dial Number:
  • Conference Code: 974734#
  • Materials: CLICK HERE

 

*Short CHUY Call Today @11AM - 10 29 2014 7 50 07 AM


Our short thesis focuses on the following:

  • Disappointing new unit productivity
  • Cash burn necessitates the current new unit growth rate
  • Rampant support from the biased bulls (read: high expectations, aggressive estimates)
  • Significant insider selling
  • Strong sell-side sentiment and unjustified premium multiple
  • Significant food inflation (dairy, beef, avocados, produce)
  • Overly optimistic consensus food and labor cost assumptions in 2H14
  • A lack of leverage in the business model considering higher year-over-year G&A, D&A and pre-opening spend
  • Aggressive 2H14 and 2015 EPS estimates
  • Approximately 30-40% downside to the name

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director

 

Fred Masotta

Analyst


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