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[podcast] Why McCullough Wants to Puke

Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough discusses the key market signals that matter on this morning's conference call and why he feels like he is going to puke.

 


HOT 3Q TAKEAWAYS

Please see the tables rating HOT’s Q3 performance and Q4 guidance below.  The release was typical HOT:  great quarter but low ball guidance for Q4.  We won’t review the whole quarter but here are some takeaways:

 

 

OVERALL HOT THESIS

  • We like the branded hotel business long-term – high ROIC, brands are underpenetrated overseas, asset light model, growth funded locally and not on HOT’s balance sheet
  • The transactions market really heated up in Q3 – see our Transactions note from 10/11/13 – both in terms of price per key and number of transactions
  • HOT should be more aggressive in selling assets next year
  • HOT should be returning more cash to shareholders as it moves closer (but not all the way) to the MAR model.  HOT raised its dividend, moved to quarterly dividend, and bought back a lot of stock (see chart below)
  • Company can lever up by at least a turn without jeopardizing credit rating
  • HOT’s European exposure is now a tailwind in our opinion and is likely contributing to HOT’s solid 2014 RevPAR guidance of 5-7% growth.  Our research in Europe indicates higher consumer activity.  The Hedgeye Macro Team is also bullish on the margin on the European consumer.  HOT generates the highest % of EBITDA from Europe of the branded US hotel companies.

3Q TAKEAWAYS

  • Non-room revenue consistently improving each of the last 3 quarters
  • CostPAR only increasing at a rate of 0.7x of RevPOR the last 2 Qs.
  • Fee growth was very good at 13% but 3% of that was termination fees
  • Owned margins were better but VOI margins were weaker than expected 
  • Excluded one-time items were actually gains and usually are - unlike casino companies that only seem to exclude bad stuff
  • Consistent with recent trend, Revpar gains are in direct order of price point – sadly, this is economic reality these days
  • Looks like only a half of a turn of leverage – this is ridiculously low, especially with likely more aggressive asset sales upcoming.  Leverage levels for Lodgers are near all-time lows.
  • Solid 2014 revpar guidance of 5-7% - likely better than expected
  • We expect them to be positive on the margin regarding Europe on the call

 HOT 3Q TAKEAWAYS - hot123

 

HOT 3Q TAKEAWAYS - hot234


Beware Out There

Client Talking Points

CHINA

The Chinese government removing liquidity is definitely having an impact. Officials clearly don’t want the property market to be this hot. So, despite another #GrowthStabilizing PMI uptick print of 50.9 in October versus 50.2 in September, the Shanghai Composite was down another -0.9% overnight. China is down -2.2% in the last two  days after breaking immediate-term TRADE support of 2189.

GOLD

Newsflash: This is the first time in at least a year that I am actually considering buying Gold. Now that’s not because I have a religion about it or anything like that. It's my signal that’s stabilizing for the first time in a year. We need to see $1316 hold. A breakout over $1345 would be explicitly bullish. Bernanke should be so proud of himself. Slow-growth investors, unite!

UST 10YR

Follow the flow. Rinse and repeat. The 10-year Treasury Yield snaps our Hedgeye TREND support of 2.58% and gold is stabilizing. Nope, there's no irony in that signal. Gold loves competing with absolute returns of 0%. Watch all your long “growth” styles. They have plenty of room to correct.

Asset Allocation

CASH 58% US EQUITIES 8%
INTL EQUITIES 18% COMMODITIES 0%
FIXED INCOME 0% INTL CURRENCIES 16%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
DAX

In line with our #EuroBulls Q4 theme, we’re long the German DAX via the etf EWG. With European fundamentals showing improvement off low levels, we expect outperformance from Germany, and in turn for the region’s largest economy to pull the rest of the region higher. ECB policy remains highly accommodative and prepared to aid any of its sovereign members to preserve the Union. Inflation remains moderate and fundamentals are positive: confidence readings and PMIs are up since June, with factory orders trending higher and retail sales inflecting to push the trade balance higher. Finally, the unemployment rate has held steady at the low level of 6.9%, all of which signals to us that Germany’s economic climate is ramping up.

WWW

WWW is one of the best managed and most consistent companies in retail. We’re rarely fans of acquisitions, but the recent addition of Sperry, Saucony, Keds and Stride Rite (known as PLG) gives WWW a multi-year platform from which to grow. We think that the prevailing bearish view is very backward looking and leaves out a big piece of the WWW story, which is that integration of these brands into the WWW portfolio will allow the former PLG group to achieve what it could not under its former owner (most notably – international growth, and leverage a more diverse selling infrastructure in the US). Furthermore it will grow without needing to add the capital we’d otherwise expect as a stand-alone company – especially given WWW’s consolidation from four divisions into three -- which improves asset turns and financial returns.

TROW

Financials sector senior analyst Jonathan Casteleyn continues to carry T. Rowe Price as his highest-conviction long call, based on the long-range reallocation out of bonds with investors continuing to move into stocks.  T Rowe is one of the fastest growing equity asset managers and has consistently had the best performing stock funds over the past ten years.

Three for the Road

TWEET OF THE DAY

I'll debate anyone, anywhere, on the history of burning your currency at the stake and its growth implications @KeithMcCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

If you want to know how rich you really are, find out what would be left of you tomorrow if you should lose every dollar you own tonight.
-William J. H. Boetcker

STAT OF THE DAY

The U.S. dollar has declined 1.1 percent against a basket of 10 leading global currencies in the last month. (Bloomberg)


the macro show

what smart investors watch to win

Hosted by Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough at 9:00am ET, this special online broadcast offers smart investors and traders of all stripes the sharpest insights and clearest market analysis available on Wall Street.

October 24, 2013

October 24, 2013 - Slide1

 

BULLISH TRENDS

October 24, 2013 - Slide2

October 24, 2013 - Slide3

October 24, 2013 - Slide4

October 24, 2013 - Slide5

 

BEARISH TRENDS

October 24, 2013 - Slide6

October 24, 2013 - Slide7

October 24, 2013 - Slide8

October 24, 2013 - Slide9

October 24, 2013 - Slide10

October 24, 2013 - Slide11

 

 


Fatal Fear

This note was originally published at 8am on October 10, 2013 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

-John Wooden

 

As I was walking from one client meeting to another yesterday in Boston, I think I changed my US stock market view at least 3 times. Government sponsored volatility does that to a simple “folk” like me. Isn’t it cool?

 

What isn’t cool is not changing your mind. Especially when the causal factor that is driving the market’s immediate-term volatility is either Congress or the Fed, the best plan is usually accepting that the plan is going to change.

 

Does Big Government Intervention in your markets A) shorten economic cycles and B) amplify market volatility? In our Q413 Global Macro Themes call tomorrow at 11AM EST, we’ll show you the trivial data that answers that question. #OldWall media “Fed” story count vs Volatility (VIX) has a positive correlation that will make Bernanke’s “price stability” fans cry.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

There’s no crying in risk management. So strap it on and keep moving out there. After watching this government gong show and changing my mind throughout the day, I ultimately opted to hit the buy/cover buttons into yesterday’s closing bell.

 

In other words, this is the first morning since Bernanke decided not to taper (September 18th) that I’ll be telling clients to buy-the-damn-dip. Unlike how I used to play this game (emotionally), this is purely a quantitative signal.

 

Other than salvation sent down to us from our overlords from upon high in D.C. (who will be saving us from themselves again), what’s changing this morning?

  1. US DOLLAR Index just v-bottomed off its long-term TAIL line of @Hedgeye $79.21 support
  2. US Equity Volatility (VIX) can easily snap @Hedgeye TREND support of 18.98
  3. US Equities (SP500) can easily recapture 1663 @Hedgeye TREND support of 1663

Yep, that’s about it. That (and US 10yr Treasury Yield holding @Hedgeye TREND support of 2.58%) is just about all this “ordinary folk” needs to see. Fading the false premise of a US “default” just puts a contrarian cherry on top.

 

But what shall I do if consensus sells the open and the VIX holds 18.98?

  1. I’ll sell

Nope, it’s not any more complicated than that. Remember, I’m just a paper trader newsletter guy who has to keep it simple as Zero Edge sells you some fear and Gold ads (gold nailed Fading Fear again btw - ZeroBid).

 

Context is always critical when making both asset allocation and net positioning decisions (I started the week net short). Don’t forget that buying US stocks here comes on the heels of a very basic pattern:

 

1.       Dollar Down

2.       Rates Down

3.       Stocks Down

 

Oh, and volatility (VIX) up +70% from its August low.

 

Government sponsored volatility crushes confidence. US stocks have been down for 11 of the last 15 days on that and the only “UP” days have come on moves like you are seeing this morning:

  1. Dollar Up (+1% in the last 48hrs)
  2. Rates Up (10yr Yield +10bps from the OCT low to 2.69%)
  3. Stocks Up (TBD from the 1-month closing low of 1655 SPY)

Again, “keep it simple stupid.” That’s what my old hockey coach used to tell me when I’d try the howdy doody on a defenseman (I had really bad moves) instead of just driving to the net and firing the puck.

 

“Again!” –Herb Brooks

 

I’m definitely not saying “this is it!” Only people that don’t timestamp would say something ridiculous like that. All I am saying is that after a 4% correction from the all-time US stock market high (1725 SP500), the reward in buying stocks is in its highest probability position (versus the risk) in 3 weeks. SP500 has +23 handles of immediate-term upside to 1679 versus 1651 support.

 

And that’s all I have to say about that.

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 2.61-2.71%

SPX 1651-1679

DAX 8508-8714

VIX 17.65-20.98

USD 79.79-80.81

Gold 1298-1317

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Fatal Fear - Fed vs. VIX

 

Fatal Fear - Virtual Portfolio


ICI Fund Flow Survey

Takeaway: The shift from fixed income into equities continued last week with inflows into both stock fund categories and outflows across bond funds

Investment Company Institute Mutual Fund Data and ETF Money Flow:

 

Equity mutual fund flow snapped back after soft trends after the gridlock in Washington recently with a $2.9 billion inflow for the 5 day period ending October 16th, a reversal from the prior week's outflow of $3.1 billion. Total equity mutual fund trends reflect the shift from fixed income and into stocks with a $2.5 billion weekly average inflow thus far in '13 versus 2012's $3.0 billion weekly outflow 

 

Fixed income mutual funds trends have been consistent with persistent outflows. This week's tally was another $5.7 billion lost in the category, an acceleration from the week prior's $2.5 billion outflow and now sending 2013's weekly average fund flow to a negative $687 million. This compares to the weekly inflow from last year in 2012 of $5.8 billion for fixed income funds

 

ETFs were a source of funds last week, with outflows in both equity and fixed income products. Passive equity products experienced outflows of $1.5 billion for the 5 day period ending October 16th with bond ETFs losing $1.7 billion during the same time period. ETF products also reflect the 2013 asset allocation shift, with the weekly averages for equity products up year-over-year versus bond ETFs which are seeing weaker year-over-year results

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey  - ICI chart 1

 

 

For the week ending October 16th, the Investment Company Institute reported the first simultaneous inflow into both domestic and world stock products in 4 weeks to the tune of $2.9 billion. This $2.9 billion inflow for the most recent 5 day period broke out to a $839 million subscription into domestic equity products, the biggest inflow in 5 weeks into domestic stock funds. The other portion of the equity inflow was into world equity products which booked a $2.0 billion inflow, the best result in 4 weeks for foreign stock funds. The equity category has been a tale of two tapes recently with domestic equity funds having had outflows in 8 of the past 14 weeks compared to international equity funds which have had inflows every week in the past 14. Despite this weak run in domestic stock fund flows, the year-to-date weekly average for 2013 for all equity mutual funds now sits at a $2.5 billion inflow, a complete reversal from the $3.0 billion outflow averaged per week in 2012.

 

On the fixed income side, bond funds continued their weak trends for the 5 day period ended October 16th with outflows accelerating week-to-week. The aggregate of taxable and tax-free bond funds booked a $5.7 billion outflow, just over double the $2.5 billion in investor withdrawals from the week prior. Both categories of fixed income contributed to outflows with taxable bonds having outflows of $3.8 billion, which joined a $1.8 billion outflow in tax-free or municipal bonds. The taxable outflow in the most recent period, was the worst outflow in 6 weeks and the muni redemption was the largest in 5 weeks. While the sharp outflows that marked most of the summer and the start of the third quarter have moderated, the appetite for bonds has hardly rebounded. The 2013 weekly average for fixed income fund flows is now a $687 million weekly outflow, a sharp reversal from the $5.8 billion weekly inflow averaged last year.

 

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey  - ICI chart 2

ICI Fund Flow Survey  - ICI chart 3

ICI Fund Flow Survey  - ICI chart 4

ICI Fund Flow Survey  - ICI chart 5

ICI Fund Flow Survey  - ICI chart 6

 

 

Passive Products:

 

 

Exchange traded funds experienced soft trends last week with both equity and fixed income products booking marginal redemptions. Equity ETFs lost $1.5 billion in funds, an improvement from the $4.7 billion outflow the prior week. Despite these outflows the past two weeks within equity ETFs, the 2013 weekly average equity trends is averaging a $3.0 billion weekly inflow, an improvement from last year's $2.2 billion weekly average inflow.

 

Bond ETFs experienced another weekly redemption of $1.7 billion, the third week in a row of outflows and slightly worse than the $1.3 billion lost the 5 days prior. Including this most recent redemption within passive bond products, the 2013 weekly bond ETF average is flagging at just a $275 million inflow, much lower than the $1.0 billion average weekly inflow from 2012.

 

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey  - ICI chart 7

ICI Fund Flow Survey  - ICI chart 8

 

 

Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua Steiner, CFA

 

 


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