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Poll of the Day Recap: A Spring Re-Birth for Consumer Spending?

After all the finger pointing at this year’s epic-ly frigid winter as an excuse for weak company performance, the white wash snow days of winter are (finally) coming to an end.

 

With no more excuses about why consumers stayed inside, we asked in today’s poll:  Will consumer spending bounce back this spring?
 

At the time of this post, 53% responded YES; 47% said NO.
 

Of those who voted YES, one responder pointed out that “this winter is what killed the dinosaurs (coldest in 13 years) - people stayed home from work and the shops.”
 

Another YES commenter further explained, “There's pent up demand from a bad winter and the oil longs are way too bold and when prices correct, the consumer wins!”
 

One voter summed up their YES vote by comparing previous seasons: “Last summer was the wettest on record in a decade. That's a good year-over-year comp.  Bottom line, April through July has a positive tailwind. After that, accelerating inflation will crimp spending in the late summer/early fall.”
 

And, while one YES voter agreed that weather had a hand in the slow down, calling it simply “fact,” they admitted that “the bounce won't be great, just better than it has been.”
 

Conversely, among the NO voters, one commenter said consumer spending will not bounce back due to “tepid job growth.”
 

Others clarified:

  • “I think the mild bump from pent up weather effects gets more than offset by larger burden for healthcare spending falling on consumers due to ACA this year.”
     
  • “I have less money than last year; [my] savings [are] slowly eroding...”
     
  • “Discretionary income will be lower due to higher fees/taxes and food/energy costs. Spending lower. Consumers maxed out on borrowing capacity.”
  • “Most of the relief people receive with the spring will be used to repair family balance sheets and brace for more inflation.”
     
  • “Any increase will be only inflation driven which is not good for economy or people especially when low rates already hurt savers badly.”

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What Did LINN Buy? A Look at BRY’s 2013 Reserve Report Results

Berry Petroleum filed stand-alone reserves, costs incurred, and PV-10 data for 2013 in the back of its 3/31/14 10-K.  With legacy BRY comprising ~25% of LINN Energy’s pro forma total production and ~50% of LINN’s pro forma oil production, these results are important to review for anyone interested in LINE/LNCO.

 

We’ve summarized and synthesized the 2011 – 2013 data in the five tables below, where the takeaways should be relatively self-evident.  But some high-level thoughts….

 

Overall, the results were mixed.  In 2013 BRY again directed the majority of its capital to its oil plays, but cost creep exceeded the revenue uplift, and profit margins slipped slightly from 2012 (EBITDAX margin fell 300 bps YoY) – SEE TABLE 1.  Despite a 39 MMboe PUD write-off, BRY had a decent year with the drill bit, growing total production 14% and oil production 20% while the PD F&D cost came in at $29/boe and reserve replacement was 140% – SEE TABLES 2 and 3.  We note that LINN’s 2014 maintenance CapEx guidance implies an F&D cost of ~$22/boe for BRY.  That $7/boe difference on 15 MMboe of expected BRY production in 2014 equates to another $105MM ($0.30/unit) of maintenance CapEx on the  legacy BRY assets alone.   The most interesting data to us were the changes in PV-10.  Despite stable price decks (oil flat, NGLs down, gas up), BRY’s PV-10 dropped $545MM (-11%) YoY to $4.6B, with the PD PV-10 down $87MM (-2%) and the PUD PV-10 down $457MM (-36%) YoY.  LINN wrote down $856MM of PV-0 due to negative revisions of previous quantity estimates, which appears to be mostly related to the negative PUD revisions – SEE TABLES 4 and 5.  BRY’s PD PV-10 has been flat at ~$3.8B since YE11, while its PUD PV-10 has fallen from $1.9B to $800MM.  Over that time, the company added ~$1B of debt to the balance sheet, paid out a small dividend (~$17MM/year), and had share count creep due to SBC.  We don’t see much in the way of “value creation” in these results – perhaps why BRY was such eager seller.

 

What Did LINN Buy?  A Look at BRY’s 2013 Reserve Report Results - b1a

 

What Did LINN Buy?  A Look at BRY’s 2013 Reserve Report Results - b2

 

What Did LINN Buy?  A Look at BRY’s 2013 Reserve Report Results - b3

 

What Did LINN Buy?  A Look at BRY’s 2013 Reserve Report Results - b4

 

What Did LINN Buy?  A Look at BRY’s 2013 Reserve Report Results - b5

 

Kevin Kaiser

Managing Director


Firing Oblivious Darden Management Is Only Way to Unlock ‘Generational Buying Opportunity’ | $DRI

 

 Veteran Hedgeye Restaurants analyst Howard Penney explains why he's in lockstep agreement with activist investor Starboard's new 200-page manifesto on Darden Restaurants and why the company's oblivious management team needs to be replaced in order to unlock significant shareholder value.


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9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook

Takeaway: We think there’s no prospect of President Mario Draghi moving interest rates from current levels.

Ahead of tomorrow’s interest rate decision – at which we think there’s no prospect of President Mario Draghi moving from current levels – we want to give a quick update on our European economic outlook through the nine charts below.

 

9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook - Finanzminister beraten  ber Euro Krise

  • PMIs have moderated and somewhat flat lined over recent months (the UK and Germany Manufacturing are notable callouts), however the data remains grounded above the 50 line (expansion) and in aggregate is in-line with modest growth ticking higher, and remaining stable. We continue to marginally prefer European equities over U.S. equities.

9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook - z. pmis large

  • Confidence continues to grind higher. In the next two charts we show this trend across Economic Sentiment, Consumer Confidence, and Business Confidence.

9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook - z. confidence

9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook - z. business climate

  • Italian Retail Sales is one call-out to the performance of the periphery. The Italian Retail Sales data shows fits and starts of improvement, however we think the trend line will move higher to positive as we head into the back half of the year. While Italian politics remain far from stable, we expect the young new government of PM Matteo Renzi to spur confidence. The Italian stock market (FTSE MIB) is up a monster +14.8% YTD, with Greece (Athex) up +16.2% and Portugal (PSI 20) up +17.3% as the top performing European equities YTD.

9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook - z. italy retail sales

  • New Car Sales across Europe have shown steady improvement over the past 14 months, and have remained positive over the last 6 months. We view confidence in big ticket items, like a car, as a material read-through on the positive state of the European consumer (and there’s no distortion here from a cash-for-clunkers program).

9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook - z. cars

  • Inflation – we view the media’s manic deflation scares as misplaced. The ECB has long signaled to the market a very extended program to return CPI toward its target level of 2.0%. In the second chart below we show how far CPI has moved in the last 12 months: our take-away is that deflation of the inflation is a tailwind to consumption. ECB VP Victor Constancio said yesterday that he expects a higher reading in April, versus the 0.5% reading in March.

9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook - z. cpi

9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook - z. cpi chg

  • Germany, along the UK (via the etf EWU), has been a preferred equity position via EWG. As we show in the chart below, the DAX is comfortably trading above its TREND line of support at 9,382. The EUR/USD remains resilient, supported by stable underlying growth of the region and policy from the ECB to better shield the member states and shore up the link between the banking systems and the sovereigns. For now, the dovish Fed head Janet Yellen is supporting a strong EUR/USD (TREND support = $1.36). Strong German Factory Orders is merely one important signal that Germany’s industry export base is firing on all cylinders. 

9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook - z. dax

9 Charts: Europe's Economic Outlook - z. german factory png

 

This research note was originally published April 2, 2014 at 11:35 a.m. by Hedgeye Macro Analyst Matthew Hedrick.

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An Odd Statement from Under Armour | $UA

Takeaway: Under Armour will need to evolve its product creation process if it wants to be considered a real footwear company.

Editor's Note: This is a complimentary research excerpt from Hedgeye Retail Sector Head Brian McGough. For more information on our services click here.


An Odd Statement from Under Armour | $UA - running
 

3 Questions for Under Armour's Fritz Taylor

  • "Under Armour Inc...bolstered its running team by naming industry vet Fritz Taylor as VP of running...Taylor, who was most recently VP and GM of running at Norcross, Ga.-based Mizuno, also has worked for Seattle-based Brooks and Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike Inc."

Q:  What’s your take on Under Armour’s position in the running market? 

FT: "...Everyone here would admit that Under Armour has had some fits and starts — hit and misses, if you will — particularly on the footwear side. But the Speedform Apollo just launched, and it’s getting some really strong sell-through numbers, and it’s a shoe that people are saying [is] something unique that no one else can do. We’ve got a nice foot in the door that we can leverage for bigger things."

 

Q: Is the consumer open to new brands and ideas in running?

FT: "...minimal, even though it has waned, brought some energy and excitement around new concepts. Now the big thing is maximal, but a bigger thing is that runners are more switched on to new, innovative ideas and stories that can help improve their running experience."

 

Q: Is it different working at an apparel company that makes footwear than at a footwear company that makes apparel?

FT: "You can absolutely tell [the difference]. One thing I was just dealing with is that here we have to wait for apparel to set the colors [for the season], and at every other company I’ve worked for, the footwear team operated that. That immediately slapped me in the face this week: 'Oh, wait, I need to wait for apparel.'”

Takeaway from Hedgeye’s Brian McGough:

That last answer above from Fritz Taylor 'footwear needs to wait for apparel' is logical for a company like Under Armour. But the reality is that it is probably the wrong answer. The best companies (think Nike) run apparel and footwear product creation in tandem. Chronic underperformers (think Adidas) run their business in a series circuit (first apparel, then footwear in Adidas’ case). Again, that's probably okay for Under Armour where footwear is still in its infancy. But this process will need to evolve if UA wants to be considered a real footwear company. We will be watching.

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