Takeaway: Labor continues to impress. We're waiting patiently for the Fed's Senior Loan Officer Survey which is the other piece of the puzzle.
Labor and Credit, Together, Tell the Whole Story
The improvement in the jobless claims series continues unabated. This week rolling SA claims dropped to a new low of 281k - for perspective that's now lower than at any point in the peak of the economic expansion in 2005/2006. Meanwhile, our gauge of rate of change looks at the y/y change in the rolling NSA claims, which also accelerated to its fastest rate YTD at -19.6%.
While there are many macro-level factors that have us cautious, labor is the one thing steadying the ship in the storm. The credit cycle and the labor market are reflexive meaning that they interactively affect each other simultaneously. Labor remains strong, and we should receive the next quarterly installment of the Fed's senior loan officer survey in the coming weeks, which will give us the latest update on the outlook for credit. With that in hand, we should be able to move forward with greater confidence, one way or the other. We've found that the C&I survey has effectively predicted every major downturn well in advance going back to the inception of the survey.
Prior to revision, initial jobless claims rose 19k to 283k from 264k WoW, as the prior week's number was revised up by 2k to 266k.
The headline (unrevised) number shows claims were higher by 17k WoW. Meanwhile, the 4-week rolling average of seasonally-adjusted claims fell -3k WoW to 281k.
The 4-week rolling average of NSA claims, which we consider a more accurate representation of the underlying labor market trend, was -19.6% lower YoY, which is a sequential improvement versus the previous week's YoY change of -17.1%
The 2-10 spread rose 2 basis points WoW to 185 bps. 4Q14TD, the 2-10 spread is averaging 186 bps, which is lower by -14 bps relative to 3Q14.
Joshua Steiner, CFA
Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT
Tickers: LVS, MGM, LHO
- Oct 23:
- RCL Q3 earnings 10 am
- PENN Q3 earnings 10 am
- LHO Q3 earnings 10 am "LaSalle Hotel Properties"
- Oct 24: PEB Q3 earnings 9 am
- Oct 28:
- GLPI Q3 earnings 10 am
- HOT Q3 earnings 11:30 am , code "10325720"
- MAR Q3 earnings 5 pm , ID "59390131"
- Oct 29: H Q3 earnings 11:30 am code "95150754"
- Oct 30:
- HST Q3 earnings 10 am
- MGM Q3 earnings 11 am , pw "6307991"
- BYD Q3 earnings 5 pm , pw "8021592"
27:HK Galaxy – (Macau Business) Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd has scrapped its plan for a four-star apartment hotel to form part of its expanded Galaxy Macau casino-resort. The Official Gazette indicates that the company will use the land once allotted for the apartment hotel for a bigger five-star hotel. Galaxy Entertainment has said it intends to open the second phase of the Galaxy Macau in the first half of next year.
Takeaway: Opting for five-star, more luxury programming - likely to support the gaming operations.
LVS & 1928:HK – (Macau Daily Times) Sands new integrated resort, The Parisian Macao, is set to open in late 2015, and tenancy commitments for the new property have reached 85% of its retail area, according to the casino operator.
Takeaway: We'll take the over on that opening date.
MGM – Newly installed photovoltaic (solar) panels on 20 acres of Mandalay Bay convention center rooftop will generate 5 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply Mandalay Bay with about 20% of its electricity load. The array is owned by energy company NRG, which built it using federal grants that paid for about 20% of the panels.
Takeaway: With water levels on the Colorado River falling, both fresh water for consumption and electricity from Hoover Dam will likely become more expensive. MGM seeking other means of lowering it's operational expenses.
LHO – announced very strong Q3 results with FFO/share of $0.85/share exceeding consensus by $0.06/share and reported RevPAR was 11.5%, well above the high end of guidance +5.5% to +8.5% with ADR up 10.2% while occupancy increased 1.1%. Comparable hotel margins rose 211 bps versus guidance of flat to +125 bps. New full year RevPAR guidance is now 8.75% to 9.25%, up from 6.5% to 8.0%.
Takeaway: A strong beat and raise for this lodging REIT with assets in Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. The strong results bode well for Lodging C-Corps (HOT, HLT, H and MAR) and Lodging REIT HST as well as BEE, PEB and SHO.
MSC Cruises – raised commission on its shore excursions from 5% to 15%.
Takeaway: Shore excursions are becoming more popular on the UK itineraries. MSC is trying to maintain their edge by raising commissions.
China's 4th Plenum Adjourns – The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, elected by the National Congress of the Communist Party of China, convenes at least one plenary session every year. The fourth session concluded today with no major policy announcements.
Takeaway: Like all things in China, we await the official government commentary regarding the outcome of the 4th Plenum actions.
Macau Visitor Arrivals – During September, visitor arrivals increased 3% year-over-year with Mainland China arrivals increasing 6% to 1.6 million visitors.
Takeaway: A significant slowdown in total visitation as well as Mainland China visitation which are headwinds to Macau mass growth.
Mainland China Banks Tightening Credit – According to data compiled by SNL Financial, the five biggest lenders in China saw their non-performing loans (NPL) increase in the first six months of the year - a trend that is worsening and results in increased selectivity which in turn reduces credit for gamblers and junkets in Macau. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China saw its NPL ratio increase from 0.94% in December 31 to 0.99% in June 30. Currently, China’s largest bank has 150 billion yuan at risk of never being paid. But the situation is similar throughout the Chinese financial system. Agricultural Bank of China has a NPL ratio of 1.24%, China construction Bank 1.04% and Bank of China 1.02%. The problem with NPL is also that each country has its own system of calculating them, making it harder to get the real picture
Takeaway: Another headwind for Macau gaming and GGR growth.
Taiwan Open Skies – (Macau Business) Taiwan expects its open skies agreement with Macau, signed in February, to come into effect this year, according to the director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Macau, Lu Chang-Shui. Mr Lu says the agreement is now being considered by island’s legislature. The agreement will allow airlines to carry unlimited numbers of passengers and amounts of freight between Taiwan and Macau.
Takeaway: Potentially allowing for increased visitation, especially if a low-cost carrier flies the route which would in turn be a positive for Macau gaming.
Singapore World's Top Destination in 2015 – Lonely Planet, in its latest guidebook, Best in Travel 2015, call Singapore the World's #1 Destination for 2015 and noted that Singapore is "always celebrating something" with new attractions like the National Art Gallery and Singapore Sports Hub next year in time for its Golden Jubilee.
Takeaway: Increased tourism to Singapore is welcomed, but will the tourists gamble at either casino?
Las Vegas Strip North Development – Jackie Robinson (cousin to the baseball player) held a groundbreaking on Wednesday at a vacant 27-acre site off Paradise Road between the SLS Las Vegas and Turnberry Towers to mark the construction start of a $1.4 billion arena, 500-room nongaming hotel, with retail outlets, a grocery store, movie theater, offices, underground parking and a plaza as parts of the project. The location can be seen here. Robinson’s privately funded arena scheduled to open in early 2017 will cost $690 million, and he has lined up an arena management heavyweight — Philadelphia-based Comcast-Spectacor — to schedule programming and manage the 22,000-seat retractable-roof arena.
Takeaway: The center of gravity on the Las Vegas strip will shift north as Resorts World Las Vegas and the Crown properties open.
Planet Hollywood Las Vegas & Jennifer Lopez – British tabloids are reporting that Jennifer Lopez will sign a contract to perform a 72 show mini-residency in Axis at Planet Hollywood.
Takeaway: We previously pointed out the reprogramming of Planet Hollywood with key hires in the music and entertainment department. Furthermore, this could be harbinger of programming for Revel as Brookfield Asset Management owns both Planet Hollywood Las Vegas as well as Revel.
China Flash PMI was 50.4 vs. 50.2 in September and consensus expectation of 50.2 as well.
China Mini-Stimulus - (Xinhua) reported the National Development and Reform Commission approved feasibility reports on five airport and three railway projects, with a total investment of 150B yuan ($24.4B) in a move by the government to boost infrastructure investment in the country's less developed central and western regions to offset slowing growth.
Singapore Inflation for September 2014 increased 0.6% year-over-year reflecting higher costs of food and education & stationery which more than offset lower cost of transport. By comparison on month-over-month basis, CPI in September 2014 dropped 0.1% versus August 2014.
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.
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Takeaway: The model is broken. Moving forward, it’s going to get tougher for management and the sell-side to make up stories to the contrary
- 3Q14 BEAT, BUT UNIMPRESSIVE: Much of the upside came on a surprise surge in its Other Revenue Segment. YELP’s core Local Advertising segment missed expectations on its highest attrition rate since 4Q12. Despite some noise around some misleading metrics, 3Q14 pointed to further deterioration in its core account metrics
- 4Q14 GUIDANCE WORSE THAN THE MISS: Aside from guiding below street estimates, YELP provided segment-specific guidance on the smaller two of its three segments (<20% of revenue). From there, we can estimate that guidance implies its core Local Advertising revenue growth decelerates from 66% in 3Q14 to 57% in 4Q14
- 2015 WILL BE A DISASTER: YELP’s business model is breaking down, which is most evident in new account growth that can’t keep pace with the growth in sales rep hires. That means hiring more bodies can no longer sufficiently compensate for its attrition issues, and unless you understand that element of the story, you really can’t understand how bad 2015 will be.
3Q14 BEAT, BUT UNIMPRESSIVE
- Local Advertising Came in Light, Despite the Beat: The beat came from YELP’s Other Revenue segment, which grew over 150% y/y ($4M q/q), and was largely driven by its new partnership with YP.com. However, Other Revenues are expected to decline next quarter. Local Advertising missed street expectations, as attrition continued to accelerate. Absolute attrition levels continued to rise, which is to be expected simply because it has more accounts. However, it attrition rate of 19.1% was at its highest level since 4Q12.
- More Noise, No Substance: The customer repeat rate was 75%, same as the prior two quarters, and a historical high. Remember this is a measure of MIX, not retention. Also, management stated that its non-deal account growth grew 66% y/y vs. the 51% in Active Local Business Account (ALBA) growth. However, note that this metric includes SeatMe, which had very few accounts when YELP acquired it late in 3Q13. The better question is what its ALBA growth was ex-SeatMe?
4Q14 GUIDANCE WORSE THAN THE MISS
During the call, management provided segment-specific guidance on the smaller two of its three segments (<20% of revenue). From there, we can estimate that guidance implies its core Local Advertising revenue growth decelerates from 66% in 3Q14 to 57% in 4Q14. Management mentioned a challenging 4Q14 comp from the migration of int’l accounts from its Qype acquisition back in 4Q13. While this is notable headwind for account growth, it is a disproportionally smaller headwind in terms of revenue growth since international is lower ARPU product. In short, the weakness is much more than just Qype.
2015 WILL BE A DISASTER
YELP’s business model is predicated on aggressive sales rep hires to offset its rampant attrition. New account growth is failing to keep pace with its growth in sales rep hires, which means its model is broken, and it only gets worse from here.
Consensus estimates for 2015 remain outside the realm of reason. Their mistake is simple: If you don’t understand the attrition element to the story, you can’t understand the excessive number of new accounts required to hit 2015 estimates. YELP will need to produce both accelerating new account growth and historically low attrition to hit consensus estimates, which are calling for 46% revenue growth.
We expect estimates to come in moderately post the print, but likely not enough. Our bull case is calling for 32%; bear case for 23%.
Let us know if you have any questions, or would like to discuss further.
Hesham Shaaban, CFA
Client Talking Points
#Quad4 Deflation remains our call for Q4 – this is much more dangerous to carry trading and commodity price linked equity and debt markets than ebola headlines; intermediate-term risk range for WTI crude is $64.67-86.11 and 26% of the High Yield market is energy related (vs. 10% ten years ago); we held a very bearish call on MLPs yesterday.
Got burning oil petro-dollar risk? Putin does – Russian stocks leading losers this morning, down another -1.6% and continuing to crash at -25.8% year-to-date – will the Russian economy crash? There’s a good case to be made that that’s already happening.
Hope that German manufacturing PMI being better than horrible (51.8 vs 49.9 last month) is just that – headline hope; German Services PMI slowed to 54.7 vs 55.7 and places like France had a train wreck manufacturing PMI print of 47.3 anyway. Reiterating short European Equities, across the board on #EuropeSlowing.
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Top Long Ideas
The Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV) is an extended duration ETF (20-30yr). U.S. real GDP growth is unlikely to come in anywhere in the area code of consensus projections of 3-plus percent. And it is becoming clear to us that market participants are interpreting the Fed’s dovish shift as signaling cause for concern with respect to the growth outlook. We remain on other side of Consensus Macro positions (bearish on Oil, bullish on Treasuries, bearish on SPX) and still have high conviction in our biggest macro call of 2014 - that U.S. growth would slow and bond yields fall in kind.
We continue to think long-term interest rates are headed in the direction of both reported growth and growth expectations – i.e. lower. In light of that, we encourage you to remain long of the long bond. The performance divergence between Treasuries, stocks and commodities should continue to widen over the next two to three months. As it’s done for multiple generations, the 10Y Treasury Yield continues to track the slope of domestic economic growth like a glove. We certainly hope you had the Long Bond (TLT) on versus the Russell 2000 (short side) as the performance divergence in being long #GrowthSlowing hit its widest for 2014 YTD (ex-reinvesting interest).
Restoration Hardware remains our Retail Team’s highest-conviction long idea. We think that most parts of the thesis are at least acknowledged by the market (category growth, real estate expansion), but people are absolutely missing how all the pieces are coming together to drive such outsized earnings growth over an extremely long duration. The punchline of our real estate analysis is that a) RH stores could get far bigger than even the RH bulls seem to think, b) Aside from reconfiguring 66 existing markets, there’s another 19 markets we identified where the spending rate on home furnishings by people making over $100k in income suggests that RH should expand to these markets with Design Galleries, and c) the availability and economics on large properties for all these markets are far better than people think. The consensus is looking for long-term earnings growth of 28% -- we’re looking for 45%.
Three for the Road
TWEET OF THE DAY
Good top line from $UA. But only 21% EPS growth on 30% revs and just a penny beat might not be enough for a 57x p/e. SG&A up 39% -- big.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
The more I practice, the luckier I get.
STAT OF THE DAY
Japanese Nikkei is down -0.4% to -5.7% year-to-date and remains bearish TREND on Hedgeye quantitative signals.
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