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Cartoon of the Day: (Not So) Happy Meal

Cartoon of the Day: (Not So) Happy Meal - McDonalds cartoon 12.08.2014

McDonald's takes it on the chin as the fast-food giant posts its biggest domestic same-store sales drop in over a decade.


Fund Flows, Refreshed

This unlocked research note was originally published December 04, 2014 at 07:57 in FinancialsClick here to learn more about America's fastest-growing independent research firm. 

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Investment Company Institute Mutual Fund Data and ETF Money Flow:

 

In the most recent 5 day period, mutual fund activity was subdued with investors continuing to prefer exchange trade funds. All ETFs took in over +$12.7 billion (both fixed income and equity) versus the total take for all mutual fund products at  just +$1.5 billion. Year-to-date, running aggregate money flow also reflects this preference for passive products with equity ETFs more than doubling the production of equity mutual funds (with $122 billion netted by equity ETFs versus just $47 billion inserted into equity mutual funds).  The battle in fixed income is more balanced with bond funds taking in $52.8 billion YTD versus fixed income ETFs’ having raised $48.5 billion. As outlined in our sector exposure table at the bottom of this note, BlackRock (BLK) and Invesco (IVZ) house the most substantial ETF exposure on a revenue basis at 44% and 19% respectively. Both stocks year-to-date have outflanked the S&P asset management index with BLK returning +15.5% and IVZ up +14.0%. The asset management group is up 9.6% thus far in 2014.

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 12 2

 

 

In the most recent 5 day period ending November 26th, total equity mutual funds put up net outflows of $1.2 billion according to the Investment Company Institute. The composition of the outflow was sourced by domestic stock fund withdrawals of $2.0 billion versus the $869 million subscription into international stock funds. The international and domestic equity categories continue to be polarized with international stock funds having inflows in 46 of the past 47 weeks, versus domestic trends which have been very soft with inflow in just 16 of the past 47 weeks (with outflows in 30 of the past 32 most recent weeks). This data continues to be supportive of our underweight or short recommendations on the U.S. centric equity asset managers (see our research here). The running year-to-date weekly average for all equity fund flow continues to decline and now settles at a $1.0 billion inflow, now well below the $3.1 billion weekly average inflow from 2013. 

 

Fixed income mutual funds put up inflows in both categories with taxable fixed income netting $1.8 billion and municipal bond funds putting up a $769 million inflow during the week. Munis have had a solid run with subscriptions in 45 of the past 47 weeks. The 2014 weekly average for fixed income mutual funds now stands at a $1.1 billion weekly inflow, an improvement from 2013's weekly average outflow of $1.5 billion, but still a pittance of the weekly average of +$5.8 billion in 2012 (our view of the blow off top in bond fund inflow). 

 

Aforementioned ETF results were strong during the most recent 5 days with substantial inflows into equities and decent subscriptions into passive fixed income products. Equity ETFs put up a $11.1 billion inflow which is well above the 2014 weekly average of a $2.5 billion inflow. Fixed income ETFs netted $1.5 billion in new investor funds, slightly above the year-to-date average of $1.0 billion.

 

Mutual fund flow data is collected weekly from the Investment Company Institute (ICI) and represents a survey of 95% of the investment management industry's mutual fund assets. Mutual fund data largely reflects the actions of retail investors. Exchange traded fund (ETF) information is extracted from Bloomberg and is matched to the same weekly reporting schedule as the ICI mutual fund data. According to industry leader Blackrock (BLK), U.S. ETF participation is 60% institutional investors and 40% retail investors.   

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - cast

 

Most Recent 12 Week Flow in Millions by Mutual Fund Product: Chart data is the most recent 12 weeks from the ICI mutual fund survey and includes the running weekly year-to-date average for 2014 and the weekly quarter-to-date average for 4Q 2014:

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 2

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 3

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 4

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 5

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 6

 

 

Most Recent 12 Week Flow Within Equity and Fixed Income Exchange Traded Funds: Chart data is the most recent 12 weeks from Bloomberg's ETF database (matched to the Wednesday to Wednesday reporting format of the ICI) and the running weekly year-to-date average for 2014 and the weekly quarter-to-date average for 4Q 2014. The third table are the results of the weekly flows into and out of the major market and sector SPDRs:

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 7

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 8

 

Sector and Asset Class Weekly ETF and Year-to-Date Results: In sector SPDR callouts, investors bounced the energy sector with the XLE taking in +$826 million or a 9% increase in total assets for the week. In addition, Financials grabbed a bit of new investor interest with the XLF collecting +$645 million last week or a  3% increase.

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 9 2

 

 

Net Results:

 

The net of total equity mutual fund and ETF trends against total bond mutual fund and ETF flows totaled a positive $5.8 billion spread for the week ($10.0 billion of total equity inflow versus the $4.1 billion inflow within fixed income; positive numbers imply greater money flow to stocks; negative numbers imply greater money flow to bonds). The 52 week moving average has been $2.6 billion (more positive money flow to equities), with a 52 week high of $17.7 billion (more positive money flow to equities) and a 52 week low of -$37.5 billion (negative numbers imply more positive money flow to bonds for the week). 

 

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 10

 

Exposures: The weekly data herein is important for the public asset managers with trends in mutual funds and ETFs impacting the companies with the following estimated revenue impact:

 

Fund Flows, Refreshed - ICI 11 

 

 

 

Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT 

203-562-6500 

jcasteleyn@hedgeye.com 

 

Joshua Steiner, CFA

203-562-6500

jsteiner@hedgeye.com

 


RTA Rewind: 12/8/14


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MCD: Weakest U.S. Comps in Over a Decade

MCD reported dismal same-store sales for the month of November this morning, mostly missing estimates across the board:

  • Global comps -2.2% vs -1.9% estimate
  • U.S. comps -4.6% vs -2.1% estimate
  • Europe comps -2.0% vs -2.0% estimate
  • APMEA comps -4.0% vs -3.8% estimate

 

Last month, we warned that we’ve yet to see a light at the end of the tunnel signalling a true recovery.  Today, we echo that sentiment.

 

Global and U.S. comps were particularly woeful, with severe underperformance in the U.S. leading the way due in part to “strong competitive activity.”  This is the worst monthly comp McDonald’s has reported for the U.S. in over a decade.  Importantly, management lowered 4Q14 EPS guidance by $0.07-0.09 due a strengthening U.S. dollar. 

 

While Europe performed in-line with expectations, weakness in Russia, France, and Germany resulted in a -130 bps sequential decline from October.  APMEA, despite being down -4.0% for the month, was the only region to record a sequential improvement in comps on both an absolute and two-year basis as Japan and China attempt to recover from the supplier issue.  As a reminder, management previously announced this issue will negatively impact EPS by $0.07-0.10 per share in 4Q14.

 

MCD: Weakest U.S. Comps in Over a Decade - 1

 

Rhetoric was quite similar to that of a month ago, as management noted they are working to restore momentum in the U.S. by enhancing marketing, simplifying the menu, and shifting toward a more locally-driven structure to increase its relevance.  We’ve wondered in the past to what extent these changes will be made and whether or not they will be able to change the direction of the U.S. business. Though we recognize these changes will take time, November was nothing short of discouraging.  In fact, the decline in the business appears to be accelerating.

 

It will be a long road to recovery for MCD, which makes us cautious on the stock. The bull case for McDonald’s is that an activist will step in to unlock value.  But, as we opined in a note last month, the activist case for McDonald’s appears quite bleak as well.  We're staying on the sidelines, until we clearly identify a catalyst to get involved on either side of the trade.

 

While appreciating the difficulty and complexity of the situation at hand, major changes must be made – and fast.  

 

MCD: Weakest U.S. Comps in Over a Decade - 2

 

MCD: Weakest U.S. Comps in Over a Decade - 3

 

MCD: Weakest U.S. Comps in Over a Decade - 4

 

MCD: Weakest U.S. Comps in Over a Decade - 5

 

MCD: Weakest U.S. Comps in Over a Decade - 6

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director

 

Fred Masotta

Analyst


European Banking Monitor: Continued Divergence in Russian Swaps

Below are key European banking risk monitors, which are included as part of Josh Steiner and the Financial team's "Monday Morning Risk Monitor".  If you'd like to receive the work of the Financials team or request a trial please email 

 

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Key Takeaway:

From a risk management standpoint, we remain very focused on the rising risk of a Russian banking crisis. In a nutshell, Western sanctions are driving capital out of the country causing the Ruble to weaken. Falling oil prices are compounding the problem. The CEO of Sberbank, Russia's largest bank with 46% deposit share, said back on November 14th that if the Russian economy were to decline by more than 1.2% in 2015 Sberbank would need the State to bail it out. Sberbank's CDS tacked on another 97 bps over the week, rising to 503 bps this week.

 

Russia's GDP was most recently growing at 0.7% Q/Q annualized. Energy contributes between 20-25% of GDP and oil prices are down by ~30%. This implies a drag on GDP of -6-8% as we roll into 2015. In other words, if sanctions aren't removed and oil prices don't bounce, the Ruble should continue to lose value and Russia will need to bail out its banking system at a time when it's already hemorrhaging cash ($100bn/year) from falling oil prices. That makes for a nasty mix with US equities at/near all time highs. 

 

European Financial CDS - Swaps mostly tightened in Europe last week with an average -4.7% move.  There were a few extreme movers in the region.  Russia continued to show extreme widening WoW: +97 bps, +23.9%.  Sberbank's CDS at 503 bps flag reflects the rising risk in the Russian economy.  Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo tightened to most last week (-88 bps, -17.8%) as Portuguese authorities near a sale of a few of the collapsed bank's parts.

 

European Banking Monitor: Continued Divergence in Russian Swaps - chart1 euro financials CDS

 

Sovereign CDS – European Sovereign Swaps mostly tightened over last week. Italian sovereign swaps tightened by -10.7% (-14 bps to 115 ) and American sovereign swaps widened by 10.3% (2 bps to 18).  American CDS displayed a divergence from the stock market's (S&P 500) flat performance for the week. 

 

European Banking Monitor: Continued Divergence in Russian Swaps - chart2 sovereign CDS

European Banking Monitor: Continued Divergence in Russian Swaps - chart3 sovereign CDS

European Banking Monitor: Continued Divergence in Russian Swaps - chart4 sovereign CDS

 

Euribor-OIS Spread – The Euribor-OIS spread (the difference between the euro interbank lending rate and overnight indexed swaps) measures bank counterparty risk in the Eurozone. The OIS is analogous to the effective Fed Funds rate in the United States.  Banks lending at the OIS do not swap principal, so counterparty risk in the OIS is minimal.  By contrast, the Euribor rate is the rate offered for unsecured interbank lending.  Thus, the spread between the two isolates counterparty risk. The Euribor-OIS spread tightened by 0 bps to 8 bps.

 

European Banking Monitor: Continued Divergence in Russian Swaps - chart5 euribor.OIS spread

 

Matthew Hedrick

Associate

 

Ben Ryan

Analyst 


LEISURE LETTER (12/08/2014)

Tickers:  CZR, CCL, SHO

EVENTS

  • Dec 8: 10:30 MTN Q1 2015 earnings
  • Dec 9: Hedgeye Client Holiday Cocktails Cellar Bar @ Bryant Park Hotel
  • Dec 14: City of Dreams Manila Soft Opening
  • Dec 17:  Upstate NY Casino Decision
  • Dec 20: Trump Taj Mahal Closing

Today's Headline Story

Macau Transit Visas  – In 2013, the Zhuhai checkpoints recorded a total of 2 million people entering Macau with a Chinese passport who didn’t actually depart for another country. During 2014, CCTV reports that around a million people are estimated to have entered Macau last year using a travel loophole. Travel agencies in Shenzhen and Zhuhai “helped” clients enter Macau and Hong Kong via non-legitimate visas and flight tickets. 
Article HERE

Takeaway:  Official Macau immigration figures show 2.64 million Mainlanders entered Macau in transit in 2013 but only 20.8% actually traveled to an overseas destination.  This is a huge number.  Stricter enforcement of the transit visas could result in a 7% reduction in annual total visitation to Macau.  

company news

CZR – Three months after Horseshoe Casino Baltimore opened to big crowds, its revenues are substantially lower than state consultants projected. The $442 million casino has averaged monthly revenue of $22.8 million, about a third less than forecast in November 2013 by a pair of state-funded consulting firms, which projected it would average about $32 million to $35 million a month in its first 10 months of operation.

Article HERE

Takeaway:  Horseshoe Casino competing in an already saturated greater Baltimore, Philadelphia market.  Maryland Live! is also holding tough despite the competition.   

 

CZR– plans to convert Caesars's largest unit into a real-estate investment trust is facing resistance from creditors, complicating the casino giant’s efforts to slash the unit’s $18.4 billion debt. The disagreement over the conversion plan for Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. and other terms of the restructuring have so far prevented Caesars from winning support from senior creditors for filing a prearranged bankruptcy plan for the unit.

Article HERE

Takeaway:  As we've repeatedly pointed out, the likely outcome is a large equity issuance to pay down debt or a debt for equity restructuring.

 

LVS & 1928.HK– Sands China Ltd appointed Melina Leong as chief operating officer of subsidiary Cotai Ferry Co Ltd. Ms Leong, currently serving as Sands China’s senior vice president of public relations and community affairs, will take on the new role from January 1, 2015. Ms Leong has been with the company for almost 10 years. 

Article HERE

Takeaway:  Interestingly, the announcement follows the appointment of Lionel Leong Vai Tac, Ms Leong’s brother, as Macau’s next Secretary for Economy and Finance.

 

Novomatic – Privately owned, giant Austrian gaming supplier Novomatic has made its second acquisition in two months. It has purchased Spanish gaming equipment supplier GiGames from Conei Group. Last month Novomatic bought Elam Group, the Dutch distributor for Interblock and Aristocrat.

Takeaway:  Novomatic quietly getting bigger.

 

CCL – The Dawn Princess, currently on a 13-day cruise to New Zealand, is plagued by a recurrent Norovirus outbreak which has sickened many of her 1500 passengers. Yesterday, more than 200 passengers remain restricted to their cabins with severe symptoms. 

Article HERE

Takeaway:  The Princess brand has been on a streak of bad luck recently 

 

CCL – Carnival Cruise Lines will offer a series of unforgettable 10- to 14-day voyages on six different ships between October 2015 and February 2016 that feature extended calls at magnificent destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexican Riviera and The Bahamas. Several of the 10- and 11-day voyages can be combined into three-week-long Caribbean adventures providing an unmatched combination of breathtaking ports of call, amazing experiences ashore, and fun-filled sea days, all at an incredible value. These new voyages are in addition to a previously announced series of nine 10- to 14-day departures to the Caribbean and Bermuda offered on Carnival Triumph from Galveston and Carnival Pride from Baltimore in 2015-16.

Article HERE

Takeaway:  More longer-dated voyages for the Carnival brand

 

CCL – officially shut down its Spanish cruise line Iberocruceros this week, after the sale of its last remaining ship to an undisclosed buyer. Plans for the ship, Grand Celebration, to go to sister company Costa Cruises were scrapped last month. However, Costa, which absorbed the Iberocruceros' market, still remains committed to serving Carnival Corp.'s Spanish demographic.

Article HERE

 

CCL – Holland America Line's new ReadySetSail promotion has upgrades, reduced deposits and, for suite passengers, on-board credit and other perks. The promotion applies to select 2015 summer sailings. Travelers who book cruises or an Alaska Land+Sea Journey (offers on cruise portion only) will get a free stateroom upgrade from an inside to ocean-view or ocean-view to veranda stateroom, up to 10% savings on select shore excursions when booked before March 15, free or reduced third and fourth fares, and 50% off the normal deposit rate. Eligible destinations include Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys, Bermuda, Canada/New England and Europe.

Article HERE

Takeaway:  HAL's Wave promotion is for most sailing regions

 

RCL - Michael Bayley named CEO of Royal Caribbean International. Bayley was previously the President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. Lisa Lutoff-Perlo has been appointed the new CEO of Celebrity Cruises.  

Takeaway:  These changes were made to fill the vacant position by Adam Goldstein, who was recently promoted to President and COO of RCL.

 

 

Insider Transactions:

RCL – Royal Caribbean President and COO Adam Goldstein discloses sale of 90K shares on Friday, December 5th.

  • 60K shares were sold for $77.3128
  • 30K shares were sold for $77.2947 were for trusts for certain members of the Goldstein family
  • Goldstein beneficially owns 310.7K shares (all direct) following the transaction. 

SHO – CEO Kenneth Edward Cruse sold 31,296 shares of SHO stock on Friday, December 5th, at an average price of $16.10, and now directly owns 605,985 shares in the company. The sale was not options related nor part of a 10b5-1 plan. 

INDUSTRY NEWS

Macau Government Expected Gaming Slowdown – Chief Executive Chui Sai On has said he expects gross gaming revenue in Macau’s casinos to fall to MOP27.5 billion (US$3.45 billion) per month during 2015, and that his government is prepared for this. Mr Chui told reporters that the government had foreseen the slump and taken contingent measures and made appropriate financial arrangements beforehand. 

Article HERE

Takeaway: 2015 forecasted to be down -7% versus 2014 by the Chief Executive - better than the Hedgeye forecast of down 5-10%.

 

Mainland China Closely Watching Macau – China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang urged Macao's new government to continue fully implementing the "one country, two systems" principle. Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made the remarks at a meeting with Chui Sai On, chief executive of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR).

Article HERE

Takeaway: China keeping Macau close to the motherland.


Macau International Airport Expansion Planned – Macau International Airport is focused on increasing its capacity to 7.5 million passengers per year with the extension of the Passenger Terminal Building north side.

Article HERE

 

China's Banks Pressure PBoC to Lower RRR – China’s big banks are pressing the central bank to let them lend out more of their deposits. Currently big banks have to pledge 20% of deposits to the central bank. Reducing it by half a percentage point would boost banks’ liquidity by around 500 billion yuan, or about $81 billion.

Article HERE

 

Taj Mahal Closing Postponed – The owners of Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal casino have pushed back its scheduled closing date until Dec. 20. Trump Entertainment Resorts tells The Associated Press it decided to move the closing date back eight days while talks remain ongoing to try to save the casino and its 3,000 jobs.

Article HERE

 

Virginia Gaming Legislation – Virginia Senate BIll 19 was introduced.  The bill proposes a casino only in cities where more than 40% of the land is tax exempt - a condition under which only Portsmouth Virginia would qualify and includes a proposed 10% tax on GGR. Portsmouth is located to the west of Norfolk in eastern Virginia near the Atlantic coast.

Takeaway: A potential competitor to MGM's National Harbor casino located near Washington DC but the road is a long one to passage. 

MACRO

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:  European pricing has been a tailwind for CCL and RCL but a negative pivot here looks increasingly likely in 2015. Following CCL's F3Q 2014 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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