• US cash flow highest in 6 years
  • Wholly-owned domestic resorts reported highest quarter since 2007
  • CityCenter impacted by low hold at Aria
  • MGM Macau:  grew margins YoY in 2014
  • Shake Shack opened in December 2014 - 2nd highest grossing (1st grossing is at Times Square)
  • AEG Arena:  anticipated in Spring 2016. Construction going well
  • Mandalay Bay:  Delano had double-digit revenue growth in January
    • Will add 350k of meeting space
    • Signed LOIs for new business into that new expansion area
  • MGM Cotai:  almost 2x the size of existing property
  • Best year ever at MGM Sanya
  • Recently signed agreement to build a Bellagio in Beijing
  • National Harbor: remain on track to open in Fall 2016
  • Springfield:  groundbreak this spring.  Targeting 2H 2017 opening
  • Broad-based growth in room categories and casino
    • Increased margins by 10bps
    • Broad-based single-digit growth in hotel, casino, and F&B
    • Higher convention mix drove REVPAR growth of 7%
    • 2014:  highest convention mix ever at slightly over 17% of room nights
    • 2015:  expect convention bookings to be at or slightly beat 2014 levels
    • Q1 2015 REVPAR guidance: +2-3%
    • CityCenter:  tough hold comparison at Aria. Aria's table game hold fell 450bps YoY and lower volumes. Higher convention mix drove highest catering/banqueting quarter revenue.
    • Crystals: strong performance
  • $1.1 bn in available under corporate revolver. $1.1 bn excess cash at US
  • MGM China:  $1.5 bn revolver availablity 
  • CityCenter: $410m cash ($134m restricted cash); total debt: $1.5 bn
  • Domestic Capex:  Invested $114m in Q4; $387m FY
  • Capex: $77m at National Harobr/Springfield in Q4; $138m FY
  • Capex: $48m at Arena/Hospitality ventures
  • 2015 capex:  domestic resorts ($425m, room renovation at Mandalay Bay, expansion of convention space at Mandalay Bay, park between Monte Carlo/NYNY) development $500m (national harbor $375m, MGM China $80m, investments in JV (predominately Arena investment) $50m
  • MGM China Q4 capex: spent $14m at MGM Macau, $37m at MGM Cotai
  • MGM China FY 2014 capex: spent $45m at MGM Macau, $275m at MGM Cotai, bringing total investment to date of $500m
  •  2015 capex:  MGM China $100m, $1.1bn at MGM Cotai
  • MGM China 
    • Q4 EBITDA Margins increased 10bps YoY
    • Only concessionaire that reported growth in mass revenue
    • Reallocated capacity. Half of tables are now allocated to mass floor. Mass contributed 75% of EBITDA in 2014 (60% in 2013)
    • MGM Macau $100m capex:  redesign traffic layout, introduced 15 retail outlets, new F&B offerings
    • MGM Cotai:  on schedule to open in Fall 2016.  
    • 80% of mgmt team are local employees.  Looking to increase that %
  • Las Vegas:  showing solid signs of growth.  Visitation up 4% in 2014. LVCVA expect 45m visitors in next few years; expect 30% international mix. No new capacity and airlift is expected to be up 3% in 1Q.
  • 70% of LV revenues are non-gaming. Customers are spending more.
  • 2015 off to very strong start in January. CES had strong attendance.  
  • Super Bowl drew 2nd largest crowd in city history
  • Rocking Rio will debut in May. 


Q & A

  • January strong baccarat month
  • LV: <5% EBITDA comes from Chinese baccarat
  • MGM China:  committed to annual dividend.  Special dividend will be on a case-by-case basis.
  • Non-luxury (core) is outperforming luxury due to easier comps.  Still 50% off of 2007 peak ($300m EBITDA opportunity)
  • Luxury:  high-end gaming and F&B improvement opportunity
  • Margins:  tough comp for 4Q 2014
  • 2015 Bookings:  mid single digit increase YoY
    • 60% of future bookings are corporate (50% a couple of years ago)
  • Will achieve similar convention mix in 2015
  • 1Q 2015 convention mix:  23% (similar YoY - last year had ConAgg)
  • Core properties:  high slot handle at Monte Carlo.  High room revenue at Monte Carlo in January
  • Rate drivers at Core properties:  lower gas prices, higher convention mix, and higher airlift
  • 2014 Cash taxes:  will pay some but minimal (<$50m)
  • REIT option?  Will look at everything.  Sees challenges from a tax perspective.
  • Doing great in Detroit and Mississippi in January 
  • MGM China:  will move product into the mass market.  Junket market is soft. 
  • Pacman vs Mayweather:  holding a date in May at MGM Grand. REVPAR will be through the roof if fight happens.
  • LV:  Genting still have not broke ground
    • Guess no new property opens in Strip until 2018
  • SouthWest talking about growing more flights into Las Vegas
  • Mirage:  had very low hold in 4Q 2014
  • M-Life loyalty:  record number of enrollments (+9% YoY); active M-Life members grew 8% YoY
  • CityCenter:  taking down Harmon (a floor/ a week) - 2.2 acres of prime real estate.  CityCenter board to decide how to best use that property. CityCenter is underleveraged. 


Guest Speaker Call: OUTLOOK FOR NATURAL GAS PRICES AND BASIS - Marketing Image


Tomorrow (Wednesday, February 18th at 11:00 a.m. EST) Hedgeye’s Macro and Energy teams will host a guest speaker call on US natural gas fundamentals with Keith Barnett, Head of Fundamental Analysis at Asset Risk Management (ARM), which is an independent producer services company that provides solutions for more than ninety clients through financial hedging advisory, physical marketing, and midstream solutions.


Topics for Discussion:

  • Rapid growth in US production driven primarily by emergence of Marcellus / Utica shale play has created basis price dislocations as infrastructure and demand re-calibrate to new supply / demand regional balances…
  • Demand growth along the US Gulf Coast [industrial, LNG exports, and pipe exports to Mexico] create a “battle zone” for basis differentials to re-balance in 2016-2020, with the Haynesville waiting in the wings…
  • British Columbia / Northern Alberta shale plays will look for a home, especially if BC LNG exports continue to be delayed and lower crude prices dampen oil sands (gas demand) development…
  • Lower crude prices will affect the supply side through reduced liquid-oriented gas, and the demand side by impacting petchem plant development, global LNG price arb, and Mexico project development…
  • And more…

Dial-In Instructions*:

US Toll Free:

US Toll:

Conference number: 39017544


*A visual presentation will be available an hour prior to the call.


About Keith Barnett……Keith Barnett is Senior Vice President and Head of Fundamental Analysis at Asset Risk Management.  He has over 30 years of experience in the energy industry with leading companies like Chevron, Columbia Gas Transmission, American Electric Power, and Merrill Lynch Commodities. Keith held engineering, managerial and executive positions with those companies in the areas of production, drilling, offshore platform design, natural gas marketing, fuel procurement, trading and structuring analytics, corporate strategy and fundamental analysis of energy markets. He had significant participation in two National Petroleum Council studies; including leading the power demand team in the 2003 natural gas study and serving on the steering and report-writing committees. Keith was also the Natural Gas Task Force lead for the Edison Electric Institute for several years. He has testified before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Senate Sub-committee on Energy on natural gas and power matters. He is a frequent speaker on natural gas, power, and global energy markets. 


Prior to joining Asset Risk Management, Keith served as Director of Strategic Analysis for Merrill Lynch Commodities where he led the effort to create an integrated global point of view for energy commodities that could serve short term trading and longer-term investment horizons. He also worked most recently with Spring Rock Production, which is producing a state of the art natural gas and oil production forecast for the USA and Canada.  Keith has an engineering degree from Texas A&M University.


About Asset Risk Management……Headquartered in Houston (with offices in Chicago, Denver and Pittsburgh), Asset Risk Management (ARM) has been helping oil and gas producers make better hedging decisions since 2004. ARM represents more than 85 public and private companies and interacts with all major energy commodity counterparties. ARM’s value is realized not only in the development and implementation of dynamic strategies, but in the ongoing optimization of those strategies as warranted by market volatility, execution efficiencies, reporting and continual monitoring of technical and fundamental factors in the market with the client's best interests and specific objectives in mind.  Learn more:


Retail Callouts (2/17): FL, NKE, UA, AdiBok, GIL, Ports

Takeaway: Our online traffic tracking shows the divergence continues between Athletic Footwear Brands and FL in January.


Retail Callouts (2/17): FL, NKE, UA, AdiBok, GIL, Ports - 2 17 chart2





NKE, UA, AdiBok, FL - Foot Locker vs Brands Online Traffic Divergence Continues


Takeaway: We've hit on this a lot lately, but based on the numbers we just pulled down it's worth rehashing.


1.       Brick and Mortar athletic footwear sales might never be up again. The way the math works, we'd need to see sales growth in excess of 6% across the industry in the US for us to see Brick and Mortar growth. The way our model works - we have online accounting for more than 100% of the growth over the next 6 years.
Retail Callouts (2/17): FL, NKE, UA, AdiBok, GIL, Ports - 2 17 chart3 B
2.       We think that growth accrues to the brands instead of the retailers. We've seen the verbiage at NKE change meaningfully over the past few quarters relating to e-comm. One of the big drivers of that is the margin opportunity. A direct sale for Nike comes in 20 percentage points higher than a typical wholesale transaction and the EBIT dollars are about 4x.
Retail Callouts (2/17): FL, NKE, UA, AdiBok, GIL, Ports - 2 17 chart4
3.       One of the biggest points of pushback we get as it relates to the shifting dynamics in the marketplace is, when? Our answer is right now. Over the past two quarters we've seen Nike's online business accelerate to +70% and +66% respectively. That marks the first time where Nike online sales growth has outpaced its wholesale partners.
4.       And it's not just Nike. We track the visitation statistics for about 250 retailers across 4 different providers. We stacked the brands (Nike, UA, and AdiBok) up against Foot Locker. This is the indexed trend in visitation by month. We saw a meaningful divergence in April of 2014 and that's continued to accelerate into January.
Retail Callouts (2/17): FL, NKE, UA, AdiBok, GIL, Ports - 2 17 chart1





GIL - Gildan Activewear Announces Resignation of New CFO


West Coast ports dispute drags on; labor secretary to intervene



Obama makes strong appeal for public-private cooperation for cybersecurity



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This indispensable trading tool is based on a risk management signaling process Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough developed during his years as a hedge fund manager and continues to refine. Nearly every trading day, you’ll receive Keith’s latest signals - buy, sell, short or cover.

European Banking Monitor: Greece On An Island?

Takeaway: Greek banks are poised to default and no one seems to care.

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 




Key Takeaway:

The main event remains Greece, where Greek bank swaps widened by 450-692 bps on the week and now stand at 1,416-2,274 bps. In other words, a high probability of Grexit has been priced in. Interestingly, unlike 2011, Europe doesn't really seem to care. The rest of Europe showed very little movement from sovereign to bank swaps and Euribor-OIS was essentially flat. The market seems to be saying that with EU GDP trending positively (+0.3% in 4Q14) and the ECB embarking on QE, Greece's fate just isn't that impactful for broader Europe


European Financial CDS - There's the rest of Europe, and then there's Greece. Greek banks continue to be priced for default as their swaps widened by 450-692 bps w/w and now higher by 966-1,581 bps m/m. Elsewhere in Europe, however, there was relatively little change as the median bank posted a 1 bps tightening w/w and is now 5 bps tighter m/m. Sberbank of Russia finally showed some signs of life, tightening by 47 bps  w/w to 672 bps on the news of the Russian cease-fire. 


European Banking Monitor: Greece On An Island? - chart1 euro financials CDS


Sovereign CDS – Despite modest growth in Eurozone GDP (+0.3% vs +0.2%  Q/Q), sovereign swaps mostly widened over last week. Italian sovereign swaps widened by 17.5% (19 bps to 128) and Spanish sovereign swaps widened by 10.8% (+10 bps to 104).  


European Banking Monitor: Greece On An Island? - chart2 sovereign cds


European Banking Monitor: Greece On An Island? - chart3 sovereign CDS


European Banking Monitor: Greece On An Island? - 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 widened by 1 bps to 10 bps.


European Banking Monitor: Greece On An Island? - chart5 euribor OIS Spread



Matthew Hedrick 



Ben Ryan





Keith's Macro Notebook 2/17: Europe | Oil | UST 10YR


Hedgeye Macro Analyst Ben Ryan shares the top three things in Keith's macro notebook this morning.

Commodities Weekly Sentiment Tracker

Note: Using the z-score in the tables below as a coefficient of variation for standard error helps us flag the relative market positioning of the commodities in the CRB Index. It is not intended as a predictive signal for the reversion to trailing twelve month historical averages. For week-end price data, please refer to “Commodities: Weekly Quant” published at the end of the previous week. Feel free to ping us for additional color.




1.       CFTC Net Futures and Options Positioning CRB Index: The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) releases “Commitments of Traders Reports” at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday. The release usually includes data from the previous Tuesday (Net Positions as of Tuesday Close), and includes the net positions of “non-commercial” futures and options participants. A “Non-Commercial” market participant is defined as a “speculator.” We observe the weekly marginal changes in the overall positioning of “non-commercial” futures and options positions to assess the directionally-biased capitulation risk among those with large, speculative positions.

  • The COTTON, WHEAT, and, COCOA markets experienced the most BULLISH relative positioning changes week-over-week
  • The SOYBEANS, ORANGE JUICE, and SUGAR markets experienced the most BEARISH relative positioning changes week-over-week

Commodities Weekly Sentiment Tracker - chart1 sentiment


Commodities Weekly Sentiment Tracker - chart1A


2.       Spot – Second Month Spread: Measures the market expectation for forward looking prices in the near-term.

  • The RBOB GASOLINE, LEAN HOGS, and COFFEE markets are positioned for HIGHER PRICES near-term
  • The LIVE CATTLE, HEATING OIL, and ORANGE JUICE markets are positioned for LOWER PRICES near-term

Commodities Weekly Sentiment Tracker - chart2 spot 2nd month basis



3.       Spot – 1 Year Spread: Measures the market expectation for forward-looking prices between spot and the respective contract expiring 1-year later.

  • The NATURAL GAS, WTI CRUDE OIL, and, LEAN HOGS  markets are positioned for HIGHER PRICES in 1-year  
  • The LIVE CATTLE, COCOA, and SOYBEANS markets are positioned for LOWER PRICES in 1-year  

Commodities Weekly Sentiment Tracker - chart3 spot 1yr basis



4.       Open Interest: Aggregate open interest measures the amount of opened positions in all actively traded futures contract months. Open interest can be thought of as “naked” or “directionally-biased” contracts as opposed to hedgers scalping and providing liquidity. Most of the open interest is created from large speculators or participants who are either: 1) Producers/sellers of the physical commodity hedging their cash market exposure or 2) Large speculators who are directionally-biased on price.


Commodities Weekly Sentiment Tracker - chart4 open interest


Ben Ryan