Retail Callouts (3/4): W, RH, DKS, UA, NKE, BBY

Takeaway: Wayfair beats, at 2x sales we are adding it to our short bench. DKS Q4 e-commerce was strong, but the stores can't comp.

W - Wayfair Beats -- Adding to our Short Bench



In its third 'at bat' after going public, Wayfair finally beats expectations.  That said, the market already knew that one, with the stock trading up 27% in the last three days, and 56% in the last month. Furthermore, the company is still losing money -- a lot of it -- and as best as we can tell, that trend won't reverse itself for many years. The number of transactions were up 45%, which is impressive by any measure. But the average transaction size is only $191 -- a very difficult number for a furniture retailer to generate profits on.  The biggest call out is that the name is now trading at 2x sales -- which is right in line with RH. We can't even begin to list the number of reasons why that shouldn't be. We're putting W on our Short Bench.


DKS - e-commerce Saves the Day. But These Store Can't Comp


Takeaway: This is not the type of chart you want to be looking at if you sell sporting goods in a 50,000 sq. ft. box and have plans to expand the store base another 33%. And that could in part explain the muted store growth guidance on the DKS banner for the year. Store comps have been negative in 6 of the past 8 quarters while the company has been growing sq. ft. in the mid to high single digits. Guns/ammunition which naturally lend themselves to Brick and Mortar (at least we hope) haven't helped but we think the trend speaks for itself. People are buying more and more of what DKS has to sell online.

We wouldn’t typically beat a company up over outsized DTC growth - but DKS is a different animal. For starters we don't think a 50,000 sq. ft. box lends itself to a showroom, unless we're talking about RH. 2) DKS real estate deals aren't cheap. The company already needs a 9%/10% sales growth number in a given quarter to leverage occupancy. That's egregiously high especially if these stores can't comp without DTC. 3) Shipping costs aren't working in DKS favor. That would be fine if DKS online channel allowed it to reach new customers, but based on the trends we've seen it looks more like cannibalization. So now you have online transactions which used to be completed at the store coming in at a GM 700bps-1000bps below the brick and mortar business. That makes it even harder to hit the occupancy hurdle rates.

Retail Callouts (3/4): W, RH, DKS, UA, NKE, BBY - 3 4 chart1png 


UA Takes It's 'Alter Ego' (Superhero concept) From Apparel to Footwear. These things are far more popular with the high school athlete than many people reading this might otherwise think.

Retail Callouts (3/4): W, RH, DKS, UA, NKE, BBY - 3 4 chart2 




NKE - With 'Made By You,' Converse Lets Wearers' Portraits Sell Chucks



BBY - Report: Best Buy services president will leave company



EBAY - PayPal acquiring mobile payment startup



RSH - RadioShack accepting Gift cards until March 6




We added Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) to our Best Ideas list on 05/02/2014 at $47.21/share, as we believed Sandell had identified feasible opportunities to enhance shareholder value.  Unfortunately, recent developments have fallen well short of our expectations.  With this note we are removing Long BOBE from both our Best Ideas list and Investment Ideas list.

In our view, Bob Evans is in much better shape today than it was when we initially added it as a long idea.  Our thesis, however, was predicated on one or two of several potential catalysts coming to fruition: including: a sale of BEF Foods, a real estate transaction, and substantial SG&A cuts. 


Yesterday, we learned that the company has no plans, at this time, to pursue a separation of the BEF Foods business and that it has identified $35 million of potential annual cost savings that will be realized over a three year time frame.  Both of these announcements are, in our view, disappointing.  The company also announced that is currently reviewing the potential for real estate transactions and other changes to its capital structure, but gave us little clarity on the possibility or timing of these events.


Given 3Q15 results, it’s clear that the stock has gotten far ahead of the fundamentals of the underlying business and the path to unlocking shareholder value will be more painful than originally anticipated.

The Yen, Euro and UST 10YR

Client Talking Points


Out of the majors, Japan reported the weakest Services PMI in the world last night at 48.5 for FEB (vs. 51.3 JAN) – that’s got to be good for some more Yen Burning and Weimar Nikkei bubbling. Looking to buy more Japanese stocks on that economic weakness, and the sad thing is that we’re not kidding – still looking for YEN 135 vs. USD intermediate-term.


Burn baby burn as EUR/USD probes a fresh year-to-date lows at $1.11 this morning now that most of the European PMI data was flat to slower. Italy reported one of the weaker Services PMI’s (50.0 vs 51.2 last month), so of course the Italian stock market is up on that in a down European equity tape! The ECB meeting is tomorrow.


Unless someone has the jobs report in hand, we don’t know why bond yields are up this week (if we did, we would have told you to sell some Long Bond exposure pre the pullback). The UST 10YR Yield risk range is still wide at 1.88-2.17%; yields up on a good jobs report; down fast on a bad one – stay tuned. 

Asset Allocation


Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration

Our bullish thesis on Yum! Brands is slowly becoming more mainstream, as activist talk has recently heated up. Management implemented a shareholder friendly amendment to the company’s by-laws that will permit a shareholder, or group of shareholders, with 3% or more ownership of common stock (for three years or more), to nominate directors representing up to 20% of the board. This is good news for several reasons: 1) an activist may be involved in the name 2) shareholders are speaking up 3) management is feeling the pressure and 4) management is open to adopting more shareholder friendly policies. We continue to believe there is significant upside here despite the stock’s strong recent outperformance.  This stock is one major announcement away from hitting $95.


Penn National Gaming is the best way to play improving domestic regional gaming trends due to its superior operational management and unit growth opportunities. Catalysts include positive estimate revisions, the opening of the first Massachusetts casino in June, and industry leading earnings growth in 2015 and 2016.


Low-volatility Long Bonds (TLT) have plenty of room to run. Late-Cycle Economic Indicators are still deteriorating on a TRENDING Basis (Manufacturing, CapEX, inflation) while consumption driven numbers have improved. Inflation readings for January are #SLOWING. We saw deceleration in CPI year-over-year at +0.8% vs. +1.3% prior and month-over-month at -0.4% vs. -0.3% prior. Growth is still #SLOWING with Real GDP growth decelerating at -20 basis points to +2.5% year-over-year for Q4 2014.The GDP deflator decelerated -40 basis points to +1.2% year-over-year.

Three for the Road


FLASHBACK | The Bear Case on $BABA: What The Street Is Still Missing



Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!

-Audrey Hepburn


Android operating devices account for about 52% of the devices in the U.S. (compared to iOS at 42%), but only account for 22% of mobile sales.

Daily Trading Ranges

20 Proprietary Risk Ranges

Daily Trading Ranges is designed to help you understand where you’re buying and selling within the risk range and help you make better sales at the top end of the range and purchases at the low end.

CHART OF THE DAY: #Draghi and #Kuroda's Mathematically Impossible Monetary Policy

CHART OF THE DAY: #Draghi and #Kuroda's Mathematically Impossible Monetary Policy - 03.04.15 chart


Editor's note: This is a brief excerpt from today's Morning Newsletter written by Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough. Click here to learn more about becoming a subscriber.


The inverse correlation of burning Euros and Yens to their respective country stock markets is surreal (inverse meaning when FX drops, stocks rip higher). And, as you can see in the Chart of The Day (this is slide 8 in our current Global #Deflation deck), we continue to see it as mathematically impossible that either Draghi or Kuroda will achieve their monetary-math “inflation” targets.


Invest In Yourself

“The best investment you’ll likely ever make is in yourself.”

-Cullen Roche


That’s one of the better quotes from the latest book I am reviewing: Pragmatic Capitalism, by Cullen Roche. While the book has underwhelmed me so far, there’s usually something positive to see in people – if you look hard enough.


This week is a big stressor for me in that we are holding tryouts for our Mid Fairfield and CT Junior Rangers hockey programs. The hardest thing to do isn’t reporting who are the best players on the ice; it’s evaluating which ones have the most potential.


That’s not unlike how I think about investing. Anyone on mainstream TV can tell me what’s worked. What I really need to get right is what’s going to start working next.

Invest In Yourself - Central banker cartoon 03.03.2015


Back to the Global Macro Grind


The biggest risk management question I’m thinking about right now is whether or not the phase transition (from late-cycle bullish at this time last year, to bearish now) of Global #Deflation is going to accelerate to the downside.


If you look one screen past the commodity headlines (Oil and Gold), this is what you were looking at yesterday:


  1. Orange Juice -7% on the day to -16.9% YTD
  2. Coffee prices down another -6.6% on the day to -24.2% YTD #crashing
  3. Hogs (as in pigs) -2.4% on the day to -18.7% YTD


Mortimer! Get me some #deflation in my breakfast already!


Will you see that #deflation on your local diner (or SBUX) menu? Of course not. At least not in real-time. Companies that had food cost accelerating to the all-time highs (2012 was the all-time high for corn prices as Bernanke was devaluing USD) are finally seeing some of those cost pressures alleviate. Local dinner guy’s healthcare and other costs, not so much…


But what about the poor bastard who is selling pigs?


Yes, this whole #deflation thing has winners and losers. #Deflation pays the conservative consumer, whereas it punishes the levered-up debtor whose revenues and cash flows are pinned on higher inflation expectations!


Q: What horse does the Wall Street have in this consumer vs. debtor debate?

A: higher inflation expectations + leverage + banking fees generated by both


In other causal Global #Deflation news, don’t forget that the two most important live quotes on your screen continue to tick this morning. Those are, of course, currency quotes:


  1. Burning Euros
  2. Burning Yens


In order to get the rate of change in Global #Deflation right, you need to get the US Dollar right. And… in order to get the US Dollar’s rate of change right, you need to front-run the devaluation policies of its major competing currencies, alright?


  1. Euros (vs. USD) are being blown up to fresh YTD lows this morning (-7.3% for 2015) at $1.11
  2. Yens (vs. USD) can’t find a bid after Japan reported the worst Services PMI in the world overnight


Services PMI? Yep. It’s one of the many monthly macro economic data points we pop into the Hedgeye Predictive Tracking Algorithm (the model we built that helps us front run bond yields, central planners, etc.) … and voila, le rate of change appears!


  1. Japanese Services PMI slowed to 48.5 in FEB vs. 51.3 in JAN
  2. Italian Services PMI slowed to 50.0 in FEB vs. 51.2 in JAN
  3. German Services PMI was 54.7 in FEB vs. 55.5 in JAN


“So”, Italian stocks are up on that (German stocks are down) to +15.8% YTD. #lol


It’s funny, sort of, but sad … all at the same time. The worse the Japanese and Southern European economies (i.e. the most levered debtor countries) get, the better their stock markets get, as the entire world front-runs their central planners burning their respective currencies in response.


The inverse correlation of burning Euros and Yens to their respective country stock markets is surreal (inverse meaning when FX drops, stocks rip higher). And, as you can see in the Chart of The Day (this is slide 8 in our current Global #Deflation deck), we continue to see it as mathematically impossible that either Draghi or Kuroda will achieve their monetary-math “inflation” targets.


That’s a lot to noodle over as you try to invest in your own noodle. But setting aside what we get right and wrong both in markets and on the ice, that’s the best way to invest in yourself in this good life – to educate yourself empowers your progress and potential.


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 1.88-2.17%

SPX 2083-2121
Nikkei 185
VIX 13.03-16.33
USD 94.51-95.94
EUR/USD 1.11-1.13
YEN 118.54-120.36


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Invest In Yourself - 03.04.15 chart

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