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LEISURE LETTER (04/27/2015)

TICKERS: RCL

 

EVENTS  

  • April 28 (4:30pm) - WYNN 1Q CC: ; pw: 20173922

  • April 29 (1:00pm)  -  HOT 1Q CC: ; pw: 17589434

  • April 29: New Hampshire House vote on 2 casino bill (SB 113)

  • April 30 (9:00am) - HST 1Q CC:

  • April 30 (10:00am) - MAR 1Q CC: ; pw:  99597993

  • April 30 (5:00pm) - BYD 1Q CC: ; pw: 3858748

  • May 4 (11:00am) - MGM 1Q CC: ; pw: 1535291

  • May 5 (11:00am) - HYATT 1Q CC ; pw: 17020089

  • May 7 (8:30am) - MPEL 1Q CC ; pw: MPEL

HEADLINE NEWS

Macau March visitation - March 2015 visitation fell 14% YoY, the worst comp since July 2009. The decline was steeper for Mainland China visitation which dropped 18%. The decline was most pronounced in Beijing, Zhejiang and Tianjin. Guangdong visitors also fell 10% YoY in March.

DATA HERE

 

LEISURE LETTER (04/27/2015) - 1

 

LEISURE LETTER (04/27/2015) - 2

 

Takeaway: LVS confirmed that base mass is now in sharp decline - down 21% YoY in Q1 for the company.  Now we know that visitation was at least partly to blame.  This is a damaging statistic for long term bulls.

COMPANY NEWS  

Summit Ascent - Summit Ascent, a company controlled by Lawrence Ho, registered losses of HK$78.9 million in 2014, a reduction of HK$600,000 compared to the previous year when the company’s losses amounted to HK$79.5 million. According to the filing of the Group with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this figure was primarily “attributable to non-cash share-based compensation benefits of HK$84.2 million”.  The opening of the integrated resort in Primorye, Russia is nearing completion and slated to open this year.  The casino is expected to have 25 VIP gaming tables, 15 mass-market baccarat tables and 800 slots.

ARTICLE HERE


Equinox- Equinox Holdings, the New York company that runs Equinox fitness clubs is launching a hospitality brand intended for health-conscious travelers willing to pay for high-end fitness facilities and amenities while on the road. 

Equinox expects to open its first hotel in 2018 at Related Cos.’ Hudson Yards development under way on Manhattan’s west side. The hotel’s Yabu Pushelberg-designed property will include indoor and outdoor swimming pools and at 60,000 square feet, the largest ever Equinox gym, the company says. A Los Angeles hotel is slated to open in 2019.

 

Equinox eventually expects to open as many as 75 hotels world-wide. Related, which is the company’s majority owner, expects to invest or raise “several billion” dollars for Equinox hotels over the next few years, a Related spokeswoman said.

ARTICLE HERE

Takeaway: The idea isn't new but with the recession behind us in the US, why not? The luxury customer is alive and well.

 

RCLRoyal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas is in an unexpected dry dock, prompting the cancellation of the ship's next cruise, which was slated to depart Monday. RCL spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez says repairs will "resolve an issue that is causing a small amount of bio-friendly oil to leak."  

 

Passengers booked on the subsequent sailing -- a four-night Bahamas cruise from Miami, scheduled to depart April 27 -- will receive full refunds, as well as future cruise certificates equal to 100 percent of the cruise fares paid for the canceled voyage.

ARTICLE HERE

Takeaway: Another ship incident for RCL. No wonder legacy (pre-2006) ship pricing stinks.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Control tourist measure - A new measure intended to alleviate crowd congestion in popular tourist spots will be tested during this week’s Labour Day holiday, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng said.  

 

Tam said one of the suggestions he proposed was that the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) co-operate in managing the number of IVS arrivals during peak travel times. He added that while the central government agreed with his suggestions, it would have to talk to relevant entities in the mainland before any of the proposals could be implemented.

 
Tam said that in the meantime MGTO officials will test tourist flow control measures during the three-day Labour Day holiday which begins on Friday.

 

According to Tam, visitors entering from the mainland will receive SMS messages alerting them of overcrowded tourist spots, in the expectation of diverting them to other areas. He said he was confident that the measure will see positive results. 

ARTICLE HERE

Takeaway: You don't really need control if visitation is falling.

 

Junket watch - US-based International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) has sponsored the launch of a website called Macau Gaming Watch. The organization, which claims to represent over 2,000 stationary engineers in Nevada and previously launched the now-defunct website CasinoLeaks-Macau, calls the new site “independent” and “critical,” and aims for it to be “the first-stop source for people investigating gaming in Macau." 

 

The new site has released information on Macau junkets and VIP gaming operators, including the “Neptune Guangdong Group” and “Hoi Fong” Entertainment. Drawing on the “recent tumult” in Macau’s gaming industry, the IUOE said that it is now expanding its research to explore more elements of the industry. “The site will initially look into Wynn Macau’s junkets. However, we will later explore the junket/VIP operators at other casinos as well,” it says.

 

The IUOE, declaring itself a shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd, has also launched a website called Cotai Land Deal. The site has presented its ongoing research as a real estate transaction of the Wynn Macau’s Cotai land, with key documents and findings.

ARTICLE HERE

 

New Hampshire - Gov. Maggie Hassan on Friday afternoon changed her position and announced her support for legislation that would allow for two casinos in New Hampshire. The casino bill is up for a vote Wednesday by the New Hampshire House. Activists on both sides of the issue said Friday they are expecting a close vote, with neither side predicting victory.

 

The legislation on Tuesday was amended by the House Ways and Means Committee to delay the licensing of a second casino until at least one year after the completion of a performance audit of the first casino. The bill initially allowed for a simultaneous licensing process.

 

SB 113 would permit two casinos – a large casino of 2,000 to 3,000 slot machines and 80 to 160 table games that would require a minimum investment. And a casino of 750 to 1,000 slots and 25 to 80 tables requiring a $125 million investment. 

ARTICLE HERE

Takeaway: This is the closest NH has been on legalizing casinos and could provide a little spark to very weak slot demand.

 

Oregon - The Oregon House on Thursday waved along legislation targeting state-sponsored video gambling, approving a bill that would map out Oregon Lottery terminals in relation to each location's "socioeconomic status." HB 3317 now heads to the Senate About 2,500 retailers, according to state data, offer video gambling.

ARTICLE HERE

Takeaway: This study, if approved, may result in some VLT reduction in Oregon.

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.

 


TWTR: Thoughts into the Print (1Q15)

Takeaway: We’re staying short, but this is a very tricky setup since this comes down to when mgmt rebases expectations (2Q15 guidance or release?)

KEY POINTS

  1. 1Q15 = MUTED UPSIDE: We’re expecting limited top-line upside on consensus estimates that are above the top end of 1Q15 guidance.  Further, any upside to estimates likely comes from the Data segment, with a limited upside to consensus advertising estimates that we believe are failing to adequately consider the non-recurring tailwinds from last year.  However, the big unknown here is ad pricing (see Point 3).
  2. A VERY TRICK SETUP: We believe TWTR is facing a precipitous slowdown in ad revenue growth with the company struggling to find an answer to comp past the 2Q13 Supply Shock, which had driven much of its recent success.  Mgmt will either have to own up to it, or try to acquire its way through it (or both).  However, we’re not sure if management concedes that point on the 1Q or 2Q print (2Q guidance or earnings).  The setup seems similar to 2Q14/3Q14 when TWTR guided high for 3Q14 revenues, then disappointed with inorganic upside and light advertising revenues. It's a tough setup, but we suspect Noto is more likely to manage expectations (he already tried last quarter).
  3. WHAT WE’RE KEYING IN ON: Ad Pricing (CPE), which is the biggest risk to our Short thesis.  TWTR has historically driven its model off of surging ad load; yielding CPE along the way.  However, CPE just turned positive on a y/y basis in 4Q14 for the first time in TWTR’s reported history (after cumulatively declining by 82% since 1Q12).  There is a lot of moving parts to CPE (ad load, product mix, customer base, geography), so tough to get any edge here.  However, we estimate that CPE needs to not only grow, but accelerate on a y/y basis to hit consensus 1H15 Ad Revenue estimates. 

 

1Q15 = MUTED UPSIDE

We’re expecting limited top-line upside on consensus estimates that are above the top end of 1Q15 guidance.  Further, any upside to estimates likely comes from the Data segment, with a limited upside to consensus advertising estimates that we believe are failing to adequately consider the non-recurring tailwinds from last year. 

 

During the 4Q14 call, TWTR tried to warn the street about the 1H14 benefit from the Olympics and the World Cup, which contributed an incremental 10% and 20%, respectively, to 1Q14 and 2Q14 results.  Excluding these events, consensus is calling for a mild slowdown in advertising revenue growth into 1Q14, with a reacceleration in 2Q14; a tall order for a company already experiencing a sharp decelerating in ad engagements (more detail below).

 

TWTR: Thoughts into the Print (1Q15) - TWTR   Adj Consensus Est 1H15

TWTR: Thoughts into the Print (1Q15) - TWTR   Ad eng vs. Price y y 

 

A VERY TRICK SETUP

We believe TWTR is facing a precipitous slowdown in ad revenue growth with the company struggling to find an answer to comping past the 2Q13 Supply Shock, which was a sudden and sustained surge in ad load that drove much of its revenue growth through 2014.   For supporting detail, see the note below.

 

However, TWTR is now at the point where ad engagements are precipitously decelerating, and we don’t believe the company can risk another surge in ad load since it needs to beat on both revenue and MAU expectations to appease the street, yet those two factors have historically worked against each other. 

 

The question is when mgmt will own up that slowdown, or if it will try to acquire its way through it (or both).  The more important questions may be timing; we’re not sure if management concedes that point on the 1Q or 2Q print (2Q guidance or earnings).  The setup seems similar to 2Q14/3Q14 when TWTR guided high for 3Q14 revenues, then disappointed with inorganic upside and light advertising revenues.  It's a tough setup, but we suspect Noto is more likely to manage expectations; he already tried last quarter by quantifying the non-recurring tailwinds mentioned above.

 

TWTR: Are Acquisitions Enough?

03/17/15 08:50 AM EDT

[click here]

 

TWTR: Thoughts into the Print (1Q15) - TWTR   Ad Engagement vs. Pricing 4Q14

TWTR: Thoughts into the Print (1Q15) - TWTR   Ad engagement vs. MAU

 

WHAT WE’RE KEYING IN ON

Ad Pricing (CPE), which is the biggest risk to our Short thesis.  TWTR has historically driven its model off of surging ad load; yielding CPE along the way.  However, CPE just turned positive on a y/y basis in 4Q14 for the first time in TWTR’s reported history (after cumulatively declining by 82% since 1Q12). 

 

There is a lot of moving parts to CPE (ad load, product mix, customer base, geography), so tough to get any edge here.  However, we estimate that CPE needs to not only grow, but accelerate on a y/y basis to hit consensus 1H15 Ad Revenue estimates.  For context, we have included a scenario analysis flexing ad pricing (CPE) against ad engagements (per MAU), along with a chart showing the recent trajectory between the two factors.

 

TWTR: Thoughts into the Print (1Q15) - TWTR   1H15 Scenario Analysis

TWTR: Thoughts into the Print (1Q15) - TWTR   Ad eng mau vs. Price y y

 

 

Let us know if you have any questions, or would like to discuss in more detail.

 

Hesham Shaaban, CFA

@HedgeyeInternet

 


MACAU WEEKLY ANALYSIS (APRIL 20-26)

Takeaway: CAN APRIL IMPROVE ON MARCH’S AWFUL VISITATION #S?

CALL TO ACTION

Dwarfing the importance of the weekly numbers, March visitation figures were released by the Macau government and they were awful. The sharp decline in visitation to Macau partly explains the disaster that was LVS’s earnings report – base mass revenues declined 21% in Q1.  While not widely analyzed by the Street, base mass revenues and visitation trends are critical to the performance of the Macau stocks, particularly LVS.  Long-term investors own Macau stocks, LVS included, because of the perceived positive growth profile of this high margin segment.  From a sentiment and earnings perspective, these trends are disconcerting.

 

Please see our detailed note: http://docs.hedgeye.com/HE_MACAU_4.27.15.pdf


Hedgeye Statistics

The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.

  • LONG SIGNALS 80.28%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.51%

Pricing in An Easier Fed

Client Talking Points

CHINA

New 7-year high - epic ramp continues with the Shanghai Composite up another +3% overnight = +40% year-to-date and +96% since OCT 2014 as speculation runs rampant about precisely what at this point, we do not know!

EURO

EUR/USD backs off -0.3% this morning after rallying to the top-end of its immediate-term risk range (now 1.06-1.09), the Euro is +1.3% in the last month vs. USD as the world prices in an easier Fed at the Wednesday meeting.

S&P 500

The U.S. stock market (and its volatility) likes the expectation of the Fed being easier, on the margin – at +1.8% for the week with Tech and Consumer Discretionary leading the rally (+3.2-4.0% week-over-week) the obvious question is what is priced in now that we’re back at the all-time highs?

Asset Allocation

CASH 31% US EQUITIES 15%
INTL EQUITIES 17% COMMODITIES 4%
FIXED INCOME 30% INTL CURRENCIES 3%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
MTW

The Dodge Construction Starts Index accelerated at its highest rate since 1982. The index was driven largely by non-building projects, which was 74% higher for the first three months compared to last year. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), a survey of architects, increased ~3% month-over-month and ~5% year-over-year for March. The ABI Index typically leads nonresidential and residential construction spending by 9-12 months. More importantly, the ABI Index leads Manitowoc Crane Orders by 2 quarters. This suggests MTW’s crane sales should see a pickup in the first half of the year. MTW reports April 29th after the close. Earnings Call will be held at 10:00am eastern time the following day.

ITB

iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) is a great way to play our long housing call. Housing went 4 for 4 in a data heavy calendar for the sector this week with demand improving across both the new and existing markets and the fledgling acceleration in price growth finding some positive confirmation. The builder stocks had a choppy week of performance as investors held mixed opinions of earnings reports and management commentary out of DHI and PHM but, from a fundamental data perspective, the Trend remains one of discrete improvement.

TLT

Ten-year rates dipped 12bps on the week (forward-looking growth expectations) and the USD got crushed for a 1.5% loss. Growth and inflation expectations get priced in AHEAD of the more dovish policy tone resulting from any sign of deterioration in the labor market. Wednesday’s Fed meeting will be the next catalyst that will steer the market’s expectation on forward-looking growth and inflation. We expect the dots (forward-looking federal fund rate expectations) to be pushed out….again.

Three for the Road

TWEET OF THE DAY

TREASURIES: 1.91% 10yr (after starting the yr at 2.17%) as Lower-For-Longer gets priced into Fed expectations

 @KeithMcCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as what he could be, and he will become what he should be.

Jimmy Johnson 

STAT OF THE DAY

Branded-drug prices have increased 127% since 2008, compared to an 11% rise in the consumer price index (according to Express Scripts Co.).


CHART OF THE DAY: To Raise, Or Not To Raise (That Is The Question)

CHART OF THE DAY: To Raise, Or Not To Raise (That Is The Question) - z chart

 

Editor's Note: This is a brief excerpt and chart from today's Morning Newsletter written by Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough. If you'd like to get ahead of consensus, we encourage you to take a look and subscribe today.

 

Since the last Fed meeting (March 18th) I’ve been fixated on whether or not the Fed is for real on raising interest rates into both #Late-Cycle (see our Q2 Macro Themes deck) employment gains and Global #GrowthSlowing.

 

While it may have sounded a little over the top, our “buy everything” call on that March 18th Fed decision to go dovish, since then (from Chinese to Japanese stocks and/or US stocks and bonds), that was the right asset allocation decision to have made...

 

 


Are You Fixated?

“The real issue is not whether you have a mental model, but whether you’re fixated.”

-Gary Klein

 

That’s an excellent risk management #process quote from a conversation Ed Hess had with Dr. Gary Klein (senior scientist with Macro Cognition) in chapter 8 of Learn Or DieUsing Science To Build A Leading-Edge Learning Organization.

 

Klein made an astute point about expectations in reminding me that “so much of decision making is taught and treated as if you can pre-define the options” (pg 90). My experience with markets is that the options are both non-linear and constantly changing.

 

Sometimes expectations change fast; sometimes slow. It isn’t my job to tell the market which catalyst or correlation to fixate on. It’s my job to try my best to accept change.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

Since the last Fed meeting (March 18th) I’ve been fixated on whether or not the Fed is for real on raising interest rates into both #Late-Cycle (see our Q2 Macro Themes deck) employment gains and Global #GrowthSlowing.

Are You Fixated? - FED cartoon 12.18.2014

While it may have sounded a little over the top, our “buy everything” call on that March 18th Fed decision to go dovish, since then (from Chinese to Japanese stocks and/or US stocks and bonds), that was the right asset allocation decision to have made.

 

Front-running central planning expectations (especially when they are changing, on the margin, from hawkish to dovish – or dovish to uber dovish) will remain a major macro market fixation, until this epic experiment has nothing left to give.

 

In US Dollar devaluation terms, here’s what macro markets saw last week:

 

  1. US Dollar Index down another -0.6% week-over-week, taking its 1-month correction to -1.5% (+7.4% YTD)
  2. Euro (vs. USD) up another +0.6% in kind, taking its 1-month counter-TREND bounce to +1.3% (-10.1% YTD)
  3. Canadian Dollar up +0.5% vs. USD last week, taking its 1-month counter-TREND bounce to +4.1% (-4.6% YTD)

 

In other words, the closer you got to being long anything that looked like a Commodity Correlation trade (for the last month) – from oil itself, to energy stocks and junk bonds, to a resource driven currency – you crushed it.

 

With the Dollar off its highs, Rates #LowerForLonger, and the SP500 closing at her all-time highs on Friday, could all of this dovishness be priced in? I’m not so sure it is, yet. Chinese stocks closed up another +3% overnight to a 7yr high, +40% YTD!

 

With USD Down, the other big obvious last week in Global Equities was the outperformance of inflation oriented markets:

 

  1. Brazil’s Bovespa was +4.9% on the week to +13.2% YTD
  2. MSCI Latin American Equity Index bounced back to break-even YTD with a +4.5% wk-over-wk move
  3. Emerging Markets Equities (MSCI Index) had another big week, +1.7% to +10.9% YTD

 

If you boil all of this down in growth vs. inflation terms (using a 1-2 month duration), this is all one massive macro re-rating of inflation expectations (to the upside) within the context of what was a nasty 6 month #deflation scare.

 

On a reported basis (from governments) #deflation or disinflation (or whatever you want to call it) is going to be reality through the summer time. Government data is reported on a year-over-year basis, don’t forget.

 

But what if the Fed not only backs off on rate hikes, but starts to talk about incremental easing again? I don’t think they’ll do that. But being fixated on what the Fed should do vs. what they will do has proven to be quite costly for the past 6 years.

 

In the meantime (as in this week), this is where US stock and bond investors are at:

 

  1. SP500 was +1.8% week to an all-time closing high of 2117 = +2.9% YTD
  2. Tech Stocks (XLK) led the charge at +4.0% wk-over-wk = +4.3% YTD
  3. Consumer Discretionary (XLY) stocks squeezed the shorts +3.2% last wk = +7.6% YTD

 

Especially when I look at moves in big cap Tech names like Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT) of +14% and +10% (on the day!) on Friday, last week’s beta chasing move in the US stock market tells me that:

 

  1. Hedge funds are getting squeezed again (forced to cover shorts high and get net longer)
  2. Long-Only funds are being forced to chase performance again into month-end
  3. It’s going to be really hard to be bearish into the Fed meeting on Wednesday

 

To accentuate this view, the net SHORT position (CFTC non-commercial futures/options contracts) in SP500 Index (+ E-minis) hit a new monthly high of -45,673 contracts last week. To put that in context (when consensus didn’t respect the risk of #deflation) the trailing 6 month average net LONG position in SP500 futures/options contracts is +32,687.

 

In this game, the real issue is not whether or not you’re “smart”; it’s whether or not you can be mentally flexible enough to fixate on the right things, at the right time.

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 1.85-1.99%
SPX 2103-2124
RUT 1
USD 96.71-99.01
EUR/USD 1.06-1.09

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Are You Fixated? - z chart


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