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LEISURE LETTER (05/22/2015)

TICKERS: 27.HK, MGM, BYD, SGMS, H, RCL

EVENTS

  • May 25: 11pm - Aristocrat 1H 2015 earnings: (; pw: 8770122)
  • May 28: MGM Annual General Meeting: Proxy "Fight"
  • June 4- CCL: special press announcement in NYC

headline news

Macau visitation falls again - Visitor arrivals decreased by 3.4% YoY. The average length of stay of visitors decreased by 0.1 day YoY to 0.9 day. Visitors from Mainland China decreased by 6.4% YoY, with those traveling under the Individual Visit Scheme rising slightly by 0.5%. Visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan increased by 3.0% and 11.0%, respectively. Guangdong visitors fell 3% while Beijing and Shanghai fell 10% and 13%, respectively. 

ARTICLE HERE

Takeaway: Fewer visitors, shrinking length of stay. And this is before the supply onslaught.  Base mass will continue to be pressured.

 

LEISURE LETTER (05/22/2015) - m1

 

LEISURE LETTER (05/22/2015) - m2

COMPANY NEWS  

Galaxy- Galaxy will get 150 new gaming tables for its HKD19.6-billion (US$2.5-billion) Galaxy Macau Phase 2 property, said Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac. Leong told reporters that the government’s decision was made based on the new non-gaming features to be offered by Galaxy Macau Phase 2 and sister property Broadway at Galaxy Macau, both opening on May 27 in the city’s Cotai district. The official added these features would help diversify the city’s tourism offering. 

 

Leong stated that the allocation of 150 new tables to the project complied with Macau’s table cap system. He added that Galaxy could move around its overall table inventory between properties better to meet the firm’s operational needs. Leong added that the Macau government had not received requests for more gaming tables from any of the other five casino operators in the territory.

ARTICLE HERE

Takeaway: Didn't MPEL submit a request for tables at Studio City? 

 

SJM - Following the resumption of construction works in the renovation of the former Casino Jai Alai earlier this month, the property opening date has now been postponed to after 1Q 2016 instead of this year, the chief executive of SJM Ambrose So Shu Fai said. “There has been a delay in the issuance of [the construction] permit to Jai Alai; but two to three weeks ago, we already received permission,” So explained.  “The property will open next year but by the first quarter it may not be ready. So the opening date will be later than that,” So added.

 

A total of some HK$1 billion (US$129 million) has to be invested in the Jai Alai revamped project, So said.  In the 2014 annual report filed on March 31, SJM said the firm had entered into capital commitments in connection with the revamp project – named ‘Jai Alai Palace’ - for a total value of about HK$657 million.

ARTICLE HERE

Takeaway: Higher capex and delayed opening for Jai Alai

 

SJM - CEO Ambrose So says that VIP business has been down 30 to 40% in the past few months and he doesn’t know if it has hit the bottom yet. So said that gaming tables in VIP rooms that are no longer in use would be transferred to the mass market to adjust to market changes. However, he pointed out that although there has been a slight growth in the mass market, the growth has “not been enough to fill the gap left by the VIP [market]”. According to So, just “one or two” VIP rooms have closed down at SJM so far.

ARTICLE HERE

 

MGM - MGM Resorts International filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission to purchase power without the state's dominant utility, NV Energy. MGM's application follows the filings this month of Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands, highlighting an attempt at mass departure by the state's influential companies and sparking a debate about consumer choice and protecting ratepayers from higher power bills. Caesars is expected to submit an application in the coming days.  

ARTICLE HERE

Takeaway: Strip operators trying to save money on utilities. 

 

Paradise - is aiming to sell about 1,000 more live multi-game (LMG) machines in Macau this year, while deploying 700 of such machines in the US market, the company's chairman, Jay Chun said.


The company currently has over 3,500 live multi-game machines installed in 16 casinos in Macau. Chun said that Galaxy Macau Phase II, opening in less than a week, is also one of the clients that his firm is targeting to sell up to 1,000 LMGs.

ARTICLE HERE

 

BYD-  issued its $750 million, 6.875 percent senior notes due 2023. Proceeds will be used to repay its 9.125 percent senior notes due 2018.

Takeaway: The transaction allows BYD to lock in a lower borrowing rate and have more flexibility on their balance sheet.

 

SGMS- renewed its contract for its instant games and cooperative services program for four more years with De Lotto, the national lottery of the Netherlands.

 

H - invested in onefinestay, a closely held company that enables travelers to rent upscale private homes, the rare instance of a major hotel operator aligning with the burgeoning home-rental industry. Onefinestay matches homeowners looking to rent their residences in London, New York, Los Angeles and Paris with travelers. It manages a portfolio of more than 2,500 homes with a combined value of more than $5 billion, said the company. It is unclear how much Hyatt invested in onefinestay, but a person familiar with the matter said it was part of a nearly $40 million round of funding that was completed at the end of last year.

Takeaway: Hyatt is taking the right step in investing in the home-rental business. Despite mired in legal challenges, home rental companies, highlighted by AirBnB and Homeaway, is a real threat to the hotel industry.

 

RCL - Allure of the Seas emerged from its 18-day drydock at Navantia with 10 new suites, a revamped Izumi Hibachi & Sushi restaurant, a Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar, a Coastal Kitchen and new boutiques.

ARTICLE HERE

INDUSTRY NEWS 

SK Cruise- A South Korean government ministry is facing resistance from vested interests inside the country and a lukewarm response from another department in its bid to enable local citizens to gamble aboard cruise ships flying the national flag, reports Yonhap News Agency.

 

Critics say the proposal amounts in effect to backsliding on a near-nationwide ban on locals gambling. That policy applies specifically to land-based casinos. The ministry promoting the local casino cruise ships idea says there would be tough rules to protect citizens from harm and that South Korean citizens are already using foreign cruise ships for such activities.

 

According to Yonhap, Maritime Minister Yoo Ki-june, from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, said locals using such South Korean cruise ships would only be allowed to gamble for five to six hours at most per day while the ships are sailing in international waters. The maximum betting amount for individuals would be below US$100 for a five-day trip, the report added.

ARTICLE HERE 

 

Atlantic City - Millennials want to party, not gamble in Atlantic City. Customer surveys conducted for the alliance last fall showed that young singles strongly identify with the city’s nightlife, but they were worried the casino closings had robbed them of their entertainment hotspots. “The closed facilities were of concern,” the survey concluded. “Nightlife was a driver of their trips.”

 

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, known for its cutting-edge entertainment, is building a $15 million expansion that includes an outdoor concert venue opening in June and a new nightclub that will make its debut at year’s end.

ARTICLE HERE

Takeaway: Bad demographics plaguing US gaming nationwide

 

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.


May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015 - Slide1

 

BULLISH TRENDS

May 22, 2015 - Slide2

May 22, 2015 - Slide3

May 22, 2015 - Slide4

May 22, 2015 - Slide5

May 22, 2015 - Slide6

 May 22, 2015 - Slide7

May 22, 2015 - Slide8

BEARISH TRENDS

May 22, 2015 - Slide9


Dollar Down, Rates Down, Commodities Up

Client Talking Points

UST 10YR

UST 10YR Yield is straight back down to where it started 2015 (2.17%) after every Bond Bear cried wolf again on the moving monkey “breakout” in bond yields – this has been going on for 17 months now and it’s for one very basic reason = Wall Street’s growth expectations remain too high, especially on #LateCycle factors like employment, wages, and capex.

GOLD

If you want to find the love we had for Gold in 2010-2011, you want to find Waldo on U.S. growth expectations pushing the Fed out to 2016 and beyond on “rate hikes” – Gold loves nothing more than the Big Mac Combo of Down Dollar, Down Rates – you have both this morning, and a nice +0.7% move for Gold with no resistance to $1240. 

CHINA

If you’re as bearish on Global Growth as we are, you probably own a ton of Chinese Equity exposure – if you only buy stocks when the growth data gets really bad, China is the poster child for that. The Shanghai Composite Casino ramps another +2.8% overnight to +44.2% year-to-date, crushing Macau gaming revenues as margin brokers rock the timestamps.

Asset Allocation

CASH 48% US EQUITIES 4%
INTL EQUITIES 8% COMMODITIES 12%
FIXED INCOME 26% INTL CURRENCIES 2%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
VNQ

One way to invest in Lower-For-Longer, from an equity perspective, is being long U.S. REITS (VNQ). The reality is that we are in a #LateCycle slowdown and the jockeying around each incremental data point will continue to get more and more intense as the Fed’s only ammo for suspending the cycle that has unfolded many times over is to push out the dots on a rate hike. #LowerForLonger.

ITB

The ITB turned in modest positive absolute and relative performance in the latest week as the advance in interest rates ebbed and the high frequency mortgage purchase application data continued to reflect improving housing demand trends. This is a data heavy week for housing. NAHB Builder Confidence dropped for the 4th time in 5 months, dipping -2pts sequentially in May to an Index reading of 54.   Confidence currently sits +9 pts higher than May of last year and is basically right on the average reading of 55 observed over the last three expansionary periods.  Further, at  the current reading of 54, the index remains well above the Better-Worse Mendoza line of 50, signaling builders continue to view conditions favorably.

TLT

The counter-TREND moves in the USD and commodities have been extensive and now confirmed: 1) U.S. Dollar: Down another 1.20% week-over-week to complete its BULLISH to BEARISH TREND Reversal. The dollar is now BULLISH on a TAIL duration (three years or less) and BEARISH on a TREND duration (3-Months or more) 2) CRB Index: +2.0% week-over-week and +5.5% 1-Month Change. The CRB is now BULLISH on a TREND duration and BEARISH on a TAIL duration.

Three for the Road

TWEET OF THE DAY

Is the Government Lying To You? I Weigh In on The Macro Show https://app.hedgeye.com/insights/44235-is-the-government-lying-about-the-economy-mccullough-weighs-in-on-the… via @hedgeye

@KeithMcCullough

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?

Oscar Wilde

STAT OF THE DAY

The returns of the S&P 500 from peak cycle (April 15th, 2000) to the 2002 cycle low was -43% (moving from 1,356.56 to 776.76).


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Dazed and Confused

This note was originally published at 8am on May 08, 2015 for Hedgeye subscribers.

"It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life."

- Elizabeth Kenny

 

Is it? In financial market terms that is.

 

While Nurse Kenny’s boldness served her well in her treatment of polio among other musculoskeletal illnesses (her controversial methods are credited with being the foundation for modern physical therapy), I’m not so sure she would’ve been able to manage global macro risks during confusing times like these with that attitude.

 

For example, what if you took on orange jumpsuit risk and got the look-see on today’s jobs numbers? Would you know how to appropriately position for it? Would you be a lion and bet big on red or black or would you be a sheep?

 

To be crystal clear, we don’t have any edge in accurately forecasting the rate of change in nonfarm payrolls. Between the seven analysts on our macro and financials teams, we have just shy of a cumulative 100 years of experience analyzing markets and economies in both buy-side and sell-side roles and not one of us has been able to build a model that consistently and accurately forecasts said number – or the rate of change in wages for that matter. The standard error on every model we’ve built is too high to rely on such estimates so we don’t bother to incorporate them into our views.

 

I guess we are the sheep.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

There is a reason our cash position in our model asset allocation is as high as it’s been since mid-December; we are dazed and confused and require the shepherding of Mr. Market. Like God, he doesn’t speak to you directly – or out loud for that matter. Fortuitously, we employ a number of rigorous quantitative methods to extract such guidance from the marketplace (like TACRM for example).

 

Our intermediate-term views of lower-for-longer and deflation has been wrong for several weeks now and we have no problem jettisoning such views if Mr. Market tells us to. In this regard, he hasn’t given us the signal(s) just yet, but he’s definitely thinking out loud enough for us to lack a high degree of conviction in those views.

 

One thing we do have a high degree of conviction on is our ability to forecast the rate of change in both growth and inflation. We are also pretty good at figuring out how trends in these omnipotent macro factors front-run changes in monetary policy.

 

On that front, inflation is likely to accelerate in 2H15 and the risk to that forecast is actually to the upside as far as timing is concerned. Our inflation tracker had forecasted a bottom in YoY CPI in June as of ~6 weeks ago, but we now have the disinflationary impact peaking in April (chart #1 and chart #2). You’ll note on our GIP model (chart) that the 2nd derivative delta on inflation (x-axis) is very small in 2Q. We’re still disinflating, but not by much from here.

 

As previously mentioned, the base effects for CPI get really easy in the 2nd half of the year (chart). Will the Fed use this as justification for “having confidence that inflation will return to their target over a reasonable timeframe” and set the stage for hikes in 1H16? Maybe. By then, however, real GDP growth will have likely slowed dramatically (chart).

 

Broadening our horizon, inflation is still slowing on a trending basis across the world’s key developed economies. Across many of the EM economies, however, it is accelerating due to annualized currency debasement (chart). From a forecast perspective, global inflation is in the same boat as the U.S. (chart).

 

The strong inflows into TIPs of late appear somewhat prescient in the context of those forecasts. Specifically, investors have piled into TIPS at the fastest pace in three years, with $3.6B of inflows into mutual funds and ETFs that track this market. This follows two consecutive years of outflows.

 

Can rates work when inflation is accelerating? Our backtest data shows that the long bond usually works in #Quad3, but certainly not as much as it does in #Quad4 and arguably not when the Fed is setting the table for rate hikes (chart #1 and chart #2). We are simply making the bet that those rate hikes are not coming; in fact, the narrative could be one of preparing markets for QE4 by the time we get the 4Q15 GDP report at the end of January 2016. We believe spread compression to be a high probability outcome from here (chart).

 

Since this is probably the only strategy note you’ll read this morning that doesn’t focus on the jobs report, we’ll leave you with another piece of seemingly-random-but-useful analysis. The key takeaway from the Chart of the Day below is that over the next 2-3 months, the preponderance of high-frequency growth data is likely to look optically better relative to consensus expectations from here. It literally can’t get much worse as far as the surprise factor is concerned and we’re quite sure expectations for a broad swath of indictors were lowered after that soft 1Q GDP print. Also, 2Q GDP will accelerate on a headline (i.e. QoQ SAAR) basis.

 

We believe rates have likely priced in these dynamics and see no reason for bond yields to chase them any higher.

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 1.87-2.29%

SPX 2071-2099
VIX 13.63-15.84
USD 93.61-96.53
Oil (WTI) 54.22-61.93

Gold 1170-1214 

 

Best of luck out there,

 

DD

 

Darius Dale

Senior Macro Analyst

 

Dazed and Confused - Chart of the Day


CHART OF THE DAY: Existing Home Sales vs Pending Home Sales

Editor's Note: The chart and blurb below are from today's Morning Newsletter written by Hedgeye Macro and Housing Analyst Christian Drake. Click here for more information and to subscribe. 

 

CHART OF THE DAY: Existing Home Sales vs Pending Home Sales - EHS vs PHS

 

"...As can be seen in the Chart of the Day, the recent tendency has been for EHS to re-converge with PHS.  Given the prevailing pattern, unless PHS in April (released 5/28, next Thursday) are very soft and/or March sees a significant negative revision, the path of least resistance is for upside in Existing Sales over the next couple months.  Further, the trend in the high frequency mortgage purchase application data, which is currently running +14% QoQ and +13.3% YoY, argues in favor of that expectation more so than not..."   

 


It Gets Late Early

“It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

-Yogi Berra

 

Yogi turned 90 last week.  Hedgeye will turn 7 in June.  From the mound to markets, deep simplicities and pithy aphorisms are still ageless. 

 

When Berra donned post-war pinstripes en route to 3 AL MVP’s, 18 All-Star appearances and 13 World Series championships, the U.S. was enjoying a productivity boon, the demographic tide was just beginning to come in, the middle class was ascendant, Buffett was still small enough to perform and the prospects of rising household leverage and modern central banking carried an air of secular opportunity. 

 

“The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be”

 

It Gets Late Early - Housing Signal

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind...

 

Hedgeye’s formal coverage of the Housing sector turned 1 last week and I’ve chronicled our evolving investment view of the sector recurrently in the Early Look over the last year. 

 

Our 2Q15 Housing Themes call, which we presented back on April 2nd, was titled “If it Ain’t Broke” … the allusion being that our reversal from bear to bull in late 2014 was working with Housing outperforming every other sector through 1Q15 and the fundamental strength looked set to continue. 

 

The core of the 2Q call could be sufficiently captured in the context of the following four factors:    

  • The Data:  The cocktail of easy comps, improving fundamentals, credit box expansion and rebound demand (i.e. deferred housing consumption due to weather) should conspire to drive accelerating rates of change in reported housing data in 2Q. 
  • The Dilemma:  Housing equity performance shows pronounced seasonality with 4Q/1Q being periods of marked outperformance and 2Q/3Q generally being periods of relative softness.  At the same time, the implementation of new TRID regulations on August 1st could emerge as a mild-to-large speedbump to reported activity.
  • The Distillation:  The convergence of performance seasonality and new regulation (TRID) – along with emergent issues such as the California drought and step function back-up in global bond yields - pose a collective risk to housing activity into the end of 2Q.  While we remain mindful of those quasi-latent risks, it’s likely accelerating rates of change in both demand and price dominate investor mindshare in the more immediate-term.  
  • The (tactical) Decision:  Let’s stay long accelerating improvement in the immediate-term and then look to lower exposure into the collective crescendo of concern as it builds into mid-late summer

To frame it another way:  If I told you housing would put up the best rate of change numbers in all of domestic macro – and, arguably, in all of global macro – would you want to be long or short that?

 

So, how has the data come in thus far in 2Q? 

  • Housing Starts:  New 7-year high in the latest month
  • Purchase Applications (existing market):  2Q15 Tracking +14% QoQ and +13% YoY, on pace for best quarter in two years. 
  • Pending Home Sales (existing market):  PHS are up an average of +11.8% year-over-year the last two months
  • New Home Sales (new market):  NHS are up an average of +22.5% year-over-year the last two months
  • HPI:  After a year of discrete deceleration in home price growth in 2014, 2nd derivative HPI has seen 3 consecutive months of acceleration through the latest March data. 

How have the stocks performed?

  • April (Rate Rise + Builder Margin Concerns):  Of the four categories we profiled in our 2Q themes call as being beneficiaries of Housing's ongoing improvement, only one, the Mortgage Insurers, beat the market in April.  The builders underperformed significantly and the Title Insurers and Home Improvement chains underperformed moderately.
  • May:  Housing got its mojo back in May, rebounding strongly over the last couples weeks alongside the moderation in rates and ongoing strength in reported price/volume data.

The somewhat confounding part is that even if I knew then, what I know now in terms of how the fundamental housing data would come in in 2Q, I would have made the same decision to lean long in April.   

 

What about Existing Home Sales yesterday, that missed right?

 

EHS in April were certainly underwhelming, missing estimates and declining -3.3% sequentially (although they were still +6.1% YoY).  Below is how we contextualized the data in our institutional note yesterday:

 

Here’s the primary issue at play:   Pending Home Sales and Existing Home Sales have shown recurrent bouts of divergence and re-convergence in recent quarters.   Definitionally, Pending Home Sales (PHS) represent signed contract activity while Existing Home Sales (EHS) represent actual closings.  The two measures are invariably tethered and, given the mechanical nature of the relationship, PHS serve as a strong leading indicator for EHS with the relationship strongest on ~1mo lag. 

 

There is some chop in the data from month-to-month but, absent some acute shock to the qualifying ratio, the two only diverge for so long and so much in magnitude before re-convergence between the two series occurs.  Practically, this can only occur in a few ways – one series can fully re-couple with the other on a lag, both see subsequent revisions in opposite directions and/or both series (for whatever reason) move in opposite directions with spread compression from both directions.  

 

As can be seen in the Chart of the Day  below, the recent tendency has been for EHS to re-converge with PHS.  Given the prevailing pattern, unless PHS in April (released 5/28, next Thursday) are very soft and/or March sees a significant negative revision, the path of least resistance is for upside in Existing Sales over the next couple months.  Further, the trend in the high frequency mortgage purchase application data, which is currently running +14% QoQ and +13.3% YoY, argues in favor of that expectation more so than not.   

 

Universality is the hallmark of acute observation.  Clever linguistics provide the effervescence and perdurability.   Ahead of the holiday weekend – and just because they’re good – I’ll leave you with a few of Berra’s best (annotated with associated investment applicability):

 

“It gets late early out there” (counter-cyclical investing… remember, the data always looks best before the crest)

 

Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded” (consensus’s thinking about consensus’s positioning)

 

“You can observe a lot just by watching” (no annotation needed)

 

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 1.97-2.24% 

SPX 2110-2144 
RUT 1 
USD 92.92-96.17 
EUR/USD 1.10-1.15 
Oil (WTI) 56.98-61.64 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

***Click here to watch The Macro Show live at 8:30am.

 

It Gets Late Early - EHS vs PHS



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