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FNGN: Adding Financial Engines to Investing Ideas

Takeaway: We're adding Financial Engines (FNGN) to Investing Ideas today.

Please note that we are adding Financial Engines (FNGN) to Investing Ideas today. Below is a note from Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough explaining why. We will include additional, in-depth research color from Financials analyst Jonathan Casteleyn in this weekend's edition of Investing Ideas.


FNGN: Adding Financial Engines to Investing Ideas - z fin9


According to McCullough:


I've been trying to get longer (net) in signal/idea terms (on red, patiently) ahead of this Fed decision tomorrow. If the Fed does nothing but reiterate what it has been saying all year long ("data dependence") I go with the "buy everything" call on that (just like I did at the March 18th Fed decision). 


"Buy everything" is more of a generalization obviously - what I mean by that is a dovish Fed means A) Rates Down (bonds up) B) Dollar Down (stocks and commodities up). With Financial Engines specifically, we have a very much hated high short interest stock whose fundamentals have recently shifted from slowing to #accelerating.


Here's Jonathan Casteleyn's latest take on that front:

  • Financial Engines (FNGN) reported an in line quarter on both top and bottom line last night but boosted its full year 2015 guidance for revenue and EBITDA. The newest outline for revenues is now $315-$321 million, an increase of $2 million from the prior midpoint with the firm’s annual EBITDA marker now $97-$101 million, a $1 million increase from the midpoint in the last communication in 4Q14. With the firm’s revenue result of $75 million in the period, this creates a consistent ramp up in top line for the rest of the year with guidance outlining a $79 million result on average per quarter.
  • The firm’s seasoning rates while flat were guided to higher levels as well. The crux of this story will be the firm’s ability to turn its $1.0 trillion in assets-under-contract (AUC) into assets-under-management (AUM). While FNGN’s 26 month seasoning rate was flat year-over-year at 13.0%, the firm’s mark-to-market at quarter end hit a 13.1% penetration rate. In addition, the firm outlined that several large plans with lower penetration levels entered the 26 month cohort, which is blending overall penetration lower (but masking higher penetration outside of these plans).
  • With the increase in guidance and a generally favorable outline for the firm to improve its penetration rate, the setup is still too bearish in our view. With new highs in short interest and still marginally positive progress in core financials we maintain our positive disposition. We estimate fair value is $55 per share based on a $1.3 trillion AUC opportunity for the firm. We should know in the next several quarters if the firm’s penetration level can really improve which will drive the stock in the mean time.  

Buy signal here at the low-end of the FNGN risk range (power users of the #Process note that this recent correction in the stock came on decelerating volume, whereas the recent highs came on accelerating volume.


Cheers from London where its Pub time,


Is Chesapeake a Takeout Target? Kaiser Weighs in on The Macro Show | $CHK


In this one-minute excerpt from today's edition of The Macro Show, Hedgeye Energy sector head Kevin Kaiser is asked if his short thesis on Chesapeake Energy could be upended by an acquisition.


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INSTANT INSIGHT: If the Fed Opts for One Rate Hike…

Good morning from London.


So, we got another nice pullback for bond yields off of last week’s panic highs. The US 10-year yield down -22 basis points in less than a week after the US Dollar failed to reclaim TREND support.


I’ve been looking for a dovish Fed since the March 18th meeting, so I’ll reiterate what they should do (see 3 Charts - Don't Hike) given the slowing data – USD agrees.


So, if the Fed opts for one rate hike “just because it’s time” … then I think stock, bond, and commodity market risks ramp.


INSTANT INSIGHT: If the Fed Opts for One Rate Hike… - z ben ryan


Editor's Note: This comes from research written by Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough earlier this morning. If you're serious about stepping up your market game we encourage you to take a look at our offerings.

LEISURE LETTER (06/16/2015)

TICKERS: Galaxy Entertainment (0027.HK), G13.SI, RCL, HOT, HLT, SGMS, CCL

HeadLine NewS 

Galaxy -  Business at the second phase of Galaxy’s Cotai casino resort “is satisfactory, but not as good as what we expected,” Chairman Lui Che Woo said after the company’s annual general meeting, adding he expects further impact of its gaming business if the city allows a smoking ban to be extended to VIP rooms. 


Phase 2 “will be better in the next one to two months,” said Galaxy Vice Chairman Francis Lui, adding he was happy with the performance of the non-gaming elements at its new properties such as its hotel bookings and dining outlets.


“Be patient, we believe the scale, facilities and services of the second phase are the best,” he said. Business should improve in July and August, compared with June which is an exam season for students, he added.


Takeaway:  Share gains in June due to good luck and the opening of Phase 2, not just the expansion. Comments can only be taken as a disappointment. 


Cruise Selling Agents Report Robust Sales for First Half of 2015 - Agencies show: Soft sales out of Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico. Strong sales out of Alaska. Strong uptick in interest for World and River Cruises.

  • Lucinda Belden, franchise owner,CruiseOne in Carrollton, TX, says her agency has posted a 19% increase in cruise sales thus far this year, compared to the same period last year. 
  • David Walsh, owner of CWCruises, an independent agency of Avoya Travel in Bradenton, FL, says sales for his agency have never been better.
  • Geoff Cox, supplier relations director for KHM Travel Group, a Vacation.com member agency in Brunswick, OH, reports: “Our 2015 sales with several cruise lines are up over 35%.”


Takeaway: Overall, bookings have been strong in 2015 but it's far from a perfect picture.


GENTING SINGAPORE – On June 16, bought back 2.5 million shares at S$0.91 each. On June 15, Genting also bought 7.5 million shares at S$0.91 each.

Takeaway: These share buybacks continue but larger in the the last 2 days.

SGMS - Launches Online Titles With Paddy Power.  Bob Hays, vice-president, commercial, interactive at Scientific Games, added: “The interest in our full slots and table games library from Paddy Power, widely considered one of the top online casino operators in Europe, is another testament to the wide player appeal of the proprietary and third party brands in our portfolio." 


HOT - announced the planned spin-off of its vacation ownership business into a separate publicly traded company. Starwood Vacation Ownership (SVO), which will be named Vistana Signature Experiences, Inc. upon completion of the spin-off transaction, has filed an initial Form 10. 


Takeaway:  Completion of spin-off of SVO on track for Q4 2015.


ARC Hospitality Trust - ARC Hospitality announces agreement to acquire portfolio of 13 Hotels for a purchase price of $300 million from Noble Investment Group.($156,822 per key)  


The Noble Portfolio consists of 12 premium-branded select-service and extended-stay hotels and one full-service hotel totaling 1,913 rooms. The hotels are franchised by major global brands including Hyatt Hotels, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International. Hotel flags include Hyatt Place®, Hilton Garden Inn, Hyatt House®, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton. 



CCL - Costa Croicere has announced the Costa Fascinosa will join the Costa Pacifica in South America for the upcoming 2015/2016. The Costa Fascinosa increases the company’s capacity in the region, as it takes over from the previously announced Costa Mediterranea, which is a slightly smaller vessel. The Costa Fascinosa had been set to stay in the Mediterranean for the winter, but will now make up the line's two ship program in South America.


"With the operation of Costa Fascinosa, we are increasing our capacity by 41% out of Rio,” said Rene Hermann, General Director of Costa Cruises to South America.



Macau instant lottery - The government has renewed for one more year Sociedade de Lotarias e Apostas Mútuas de Macau Lda’s concession to run instant lotteries and take bets on football and basketball, the Official Gazette says. The concession had been due to expire on June 5.



Macau govt finances - The government’s fiscal surplus was MOP25.28 billion (about US$ 3.16 billion) in the first five months this year, 54.9% less than in the corresponding period last year, the Financial Services Bureau says. Additionally: The government collected a total of MOP38.45 billion (US$4.82 billion) in direct taxes from gaming in the first five months of 2015, down by 35.4% YoY, according to data disclosed on Monday by the city’s Financial Services Bureau.




UK - The National Lottery is about to change the way millions choose their lotto numbers by adding ten more balls to the pot. In the biggest change in its 21-year history, players will be able to select from 59 instead of 49 numbers - while average jackpots are going to TRIPLE. 

  • Camelot said the revamp, due in October, would create an extra 1.8 million winners a week and increase the overall chance of winning any prize from one in 54 now to one in 9.3.




CT SS Revs: -0.51% YoY

FL SS Revs: +11.38% YoY

NY SS Revs: +2.52% YoY 


London - Negative performance for London Hotels in May. Based on the data:

  • increases in supply (+3.3%) and demand (+4.1%);
  • a 0.8% decrease in occupancy to 85.0%;
  • a 10.8% decrease in average daily rate to GBP125.91; and
  • a 10.1% decrease in revenue per available room to GBP107.04.


Takeaway:  London REVPAR in 2Q has underperformed.


South Korea - Flight bookings to South Korea have plummeted following the outbreak of MERS, according to ForwardKeys, a company that analyzes flight data. Data shows that between May 20 and June 5, international flight bookings to South Korea were down 14.9%, compared to the same period last year. Additionally, flight cancellations were up 21.3%, compared with the same year-ago period. 


Takeaway: MERS should not be disregarded. Macau inboard visitation, S Korea lodging and Asia-destined cruise lines could already be affected.



Hedgeye Macro Team remains negative on 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.

Retail Callouts (6/16): UPS Pushes On Pricing, Chain Stores Sales, UA, NKE

Takeaway: UPS pushes on pricing, with retail margins at peak, and retail sales slowing.

UPS Bulk Item Rate Hikes Bad For Retailers


Takeaway: Any way you cut it, this is bad news for retailers. The fact is that consumers increasingly expect retailers to offer up free shipping. In fact, we think that 'free shipping' will be an industrywide standard by the end of 2016. So the question is this -- If the shippers are starting to push back on pricing due to capacity constraints, and if consumers are highly unlikely to broadly accept paying for shipping when it was otherwise free -- then who is going to foot the bill? Yes, the retailers. If the retailers can find a way to push it back to their suppliers, then they'll do it. But very few have that power.  This is not what we want to see when retail margins are tracking at an all-time high, and makes it increasingly difficult to be bullish on this group, broadly speaking.

Retail Callouts (6/16): UPS Pushes On Pricing, Chain Stores Sales, UA, NKE - 6 16 chart1


UA - Class C Stock Dividend to Maintain Plank's Control

Takeaway: We rarely see stock splits structured in this manner, but this is all about Plank keeping control of the Board. He's currently sitting on 66.5% of the vote with 100% of the class B stock, but his ownership position has fallen almost 2 percentage points in a year from 18.5% in 2014 to 16.8% in 2015. At an ownership position below 15%, Plank's class B shares would be converted to class A and his grip on the company would be far less secure than it is today. The new class C structure the company announced yesterday is designed 100% to mitigate that risk.


UA, NKE - Sold-Out Curry MVP Shoe Price Doubles Online


Takeaway: This is the first time we've seen UA basketball kicks hit the resale market in a material way. Nike engineered its distribution process to build hype in the aftermarket long ago, and has a few SKUs (The Air Yeezys for example) that are listed on eBay for $10k+. For UA, it's likely more supply than demand related...but whichever way you slice it, it's a win for UA. The company has found a star in Curry. The company has a lot of wood to chop both on the product and infrastructure side before it declares victory -- its footwear sales in 2014 at $430mm were only 25% greater than what Lebron James did for Nike alone. But it now has an asset it can use to grow the platform and demand is building evidenced by the activity in the resale market. The reality is that the technical merits of a product become far less important when they are for an athlete who is as universally likeable as Curry.

Retail Callouts (6/16): UPS Pushes On Pricing, Chain Stores Sales, UA, NKE - 6 16 chart2


Retail Sales Begin What Should be a 15-Week Deceleration

And so it begins… sales this week according to the ICSC index were up only 1.9%, the lowest rate in 15 weeks. Unfortunately, the weekly sales growth rate should be under added pressure through the end of September (i.e. through back-to-school) as we comp against a solid Summer of 2014.

Retail Callouts (6/16): UPS Pushes On Pricing, Chain Stores Sales, UA, NKE - 6 16 chart3

Retail Callouts (6/16): UPS Pushes On Pricing, Chain Stores Sales, UA, NKE - 6 16 chart4





House Bill Aims to Close Internet Sales Tax Loophole



GPS - Gap Closing 175 North American Stores



LL - Lumber Liquidators promotes marketing head, cuts merchandising chief



OLLI - Ollie’s eyes IPO and 950 stores



Kmart taps DSW executive as marketing chief


Early Look

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