Retail Callouts (6/25): NKE, UA, FL, BBBY, TGT

Takeaway: Nike thoughts into the print. FL's first concept with UA. BBBY sentiment at 4 year lows. Target CMO out.

NKE - Key Issues Into The Print - To see our full note CLICK HERE


FL, UA - Foot Locker's First Concept Partnership with Under Armour


One of the core growth initiatives presented at Foot Locker's March Investor Meeting was to test and expand it's vendor partnership concepts. This won't make a dent in the company's dependence on NKE which accounts for 73% of purchases and close to 80% of sales. But it's at least a step in the right direction. FL has co-developed 5 shop-in-shop concepts with Nike (House of Hoops, Kicks Lounge, Yardline, Flight 23, Fly Zone), 2 with Adidas (a-Standard, Collective), and 1 with Puma (Puma Lab). This concept with Under Armour called The Armoury is its first with the brand. Unlike other partnerships this should have a much heavier apparel weighting. This will be a big tell for us. On one hand this syncs with one of the company's core growth pillars, but if history tells us anything its that FL doesn't do apparel well.


For FL specifically, this is another example of the shift in its capital allocation plans as much of the model was driven during Hick's tenure by asset rationalization. That took RNOA up to 30% from 5.5% over a 6 year time period. Now the plan is to reinvest capital by growing the store base, expanding new concepts (like The Armoury), and investing in digital, women's, and apparel. That means returns are coming down. If the company achieves its financial goals, it will be growing EPS in the low double digits, that is a mere quarter of the 45% CAGR it has printed over the past five years when it saw its’ multiple go from 11.5x trough margins/earnings, to 15.5x peak margins/earnings AND it will take increased capital spending to get there.

Retail Callouts (6/25): NKE, UA, FL, BBBY, TGT - 6 25 chart1


BBBY - Sentiment At 4 Year Lows, Still No Bottom On Margins

1) The print was more or less in line, but that doesn’t mean that the growth algorithm was good. Flat earnings on 3% revenue growth with the share count down 31mm or 15% percent and CFFO down 16% -- leaves a lot to be desired. The change in EBIT margins has been in negative territory in each of the past 12 quarters and BBBY hasn't hit the bottom yet as e-commerce costs will continue to weigh on both the gross margin (shipping expense) and SG&A (IT investments) lines.

2) Valuation at 13x P/E and 7.2x EBITDA seems so cheap at face value for what was once such a high quality company -- especially with sentiment at 4 year lows (usually a bullish indicator). But, in order to get more positive on this name we'd need much more confidence that BBBY could reaccelerate the top line organically and that margins will simply find a bottom. With sq. ft. growth mostly tapped that means BBBY needs to rely on taking market share in its existing stores (i.e. comping) or significantly accelerating growth in e-commerce in a profitable way. We'll be exploring the market dynamics in much more detail when we release the results of our Home Furnishings survey and 'Launch' on the space on July 29th.

Retail Callouts (6/25): NKE, UA, FL, BBBY, TGT - 6 25 chart2

Retail Callouts (6/25): NKE, UA, FL, BBBY, TGT - 6 25 chart3



Takeaway: Nothing is safe at TGT. Tesija is just 51 years old an still has a lot of good years in her in the retail business. Which leads us to believe that this was a Cornell decision. We've seen a lot of moves since Cornell took the reigns 10 months ago: Canada closure, 20% HQ workforce reduction, Pharmacy business sale to CVS. But, we've yet to see any turnover in the C-Suite. And this appears to be Cornell making room for his own lieutenant, i.e. an outside hire. While that seems like it’d be good news in the long run, the reality is that merchandise is not a problem for Target – it never has been.




VFC - Steven E. Rendle Named to New Position of President & Chief Operating Officer at VF Corporation



ASNA, KSS, JCP - B-t-s Warfare: Justice Dropping Prices 40%



RAD - Rite Aid Completes Acquisition of Leading Independent Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) EnvisionRx



PVH - Jennifer Crawford Resigns From Calvin Klein Inc.



Wildfox CEO Talks Retail Growth, Category Expansion




June 25, 2015

June 25, 2015 - Slide1

China, Germany and Industrials

Client Talking Points


The Chinese made some comments about rate cut expectations and the Chinese stock market closed pretty close to its lows down -3.5% (in the last month Chinese stocks are now down -5.9%). Quantitatively, China has broken its immediate term trade line of support which was right around 4,750 but is still well above its intermediate trend line of support which is closer to 4,200. China is probably a more tradable two-way market now then it is when it was going straight up. 


Beware: Germany is not out of the rough waters yet. The German DAX is broken from a trend perspective; it would have to get back above 11,741 to reverse this. Currently the DAX has immediate downside risk to

10,770. Whether or not you believe the Greeks are going to get something done, it's important to remember that the entire free world of market participants are long the concept of the next central plan having upside as oppose to downside – but what happens if they don’t get it done?! From here the asymmetry is to the downside, you can buy Germany but you don’t have a lot of upside vs downside.


Industrials – just terrible! Oh and by the way, the entire global growth complex is slowing. Yesterday, Industrials were down almost a full percent and are now down 2.1% year-to-date. Industrials are a leading indicator to the downside that we are indeed late cycle and being long late cycle is not a good thing to do.


**The Macro Show - CLICK HERE to watch today's replay, with Macro Analyst Darius Dale, Gaming Lodging & Leisure Sector Todd Jordan and CEO Keith McCullough.

Asset Allocation


Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration

Shares of Penn National Gaming are up approximately 9% since it was added to Investing Ideas on May 26. Our Gaming, Lodging & Leisure team reiterates their high conviction on the stock and notes that Ohio and Kansas have both been super-strong revenue generators in the month of May. This positive development has has led our analysts to raise their estimates even higher (and we're already the highest on the street...).


It was a busy week across the housing space with a host of fundamental releases, builder earnings and notable regulatory updates.   Net-net-net....the past week offered another positive update on the state of the residential real estate market with housing turned in a second week of strong, positive absolute and relative performance. The NAHB HMI (Builder Confidence Index) for June surged across all categories and in all regions, posting its best reading in almost 10 years. Total Starts declined -11% MoM to +1.036 MM units with SF and MF starts declining -5.4% and -20.2% month-over-month, respectively.  Permits, meanwhile, rose to an 8-year high advancing +11.8% sequentially and +25% year-over-year.   The strength in permits augurs forward strength in Starts and suggest residential construction spending will be (increasingly) supportive of GDP growth over the next couple quarters.


Bottom line right now remains that Lower-For-Longer is firmly intact as long as US #GrowthSlowing is. As Keith pointed out on Friday, Consensus Macro is still stubbornly sticking to the tired idea that rates have to go higher - they just have to... because, they haven't? All told, it was a great week sticking with the process on the long side of bonds. Here we feature an in-depth discussion from Senior Macro Analyst Darius Dale which does a thorough job outlining where our macro team currently stands with respect to the Fed, interest rates, markets and economy. The prescient discussion occured just hours before release of the FOMC statement.

Three for the Road


FX: Euro holding yesterday's gains vs USD at $1.12 - TRADE risk range there remains $1.11-1.14



To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.

Albert Einstein


An Australian warship patrolling the Indian Ocean seized nearly 600kg (1,300lb) of heroin with an estimated street value of more $500m. The Australian navy said it was the 2nd largest such haul by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a naval partnership of 30 countries to tackle piracy in the Middle East and Indian Ocean.


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.

LEISURE LETTER (06/25/2015)



  • June 25 - AC tax bill 


MGM - Celebrity cruises and MGM are in a partner deal. Starting on June 24, Celebrity’s Captain’s Club and MGM Resorts’ M life members can choose from offers throughout the year. These include complimentary cruises for qualified M life Platinum and NOIR members, and Captain’s Club members can enjoy benefits and special access at MGM Resorts’ destinations, including concerts, events, entertainment venues, restaurants and more.



Genting Singapore - Announced on Tuesday that they will be de-registering their wholly-owned subsidiary, North Spring Investments, LLC in Mongolia.  According to the press release, the de-registration is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets or EPS of the company.  


AHT - Ashford announced yesterday they are planning to acquire the W Minneapolis and Le Meridien Minneapolis for $101 million. 

  • The 229-room W Minneapolis Hotel - The Foshay, and the 60-room Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis hotel, put the transaction cost at $349,000 per key.
  • The purchase price represents a trailing 12-month cap rate of 6.0% on NOI and a trailing 14.4x EBITDA multiple
  • On a forward 12-month basis, the purchase price represents an estimated cap rate of 7.0% on NOI and an estimated 12.5x EBITDA multiple



MSC Cruises - MSC Cruises and Etihad Airways announced a new global partnership agreement that will benefit MSC Cruises’ guests traveling to Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

  • Up for offer are “Fly & Cruise” packages from destinations around the world - with Etihad Airways or partner airlines in its network.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, MSC Cruises’ guests will be able to fly to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways to cruise in the region in the Arabian winter. Guests will fly with the national airline of the UAE to their cruise during winter 2015-2016 on MSC Musica.



Silversea - Announced it is adding the following all-inclusive package amenities offered on all Silver Shadow Asia cruises in 2016:

  • Free shore excursions
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Roundtrip economy air travel and transfers 
  • Two-night, pre-cruise hotel stay 

The all-inclusive packages are available for new bookings made on or after June 24, 2015 on 17 cruises, including, for example, a seven-day voyage to Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Sailing roundtrip from Singapore on February 6, the cruise starts at just $4,550 per person. 



Macau REVPAR - Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macau Government Tourist Office, said she expects the city’s hotel occupancy rate to improve in the coming months. Hotel occupancy rate stood at 83.9% in May, down 6.4 YoY. Ms Senna Fernandes said she expects room prices to fall with the opening of new hotels. In May, the average room rate in Macau was MOP1,485 (US$186), down by 7.5%.  


Takeaway: May REVPAR in Macau looks very weak and it could get worse in the coming months. Bad news for room rate operators like LVS.

Broken tooth - Famed gang leader known as Broken Tooth Koi has reportedly opened a VIP gaming room in Macau.


Macau-Guangdong Investment - Leong said on Thursday he hoped that through today’s meeting with Guangdong officials the two sides could reach an agreement on the framework for the local government’s plan to invest part of its huge reserves via the Guangdong government. 

  • Leong said the government planned to invest about 10 billion to 20 billion patacas of Macau’s financial reserve. 
  • He said the government was looking to invest in projects related to infrastructure or undertakings that will improve Macau people’s living conditions as that would be more acceptable to the local population.



Macau Housing - The slump in gaming in Macau is beginning to depress the city’s housing market.  The news agency quotes estate agent Jones Lang LaSalle Inc as forecasting that housing prices will drop by 15% this year, the first annual fall since 2008.



Korea Tourism - Air passenger arrivals to South Korea from neighboring China increased 28% YoY to 1.69 million in May, show official data from South Korea published on Wednesday. 

  • Additionally, a weakening in Japan’s currency the yen contributed to a 22% YoY in air passengers on South Korea-Japan routes.  There were 1 million such travelers in May, according to the data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
  • For June: The overall number of air travelers in the South Korea market plunged 19.5% YoY in the first three weeks of June, with the drop in international air passenger traffic hovering at about 20% since June 16, according to ministry data.


Takeaway: MERS certainly affected travel.


Europe -  European cruise destinations such as Santorini, Lisbon and Oslo suffered dwindling visitor numbers and spending last year for the first time in a decade as Americans cancelled trips to the Baltic and Mediterranean over geopolitical concerns.

  • Visits to European ports of call were down 7 percent after almost 9 percent growth a year earlier, a report issued by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) on Thursday showed.
  • Passengers and crew spent 3.64 billion euros ($4.08 billion)at ports in Europe last year according to the report, 4.2 percent less than in 2013.
  • The number of Europeans booking cruises remained stable at 6.4 million in 2014 as declining bookings in Britain, Italy and Spain -- partly affected by weak economies -- were offset by a growing number of bookings in Germany.


Takeaway: We believe European struggles were extended into 2015 as confirmed by CCL and RCL.


New Bedford, MA - City residents overwhelmingly approved the proposed construction of the $650 million Foxwoods-managed resort casino for New Bedford's waterfront.  The referendum passed Tuesday with 73% voting in favor of it and 27% against, according to results posted on the city's website.



New Jersey - A new poll finds most people from New Jersey don't want casino gambling in other parts of the state beyond Atlantic City. The poll released Wednesday finds 56% opposed to casinos somewhere other than Atlantic City, and 37% in favor. 



Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court must decide whether a group can file suit against the state for allowing video lottery terminals at horse racing tracks and other policy decisions related to voter-approved casinos. 

  • At issue is whether the conservative American Policy Roundtable and a dozen other plaintiffs have legal standing to challenge gambling-related legislation and executive actions.
  • The American Policy Roundtable and others say the video slots amount to casino-style gambling that has not been OK’d by voters, and the net proceeds from the devices are not being devoted to educational purposes, as stipulated under the state constitution.
  • The video lottery terminals “were neither contemplated nor included in the definition of ‘lottery’ used in ... the Ohio constitution,” the challengers say in court filings." The operation of such devices exceeds the constitutional authorization to conduct a lottery.



Hedgeye Macro Team remains negative on Europe 

Takeaway:  European pricing has been a tailwind for CCL and RCL but a negative pivot has happened in 2015.

This Country’s Real Estate Market Is An Epic Bubble About To Burst

Last week, we hosted a special institutional call, “Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble” highlighting the epic bubble occurring in Canada’s real estate market right now and various ways investors can profitably play these developments.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

This Country’s Real Estate Market Is An Epic Bubble About To Burst - 9p


In his 130-slide deck, Hedgeye’s Financials Sector Head Josh Steiner covered the Canadian property market, how to track it and some of the best ways to play the coming problems. We highlight a few of the salient takeaways below. Please ping if you would like to learn more about this presentation and ways to invest around it.


Our northern neighbors saw similarly rising home prices as the US through the early 2000s until the US bubble burst. However, after US prices dropped, Canadian prices kept growing, rising 146% since 2000 as seen in the figure below. That’s roughly double the increase that’s occurred in the US market over the same time period.


This Country’s Real Estate Market Is An Epic Bubble About To Burst - 444


Median Income vs. Home Prices

There is a growing problem across all major Canadian cities regarding the explosion of home prices relative to household incomes. While Toronto and Vancouver lead the way in market size, it is Winnipeg that leads the disparity between home prices and incomes. More importantly, all major Canadian cities are seeing eye-popping levels of disconnect between prices and incomes.


To put some of this in perspective, by the end of 2006, just as the US housing bubble was peaking, the difference between the growth in housing prices and incomes was 67%.  Fast forward to today where nine out of the eleven major cities across Canada are at or above US levels from 2006 with an 11-city average of 87%. In other words, the incredible pace of rising home prices has blown away median income growth on a scale well beyond that seen in the US ten years ago.


The rocket fuel for rising home prices in Canada, of course, has been easy credit and growing debt. As we learned in this country eight years ago, asset prices rise and fall, but the debt endures.


The ingredients for a correction within the Canadian real estate sector all seem to be coming together. It’s just a matter of time. 


CHART OF THE DAY: #Housing Starts

Editor's Note: In today's Chart of Day from Hedgeye's Morning Newsletter, we show the historical cycles in Housing Starts over the last half century.  


Click to enlarge

CHART OF THE DAY: #Housing Starts - z 1 Starts CoD2

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