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OEH 3Q09 CONF CALL TRANSCRIPT

OEH meets consensus expectations for the first time in while, which seems good enough... for now

 

 

OEH 3Q09 CONF CALL


Quarterly Review & Outlook

  • No big surprises in the 3rd quarter as trends set in the 2nd quarter continued
  • Grand Hotel Europe was down $3MM in EBITDA, $1.4MM was due to currency
  • Mexico was down $0.75MM (continued H1N1)
  • Occupancy grew 2% in Italy
  • Trains and cruises, cost basis in Euros impacted results by over a $1MM, despite some revenue recovery in certain products
  • Goal of reducing fixed cost base has been achieved and now they need to hold costs down
  • Goal of deleveraging:
    • First step is selling non-core assets, should have proceeds of "over" $100MM by year end
    • $55-65MM in cash proceeds expected from sale of villas in St Martin
    • Worked at Keswick hall to sell some plots for residential development
    • Net result should reduce debt by $140MM
  • Business outlook
    • Italy RevPAR grew 3%, Russia grew 9% in local currency in October
    • However, October still saw revenues drop 19%
    • Trends over the last 5 weeks have been consistent
    • Nov & Dec are trending 18% behind in bookings, but should end up better
    • 1Q2010 is running 50% in bookings from where they were a year ago
    • Bookings are very last minute still
  • Restricted cash was $18MM
  • 9.0x TTM debt/EBITDA
  • $116MM of loans drawn of R/C loans outstanding
  • $51MM of debt due in 2010 is related to Cupacoy which should be repaid from villa sales
  • Some of the capex this quarter was covered by insurance proceeds
  • Tax charge of $12-14MM for FY2009
  • Discussing debt maturities with their banks
    • One of the strategies is rebalancing debt maturities, for example Grand Hotel Europe, which they beleive is worth over $200MM only have $20ishMM of debt want to add some leverage there
  • Are seeing some interesting opportunities arise in the luxury space, will look at more management related opportunitites

 

Q&A

  • Don't expect the booking window to further shorten but at the same time don't expect it to lengthen
  • Some of the group business they have is also booked within a month of the event
  • Any corporate bookings they have are last minute
  • 2010 should be like 2009 booking wise
  • "Last year all the bookings were last minute, now they are last second"
  • Domestic business around the world has increased to offset the considerable decrease in UK travelers, while US traveler has somewhat stabilized
  • Rate of expense growth next year?
    • Think they can really keep a very tight lid on costs for one more year
    • 50% target on variable costs (on flow through), the real challenge is for that not to grow when things recover
    • There are some properties that will likely see additional declines next year - like Mexico
    • Hope to keep fixed cost growth at or below local inflation levels
  • American guest (ex - domestic properties) is just above 30% (consistent across most of Italy, ex Ravello which is in mid 20's)
  • Debt refinancings?  Trying to achieve 85% on renewal (loan to value).
  • Balance of doing it now vs keeping the current low pricing?
    • They can do a forward start agreement to balance some of that out
    • Debt would be marked around mid 200's spread - would be happy there (sounds very low to me)
    • Would like to have something done by filing of 3Q2010 10Q, otherwise they have a current debt issue
  • Color on market pricing
    • Have traditionally bought assets around a 10x multiple (on what they think is a stabilized number).  Their special sauce is buying slightly run down assets.  Developing countries would have a slightly lower multiple though higher cost of debt
  • Performance in Asia is bouncing back nicely
  • Any change on dual class structure?
    • Hearing in Bermuda 6 weeks ago, and the court has ordered a further hearing on a pure question on law on whether having the dual structure is legal as well as OEH's desire to move to dismiss the charges.  No date set - sometime in 2010
  • El Canto
    • Dealing with some interested parties putting together JV
    • Would only do the project with a JV partner
    • Have $52MM sunk there
  • No more payments due on NY library until 2010, taking the total to $30MM
  • Brought recurring capex down from over $100MM to $35-40MM including the completion of Cataratas for 2010.
  • Any acquisition they would pursue in the intermediate term would likely pursue it through a JV that is asset lite from their end.  Hopefully see some opportunities come through in next 6-8 months

OEH 3Q09 QUICK REVIEW

For the first time in recent memory OEH's results were in line with consensus estimates.  However, outlook hasn't really changed and the story remains centered on asset value.


 

I suppose when the Street keeps lowering their numbers, companies will eventually meet them.  Street revenues and EBITDA numbers came down 14% and 30% for 3Q09, respectively since last quarter.  We still think the Street is too high for 2010, but again this story is all about asset value.  OEH's outlook basically tells us nothing new:


"While the ongoing decline in demand that has characterized the last two quarters has slowed, I believe it is still too early to predict a return to growth... We will therefore continue with our prudent approach to cash management, including the tight control of costs and capital expenditure, and continue to expedite the sale of non-core assets and developed real estate. Our aim is to significantly deleverage the Company by the end of 2011, with a targeted ratio of debt to EBITDA on a stabilized basis, in the four to five times range."

 

 

OEH VERSUS OUR ESTIMATES:

 

Owned Hotels:

  • Owned revenues of $116.5MM came in $4MM better than our estimate while EBITDA was $1.4MM lower
  • Disappointing results in North America were somewhat offset by better results in Europe
  • Rest of the world was mostly in line with our expectations. Asia results were the least bad, followed by South Africa.

Everything else:

  • Adjusted for Charleston Place, hotel management and JV interest income came in at a $100k loss versus our estimate of $1.3MM
  • Restaurant revenues and EBITDA were $0.4MM and $0.2MM below our estimates, respectively
  • EBITDA from trains was in line with our estimate at $7.7MM
  • Central costs actually increased y-o-y which was a surprise to us

Other things of interest from the release:

  • LOI signed in October for sale of a 3rd non-core asset, with estimated proceeds in the $15-20MM range
    • Our guess is that it's Bora Bora which has been accepting bids since August 2009. For more assets that could be "for sale" see our note "OEH: TRUE VALUE", published 8/12/09
  • Sold 2 villas in Koh Samui for $1.7MM

US STRATEGY – Buffett Rolls The Bones

 

The S&P 500 is up for two days in a row, rising 0.2% yesterday.  Yesterday, M&A activity ruled the news flow with the high-profile Berkshire Hathaway $44BN deal to buy Burlington Northern.  Without the improvement in the XLI the market would have been down yesterday.

 

The Industrials sector was led higher by the Transports, up 5.3% yesterday.  The move was underpinned by the Buffett deal as the S&P Railroads Index increased 12% yesterday.  Additionally, SWK agreed to acquire BDK, which rose 31% on the day.  The other key acquisition was in the coffee sector with Peet’s buying Diedrich Coffee.

 

Yesterday, the Materials were the third best performing sector outperforming the S&P 500 by 0.8%.  The precious metals stocks outperformed with the rally in gold and silver.  The rally in gold was fueled after the Reserve Bank of India purchased 200 metric tons of gold from the IMF for $6.7B.

 

On the day the VIX declined 3.3%, declining for the second day in a row.  The dollar index finished slightly higher on the day.

 

The three best performing sectors were Industrials (XLI), Energy (XLE) and Materials (XLB), while Technology (XLK), Consumer Staples (XLY) and Utilities (XLU) were the bottom three. 

 

Tech was one of the worst performers yesterday, closing down 0.4%.  Weighing on Technology stocks was the decline in the semi space, with the SOX down 1.3%.  Both Morgan Stanley and UBS downgraded the semi and semi-cap equipment groups today.

 

Today, the set up for the S&P 500 is: TRADE (1,065) and TREND is positive (1,025).   The Research Edge quantitative models have 7 of 9 sectors in the S&P 500 positive on TREND and 1 of 9 sectors are positive from the TRADE duration.  Consumer Staples is the only sector positive on both durations. 

 

The Research Edge Quant models have 2% upside and 2% downside in the S&P 500.  At the time of writing the major market futures are poised to open up to the upside. 

 

The Research Edge MACRO Team.

 

US STRATEGY – Buffett Rolls The Bones - S P500

 

US STRATEGY – Buffett Rolls The Bones - s pperf


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%

RETAIL FIRST LOOK: MASTERCARD READ THROUGH

TODAY’S CALL OUT

 

The key call out in Consumer over the past 24 hours is one that probably slipped right by most Consumer analysts. Diving into the composition of MasterCard’s results, it certainly does not support those who are banking on a rebound in underlying consumer patterns.

 

 

While showing continued progress on a number of fronts this quarter, MasterCard’s US credit card volume continues to show no meaningful signs of turning around. In fact, credit card volumes for the last three quarters now, on a year over year basis, have been: -16.9%, -18.9% and -17.9%; not the kinds of numbers that signal a recovery. Granted, the volumes have stabilized and importantly they have arrested the decline that was in place from 2Q08 through 1Q09, but since then we have yet to see them move decisively back towards the positive column, which is what we’d expect to see amid the backdrop of a real (vs. perceived) recovery.   For reference, credit card volumes are a better proxy than debit cards for the discretionary side of the US consumer’s wallet, as consumers tend to revolve discretionary items, whereas they put staples on debit cards which are paid in full at the time of purchase.

 

Expect to hear more from us in coming weeks about the consumer finance angle as it relates to driving spending. It matters big time...

 

RETAIL FIRST LOOK: MASTERCARD READ THROUGH - 11 4 2009 8 12 45 AM

 

 

LEVINE’S LOW DOWN

Some Notable Call Outs

 

  • Steve Madden management offered one of the more articulate looks into the M&A environment than I’ve heard in a while. The company is actively looking at making an acquisition, and is currently looking at deals in the $30-$40 million range. Additionally, the company actually has a Letter of Intent out on a deal that they expect to close by year end. Finally, the company is very focused on acquiring an athletic or athletic inspired brand. Now I guess we just sit back and wait for the press release...

 

  • According to Tweetbrands, a website that tracks the most commonly referenced brands on Twitter in real-time, Nike and Ikea are the only two retail or apparel names to crack the top 50. The relevance of such a tracking service is very low on a standalone, “snapshot in time” basis but we expect companies to watch closely both the frequency and context of real-time dialogue concerning their brands’ on Twitter and across other social networks.

 

  • While upfront orders still remain under some pressure, Ralph Lauren’s upside to its topline forecast was driven by strong acceptance of new products, a double-digit increase in replenishment, and the ability to accelerate shipments into the quarter to meet improving demand. Despite these positive sales drivers, management cautioned that wholesale customers still remain cautious in their ordering commitments through Spring and Summer ’10. As a result, it appears that “at once” orders and “read and react” will remain a key driver of near-term results should the demand environment remain better than forward orders would otherwise indicate.

 

 

MORNING NEWS 

 

 

China's Canton Fair Export Orders Rise on Christmas Demand - The Canton Fair, China’s biggest trade show, received 16 percent more export orders than six months ago as overseas demand for electronic gadgets and clothes picked up ahead of the Christmas shopping season. Contracts rose to $30.5 billion at the end of the 15-day expo in southern China’s Guangzhou, led by orders for machines, electronics and appliances, said the fair’s spokesman Chen Chaoren. European Union and U.S. buyers thronged the show, a barometer of foreign demand for local products, from Oct. 15, boosting visitor numbers by 14 percent, he said. <bloomberg.com>

 

Wal-Mart Settlement OK'd By Nevada Judge; Cuts Prices on Turkey, Televisions - Judge Philip Pro’s ruling in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas closed the book on 39 actions against the world’s largest retailer. The suits, filed in federal courts in 30 states, accused the company of cheating workers out of hourly wages by forcing them to work through breaks and other means. Wal-Mart said it would pay between $352 million and $640 million to settle the cases, but that the agreements would need individual court approval. In other news, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, cut prices on turkeys and plans reductions on flat-panel televisions to win holiday sales from rivals. U.S. stores are selling whole, 12-pound (5.4-kilogram) turkeys for 40 cents a pound starting today, Wal-Mart said in a statement. That’s a third of last Thanksgiving’s average price in a survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington. A a 42-inch Sharp Corp. flat-panel TV for $498, down $270 from its regular price, and a 46-inch model, which usually sells for $1,158, for $698, according to Wal-Mart. <wwd.com> <bloomberg.com>

 

Disney Wins Approval for Park in China’s Richest City - Walt Disney Co. won government approval to build a theme park in Shanghai, giving the world’s largest media company access to consumers in mainland China’s richest city. The agreement with China to construct Disney’s fourth park outside the U.S. “marks a very significant milestone,” Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger said in a statement. Disney and its Shanghai partners are now allowed to move toward a construction and operation agreement, the statement said. Disney’s foothold in mainland China comes after a decade of negotiations and will cost 24.5 billion yuan ($3.6 billion), according to Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po. <bloomberg.com>

 

October Shows Signs of Life for Retailers - On Thursday, when individual chains report their October sales, the industry is expected to post its strongest sales figures yet in this recession. Contrary to predictions made only a few weeks ago, the nation’s stores could be poised for a merrier Christmas this year than last. The latest sales figures come from his organization, which estimates sales for all forms of payment, including cash, checks and credit cards. They show, for example, that sales of women’s apparel increased 0.6 percent in October, the first positive figure since August 2008. However, women’s apparel sales are still 12.2 percent lower than in the heyday of consumer spending, in October 2007. That theme — up compared with last year, but still down compared with the height of the boom — played out across several retailing categories, including jewelry and luxury goods. <nytimes.com>

 

Industry Sees Positive Signs in California - Retailers and manufacturers in the nation’s most populous state said the battered economy seems to have bottomed out despite persistent high unemployment and state budget shortfalls. Signs of improvement are emerging as businesses stabilize after slashing costs and staff and revising their expectations and strategies. Retail buyers are placing new orders, as well as reorders, in a flurry of pent-up spending. And there are indications that some shoppers are beginning to crack open their wallets. Kohl’s opened 30 California stores in September — all in former Mervyns locations — and hired 4,200 employees in the Golden State. American Rag Cie, the specialty retail chain that has three locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Newport Beach, Calif., plans to expand its jeans section, World Denim Bar, as a stand-alone store with seven new units in California over the next two years. <wwd.com>

 

American Eagle's Times Square Screening - American Eagle’s four-floor, 25,000-square-foot flagship opening Nov. 19 in Times Square here is an entirely different animal for the retailer –— double the size of the next largest unit in the chain. In addition, the flagship, at 1551 Broadway at 46th Street, will have a 25-story interactive LED sign — that’s 15,000 square feet of outdoor electronic signage. All the wattage will be used to capture consumers’ attention. “They kind of know we’re here,” said Jim O’Donnell, chief executive officer of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. “Now they’ll really know we’re here.”As for the signage, the company plans to go big and bold and be “part of the Times Square landscape,” O’Donnell said. “We priced the signage and if we sold every inch of that screen out to third parties, we would offset the entire rent of the building. At some point we might do some cobranding with some companies.” <wwd.com>

 

Retailers Bet on Warm and Fuzzy Holiday Themes - Nostalgia and other emotions — visions of sugar plums, softly falling snow, reindeer and Santa — will be plentiful in holiday marketing campaigns but may not be enough to shake most American consumers out of their sleepy spending ways. Shoppers with tighter budgets and lower sights set on gift giving are struggling with worries about job security and high unemployment, depressed home values, flat personal income and tougher consumer credit terms. <wwd.com>

 

'Shoptimism' Book Tracks the American Consumer - Lee Eisenberg is totally consumed — with consumer culture. The author of “Shoptimism: Why the American Consumer Will Keep on Buying No Matter What” (Free Press) aims to find out why enough is never enough in the land of the shopper. He left no cash wrap uncovered, interviewing market researchers, demographers, behavioral economists and neuroeconomists, who use brain scans to determine what sets consumers’ hearts aflutter. In the course of his research, Eisenberg got a job at Target and donned the red shirt so that he could explore the dynamics of buying and selling from the point of view of the sales associate. <wwd.com>

 

New Balance Names Licensing Partner - New Balance announced on Tuesday that the firm has tapped Boston-based Klone Lab LLC, as the new U.S. licensing partner for all sandals and slides. The agreement is effective January 2010. Klone Lab has worked with various other footwear brands including Speedo, Reef, Timberland and Converse. The company will launch a collection of New Balance slides and sandals for the spring ’10 season, followed by kids’ and wellness footwear for spring ’11. <wwd.com>

 

 

INSIDER TRANSACTION ACTIVITY:

 

AMZN:

  • Thomas Szkutak, SVP & CFO, sold 70,000 shares for a gain of $8.3mm.
  • Jeffrey Wilke, SVP, sold 20,000 shares after exercising options to buy 20,000 shares for a net gain of $2.2mm.
  • Andrew Jassy, SVP, sold 15,000 shares after exercising options to buy 15,000 shares for a net gain of $1.7mm.

 

DECK: John Gibbons, Director, sold 2,1000 shares for a gain of $195k.


He's All In

Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”
-Warren Buffett
 
If the US stock market casino were to shut down for the next 10 years, I am not sure what Warren Buffett would do with his massive exposure to US financials, insurance, derivatives, etc… but don’t worry about that - he’s “All-In”.

Assuming Buffett is paying his new favorite banking friends the lion’s share of the fees associated with a $44B acquisition, is Buffett assuring us that Goldman is officially too big to fail, or too big not to pay? Approaching $200 Billion in enterprise value, is Berkshire too big to fail?
 
The answers to those questions are very straightforward, so instead of parroting the latest Buffett wager on America, understand not only how he gets paid, but the scenario whereby Berkshire doesn’t. His company is no longer about buying carpet and ice cream companies, holding them for 10 years, and harvesting the cash flows. Berkshire is an All-In, fully leveraged bet, on a levered long economy.
 
Notwithstanding that my senior thesis at Yale was about Buffett’s strategies and that I respect him tremendously, I have to look at yesterday’s $44B investment for what he called it – a Macro wager. At least he’s trying to make a serious dent in Berkshire’s exposure to the US Financial Service sector. Buying a big nasty railroad company will definitely diversify his holdings. If the commodity market shuts down for 10 years, maybe he’ll sell train rides to the Dairy Queen too.
 
If you can’t wakeup laughing at the US Financial System’s leadership, you probably aren’t awake. No matter where you go this morning, Warren Buffett and Goldman Sachs will still be looking for $3B in US tax credits from Fannie Mae. This isn’t about “value investing” anymore – at least not the kind that I learned from Graham & Dodd. This is about size.
 
Newsflash to the legions of Business School students of America who have been brainwashed by the ‘Bigger Is Better’ mantra for the last 3 decades: Bigger isn’t better. Bigger just means that we, the citizenry, really are All-In.
 
In and of itself, hearing Buffett talk in poker terms is emblematic of our ‘how much money does he make’ crackberry culture. Harvard’s Niall Fergusson ripped into Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi about this at an investment event last night. America needs to seriously wake up and smell the coffee here. The world’s economy is becoming increasingly interconnected at the same time as a bigger American unit of perceived financial wisdom loses credibility.
 
Today, the one and the only, Captain America, Ben Bernanke will likely drop moneys from the heavens, reiterating the compromised and conflicted message of the too big to fail. Never mind that price of gold ripping to $1098/oz yesterday boys. Oil at $80.34/barrel again this morning? Seriously, don’t worry about that either. You guys are All-In!
 
If you are amongst the remaining observers of America’s capital markets who aren’t willfully blind, I salute you. Kudlow bashing Obama is no more ridiculous than Buffett bashing Bush. Our politics have taken over the asylum of economic consensus, and that is both a very sad and dangerous thing.
 
We can’t flip two Democrat Governors for two Republican ones last night and say, “cool”, assuming this is part of the fix. We have to simply stop being political instead of being pragmatic, or the only world vote that matters is going to continue to crush us.
 
That world vote is issued, real-time, every second, of every day, via the marked-to-market price of the US Dollar. After rightfully respecting the fiduciary responsibility of being the world’s reserve currency during the Reagan and Clinton years (strong dollar policy’s that weren’t based solely on rhetoric), we are gambling it all away.
 
After all, on the topic of gambling, this is what the Oracle of Omaha himself had to say:
 
"To quite an extent, gambling is a tax on ignorance. I find it socially revolting when the government preys on the ignorance of its citizenry.”
 
Interesting advice Mr. Buffett. I hope Charlie reminded you of as much before you went All-In. America’s economic future is fully levered to this ‘All- In’ government sponsored mantra. It’s fear-mongering with a credible threat from the too big not to pay, and you know it. This is the house of cards that American leverage built, and  Brother Bernanke is tee’d up to roll the bones on the Burning Buck at 215PM EST. Rub the rabbit foot.
 
The immediate term TRADE line for the SP500 remains broken – that line is up at 1065. The intermediate term TREND line has held at 1025. Those are definitively critical lines whereby I suggest you manage risk as those with the perceived wisdom of the American casino place their next bets.
 
Best of luck out there today,
KM

 

 

LONG ETFS
 
EWZ – iShares Brazil President Lula da Silva is the most economically effective of the populist Latin American leaders; on his watch policy makers have kept inflation at bay with a high rate policy and serviced debt –leading to an investment grade credit rating. Brazil has managed its interest rate to promote stimulus. Brazil is a major producer of commodities. We believe the country’s profile matches up well with our reflation call.

EWT – iShares Taiwan With the introduction of “Panda Diplomacy” Taiwan has found itself growing closer to mainland China. Although the politics remain awkward, the business opportunities are massive and the private sector, now almost fully emerged from state dominance, has rushed to both service “the client” and to make capital investments there.  With an export industry base heavily weighted towards technology and communications equipment, Taiwanese companies are in the right place at the right time to catch the wave of increased consumer spending spurred by Beijing’s massive stimulus package.

XLU – SPDR Utilities We bought low beta Utilities on discount (down 1%) on 10/20. TRADE and TREND bearish.

FXC – CurrencyShares Canadian Dollar We bought the Canadian Dollar on a big pullback on 10/20 and again on 10/28. The TREND and TAIL lines for the Canadian Dollar remain bullish.

EWG – iShares Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel won reelection with her pro-business coalition partners the Free Democrats. We expect to see continued leadership from her team with a focus on economic growth, including tax cuts. We believe that Germany’s powerful manufacturing capacity remains a primary structural advantage; with fundamentals improving in a low CPI/interest rate environment, we expect slow but steady economic improvement from Europe’s largest economy.

GLD – SPDR Gold We bought back our long standing bullish position on gold on a down day on 9/14 with the threat of US centric stagflation heightening.   

XLV – SPDR Healthcare We’re finally getting the correction we’ve been calling for in Healthcare. We like defensible growth with an M&A tailwind. Our Healthcare sector head Tom Tobin remains bullish on fading the “public plan” at a price.

 

CYB – WisdomTree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan The Yuan is a managed floating currency that trades inside a 0.5% band around the official PBOC mark versus a FX basket. Not quite pegged, not truly floating; the speculative interest in the Yuan/USD forward market has increased dramatically in recent years. We trade the ETN CYB to take exposure to this managed currency in a managed economy hoping to manage our risk as the stimulus led recovery in China dominates global trade.

TIP – iShares TIPS The iShares etf, TIP, which is 90% invested in the inflation protected sector of the US Treasury Market currently offers a compelling yield. We believe that future inflation expectations are currently mispriced and that TIPS are a efficient way to own yield on an inflation protected basis, especially in the context of our re-flation thesis.

 
SHORT ETFS
 
XLI – SPDR Industrials Industrials shot up +1.1% on 11/3 because of a monster Berkshire bid. That’s now in the price of XLI. We’ll short expectations for V-shaped recovery.

EWU – iShares UK Despite areas of improvement, broader fundamentals remain shaky in the UK: government debt continues to expand, leadership in critical positions lacks, and the country’s leverage to the banking sector remains glaringly negative.  Q3 saw its GDP contract by -0.4%. The announcement of further bank stimulus and talk of the BOE increasing its bond purchasing program suggest that this will not end well.

XLY – SPDR Consumer Discretionary We shorted Howard Penney’s view on Consumer Discretionary stocks on 10/30. The sector is broken from an immediate term TRADE perspective.

EWJ – iShares Japan While a sweeping victory for the Democratic Party of Japan has ended over 50 years of rule by the LDP bringing some hope to voters; the new leadership  appears, if anything, to have a less developed recovery plan than their predecessors. We view Japan as something of a Ponzi Economy -with a population maintaining very high savings rate whose nest eggs allow the government to borrow at ultra low interest levels in order to execute stimulus programs designed to encourage people to save less. This cycle of internal public debt accumulation (now hovering at close to 200% of GDP) is anchored to a vicious demographic curve that leaves the Japanese economy in the long-term position of a man treading water with a bowling ball in his hands.

UUP – PowerShares US Dollar We re-shorted the US Dollar on strength on 10/20. There continues to be no government plan to support it.

FXB – CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling The Pound is the only major currency that looks remotely as precarious as the US Dollar. We shorted the Pound into strength on 10/16.

SHY – iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bonds  If you pull up a three year chart of 2-Year Treasuries you'll see the massive macro Trend of interest rates starting to move in the opposite direction. We call this chart the "Queen Mary" and its new-found positive slope means that America's cost of capital will start to go up, implying that access to capital will tighten. Yields are going to continue to make higher-highs and higher lows until consensus gets realistic.


THE M3: OCTOBER REVENUE, SANDS CHINA & MACAU EXPORTS

The Macau Metro Monitor. November 4th, 2009.



 

MACAU’S GROSS GAMING REVENUE RECORDS US$1.58 BILLION IN OCTOBER macaunews.com.mo

Macau’s gross gaming revenue recorded a new high last night at US$1.58 billion (MOP12.6 billion), an increase of 42% as compared with October last year, according to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.  Lusa said that provisional figures show that last month’s revenue was greater than the previous record month of August by some MOP1.4 billion.  The good performance in October was certainly aided by the “Golden Week” celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.



 

SANDS CHINA TIPS 17% EARNINGS RISE scmp.com

Sands China, the Macau unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp that is hoping to raise US$2.5 billion in a Hong Kong initial share sale, said that earnings might rise 17% this year as casino revenues recover.  The company said, in a draft listing prospectus filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange, that adjusted EBITDAR would not be less than US$802.9 million this year, from US$686 last year.  Cost cuts and rising casino revenue in the third quarter have helped offset the impact of the global economic downturn, the outbreak of swine flu, and visa restrictions for mainland customers, the company said.  The draft prospectus said that Sands Macau’s profit may rise 9.5% to US$192.4 million this year.

 



MACAU’S EXPORTS FALL 55% FOR JANUARY TO SEPTEMBER macauhub.com

Macau’s exports fell by 55% to MOP5.78 billion between January and September compared with the same period the previous year, according to the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC).  The DSEC also said that imports for the January to September reached MOP26.45 billion (US$3.3 billion), a fall of 19.3% compared to the value posted for the same period in 2008.  From January to September, exports to Macau’s main markets, the United States, the EU, and China, were down 79.3%, 59.6%, and 45.4%, respectively.







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