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Takeaway: New Home Sales for June were a disappointment and usher in the seasonally-soft third quarter performance period for Housing equities.

Our Hedgeye Housing Compendium table (below) aspires to present the state of the housing market in a visually-friendly format that takes about 30 seconds to consume.


NHS | #THUD - Compendium 072415 


Today's Focus: June New Home Sales 

It’s generally difficult to characterize +18% YoY growth as disappointing but with sales retreating -6.6% sequentially (vs +0.3% estimates) along with negative revisions to both April and May, New Home Sales in June could be aptly characterized as a dud. 


On the supply side, the inventory of new homes rose +5.4% month-over-month to 215K on a unit basis while accelerating +230 bps sequentially to +9.1% YoY.  Geographically, sales declined sequentially across all regions except the Northeast while year-over-year sales growth was positive across all geographies with growth of +23% and +24% in the Northeast and South, respectively, leading the gains. As a percentage of the total market, New Home share dropped to just 8.1% in June (LT average =  ~11.4%) as existing sales made another post-crisis high in the latest month. 


As it relates to New Construction activity, we highlighted the distortion in the May/June Starts data last week but it’s worth a quick re-iteration.  The +295% YoY growth in MF permits in the Northeast ahead of the impending NYC tax exemption expiry helped augment the Total Starts figures for a second month in June and drove MF share of total up to a 42-year high.  A reversal of that pull forward sets the stage for a potential retreat/disappointment in the reported July data.      


IS GOOD, GOOD ENOUGH? | CONCEPTUAL REDUX:  We titled our 3Q15 Housing Themes Presentation IS GOOD, GOOD ENOUGH?.  The deck is over 120 slides of data intensive analysis but the overarching theme can be sufficiently captured conceptually:  The Housing data in 3Q will be “good” but the large-scale positive reversal we’ve seen over the last ~9-months is now rearview, the comps get tougher after the reported June data and we don’t have any discrete catalysts in the nearer-term.   Further, performance seasonality in the stocks is recurrent and pervasive and 3Q represents the soft-patch period.   


From a longer-term perspective, the mean reversion upside to average & peak levels of activity (recall: housing cycles are long and autocorrelated) remains both conspicuous and compelling, but the asymmetry in the setup and the leverage to our expectation for a positive inflection in both fundamentals and investor attitudes when we reversed to bullish back in November of last-year has, in large part, played out.  


Again, we think the data will remain “good”  -  with Purchase Application demand flat sequentially in 3Q (but holding near 2Y highs) and NHS declining in the latest month (but still above the TTM ave) “good” is proving an apt adjective -  but, tactically, the prospect for aggregate builder outperformance in the near-term carries a diminished probability.  Here, the Title Insurers and Mortgage Insurers offer some tactical cover while moving upstream towards larger cap/lower beta/liquidity/quality style factors make sense in terms of direct builder exposure.  



NHS | #THUD - NHS   SF Starts




NHS | #THUD - NHS Comps


NHS | #THUD - EHS to NHS Ratio


NHS | #THUD - NHS Inventory






NHS | #THUD - NHS Mean   Median Price




About New Home Sales:

Each month the Census Department releases the New Home Sales report, which measures the number of newly constructed homes that have been sold in the month. The difference between the New Home Sales report and the Starts and Permits report is that New Home Sales only includes single family spec homes built and sold by builders, and does not include condos, apartments, or owner-built units. This is why New Home Sales typically run at roughly half the rate of Starts.



Joshua Steiner, CFA


Christian B. Drake


RTA Live: July 24, 2015

Below is the replay from today's edition of RTA Live.



DE: Removing Deere In Exchange for Foot Locker (FL) - Bear Side

Please note that we are removing Deere from Investing Ideas today (bear side) and replacing it with Foot Locker (also bear side). Please see brief explanation below from Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough.

*  *  *  *  *

DE: Removing Deere In Exchange for Foot Locker (FL) - Bear Side - z8fl

Like we did with Shake Shack (SHAK), we’re trying to give you a look-inside our Institutional Research #process where NOT buying the all-time highs in names is an important risk management decision for long-term investors.


We’ll keep the SELL ideas list fresh for you so that there’s a flow of new research information. Especially at #LateCycle market tops (they are processes, not points), timing matters.


Now that DE has backed off its highs, we’ll exchange it with FL (at its highs).


P: Good Print, Odd Pivot (2Q15)

Takeaway: P's new plan to ramp 2H15 marketing expense is an odd pivot this late in the year. Mgmt may be getting more nervous about Web IV.


  1. GOOD PRINT: P produced upside to 2Q estimates on a reacceleration in ad revenue growth, and also guided high 3Q15 revenues (we expected soft 3Q guidance).  The biggest surprise from 2Q15 was a sharp acceleration in Advertising RPMs growth (up 25% vs. 15% in 1Q15), which on a stand-alone basis would be very encouraging, but was largely fueled by a sharp deceleration in listener hour growth from fewer skipped tracks (enhanced user customization).  The one blemish was the consensus miss on Active Listeners, which we continue to expect will decline y/y by 4Q15.  Regardless, a better print than we expected.
  2. ODD PIVOT: P softened its tone a bit regarding Web IV, suggesting that it’s planning for a range of potential outcomes, which is naturally the prudent move, and not a concern.  But what caught us by surprise was P's new plan to ramp 2H15 marketing expenses.  P left 2015 EBITDA guidance in tact despite net 1H15 upside ~$12M, which is supposedly going toward incremental 2H15 marketing.  For context, marketing spend was $17.6M in 1H15, and $16.4M for all of 2014.  We suspect this marketing ramp is either a sign that P is increasingly concerned with its attrition OR that P is trying to make a late push into its higher-ARPU subscription product ahead of a potentially crippling Web IV decision for ad-focused model.  Either way, it’s an odd pivot this late in year, especially following closing arguments for Web IV this past Tuesday.  
  3. WEB IV IS ALL THAT MATTERS:  We have been writing about this ad nauseam, so we'll keep this brief, and refer you to the links below.  We expect P is going to lose the one debate that it can't (bifurcated royalty), and our take from Web IV final arguments is that P will be the odd man out from the tacit horse trading between SX and NAB/IHRT.  For more detail, see links below.  


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


Hesham Shaaban, CFA






P: Notes from WebIV Closing Arguments

07/22/15 01:26 PM EDT

[click here]


P: Losing the Critical Debate?

04/08/15 08:53 AM EDT

[click here]


P: Worst-Case Scenario? (Web IV)

03/23/15 09:30 AM EDT

[click here]


P: Webcaster IV = Powder Keg

01/13/15 02:49 PM EST

[click here]







July 24 11am-2pm:  PENN Plainridge tour and investor day

July 28 8:30am: WYN 2Q CC ; PW: WYNDHAM

July 29 10:00am: HLT 2Q CC ; PW: 74328196

July 30 9:00am: HST 2Q CC

July 30 10:00am: MAR 2Q CC ; PW: 66506287

July 30 1:00pm: HOT 2Q CC ; PW: 69941686

July 31 10:00am: RCL 2Q CC 

August 1

  • Wild Rose Jefferson opens
  • St Regis Macau opens

August 4: 11:00am: MGM 2Q CC ; PW: 0575269

August 4: 5:00pm: AWAY 2Q CC

August 6: 8:30-1pm: RCL INVESTOR DAY (NYSE)


MPEL - Declining GGR risks need for austerity from Macau gaming operators, according to Lawrence Ho, CEO of MPEL

  • “As the [Macau] Secretary for Finance said, this [GGR monthly tally] is kind of right at the level where the [Macau] government might need to look at austerity measures, which would be less than ideal,” Ho said.
  • “If the government is looking at austerity measures, maybe a lot of other businesses – including gaming operators – will have to look at it as well,” he added. He did not say what those cost-cutting measures could be, according to media reports
  • Ho also said they will soon announce the opening date for Studio City, which is 95% complete.



MGM - A 15% to 25% loss in gaming revenue was possible if a blanket smoking ban would be imposed on casinos, as had been the case in other gaming jurisdictions, MGM China CEO Grant Bowie said Thursday.  Bowie insisted that smoking lounges were a “very good compromise” vis-à-vis the government’s proposal to impose a full smoking ban on all gaming premises, comprising mass gaming floors and VIP rooms.



McCarran Passenger Traffic - Las Vegas Intl. Airport reported the following traffic numbers for June: 

  • Total passenger traffic was 3,911,813 vs. 3,698,373 in June of 2014, good for a 5.8% YoY increase
  • June's numbers bring the YTD total to 22.1 million vs 21.2 million in 2014, a 3.8% YoY increase.
  • Domestic passengers made up 3,533,752 of the total, a 5.7% YoY increase
  • International made up 291,011 of the total, a 3.8% YoY increase. 
  • Helicopter passengers made up 87,050 of the total, a 15.3% YoY increase. 

LEISURE LETTER (07/24/2015) - MPEL, MGM, CCL - McCarran June Numbers

Takeaway: McCarran continues to exhibit strong visitation numbers.

Louisiana GGR June - SSS: (8.25%) YoY 

Takeaway: Smoking ban taking its toll. June overall was a little softer than expectations but we are projecting a strong July comeback, potentially up 5% in same store regional gaming revenue.


South Korea Visitation- The number of foreign tourists visiting South Korea fell 41% YoY in June, due to fears about an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in that country, statistics showed and officials confirmed.  South Korean casino operator Paradise Co Ltd – which runs venues catering only for foreign players – saw a 50.2% YoY decline in casino sales in June, the firm had said in a filing to the Korea Exchange on July 6.  The June 2015 inbound tourism numbers showed approximately 750,900 arrivals, compared to 1.27 million in the year-prior period, said the Korea Tourism Organization.



Malta Cruise Traffic - Cruise passenger statistics published for the second quarter of 2015 show a 66.4% YoY increase for Malta.  The number of cruise ships calling in the Maltese Islands grew from 89 calls in April to June 2014 to 108 calls this year. For the first six months of the year, traffic is up 39.9% YoY.  Malta’s cruise sector is on a growth curve particularly as a result of a number of positive initiatives, said the tourism authority, ranging from strong performance by MSC and Costa, along with TUI homeporting.



UBER in Las Vegas - Cab company owners attending Thursday's Nevada Taxicab Authority session called it the most important meeting in the board'€™s history.  An industry proposal that deregulates several aspects of cab licensing won approval, setting the stage for a more competitive environment between cabbies and contracted Uber and Lyft drivers.  

  • Owners applauded after the board's 4-0 vote that will eliminate time and geographic restrictions on cab medallions and convert them to around-the-clock use in any location in the county. The board also approved the addition of 20 new medallions per company, 10 immediately and 10 more effective Nov. 1. That'€™s 320 more cabs between the 16 companies.

  • The move effectively allows cab companies to convert 791 time-restricted medallions and 433 geographically restricted medallions to unlimited use.

  • The end result is that there will be nearly twice as many unrestricted cabs, 2,730 compared with 1,443, on the road once every restriction is lifted.


Takeaway: Taxis trying to remain competitive with Uber.


Hedgeye Macro Team is incrementally bearish on U.S. consumption growth, based on the consumer's continued efforts to deleverage their household balance sheet combined with the peaking of consumer confidence and stagnating labor productivity.   

Takeaway:  For now, US regional gaming slowed in June but North American cruise pricing still doing well.

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