HIBB | The Beginning of the End?

Takeaway: We have a hard time modeling a scenario where HIBB does not get cut in half. $1.50 in EPS vs Street at $3.85. Still one of our top 3 shorts.

HIBB, one of our top Retail Shorts, preannounced a miss after the close. There’s a number of things that concern us.

1) Comps came in at -1.1% for the quarter. The company was +low double digits through the first 21 days of May. That suggests that June and July were horrible.

2) This is the first time in 23 quarters where the 2-year comp trend for HIBB went negative.

3)  Even worse is that management notes ‘underlying business softness’ as one of the factors. That’s actually pretty unusual for HIBB. Whether business is good or bad, the company usually has a firm grasp on what’s driving its sales. This time, there’s a notable lack of rationale or understanding for such a significant turn in trends.

4) There was also no guidance provided beyond the quarter. In the past, HIBB would usually provide a full-year update as well.

5) Our sense on this is that HIBB is feeling the brunt of why we’re bearish…

a) It has no e-commerce business, and that’s where the incremental growth in the industry is coming from. Simply put, HIBB is finally starting to lose share to dot.com.
b) It is feeling the pain of overlap with Dick’s, Academy, and Sports Authority as HIBB grows outside of the Bible Belt (bad idea) and as those other retailers grow in HIBB’s home turf.

6) Nike is absolutely killing it just about everywhere in the US -- except at Hibbett? That makes zero sense to us as Nike is about 60% of Hibbett’s footwear wall.

7) The question for us at this point is whether this turn of events will finally cause HIBB to accelerate its decision to start up an e-commerce business.

a) If the answer is Yes, then we think there’ll be about a 3-5 point hit in margins for 2-years before we see any notable revenue benefit.
b) It the answer is no, then expect continued ‘unexpected’ top line weakness and earnings misses.


From where we sit, both outcomes are bad. But knowing this management team, we think they need to get one or two more black eyes before stepping up and making the big investment in e-comm. 


Either way, we think that the end-game is margins getting cut in half, and about $1.50 in earnings in three years. That’s a pretty massive statement given that the consensus is at $3.85. What kind of multiple do you put on a name with shrinking earnings and 60% downside to consensus? Even if we generously say 15x a trough-ish EPS number, we’re talking about a $22 stock. The stock is trading after-hours at $43. If you’re tempted to cover – don’t.



Another French Revolution?

"Don't be complacent," writes Hedgeye Managing Director Neil Howe. "Tectonic shifts are underway in France. Is there the prospect of the new Sixth Republic? C'est vraiment possible."

read more

Cartoon of the Day: The Trend is Your Friend

"All of the key trending macro data suggests the U.S. economy is accelerating," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough says.

read more

A Sneak Peek At Hedgeye's 2017 GDP Estimates

Here's an inside look at our GDP estimates versus Wall Street consensus.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Green Thumb

So far, 64 of 498 companies in the S&P 500 have reported aggregate sales and earnings growth of 6.1% and 16.8% respectively.

read more

Europe's Battles Against Apple, Google, Innovation & Jobs

"“I am very concerned the E.U. maintains a battle against the American giants while doing everything possible to sustain so-called national champions," writes economist Daniel Lacalle. "Attacking innovation doesn’t create jobs.”

read more

An Open Letter to Pandora Management...

"Please stop leaking information to the press," writes Hedgeye Internet & Media analyst Hesham Shaaban. "You are getting in your own way, and blowing up your shareholders in the process."

read more

A 'Toxic Cocktail' Brewing for A Best Idea Short

The first quarter earnings pre-announcement today is not the end of the story for Mednax (MD). Rising labor costs and slowing volume is a toxic cocktail...

read more

Energy Stocks: Time to Buy? Here's What You Need to Know

If you're heavily-invested in Energy stocks it's been a heck of a year. Energy is the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 year-to-date and value investors are now hunting for bargains in the oil patch. Before you buy, here's what you need to know.

read more

McCullough: ‘My 1-Minute Summary of My Institutional Meetings in NYC Yesterday’

What are even some of the smartest investors in the world missing right now?

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Political Portfolio Positioning

Leave your politics out of your portfolio.

read more

Jim Rickards Answers the Hedgeye 21

Bestselling author Jim Rickards says if he could be any animal he’d be a T-Rex. He also loves bonds and hates equities. Check out all of his answers to the Hedgeye 21.

read more

Amazon's New 'Big Idea': Ignore It At Your Own Peril

"We all see another ‘big idea’ out of Amazon (or the press making one up) just about every day," writes Retail Sector Head Brian McGough. "But whatever you do, DON’T ignore this one!"

read more