McGough: Why Restoration Hardware Shares Are Headed Even Higher | $RH

In a special guest appearance on The Macro Show on Friday, Hedgeye’s Retail Sector Head Brian McGough discusses why Restoration Hardware’s stock has worked (and why this is just the beginning of the RH growth story).

The Week Ahead

The Economic Data calendar for the week of the 14th of September through the 18th of September is full of critical releases and events.  Here is a snapshot of some of the headline numbers that we will be focused on.




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Investing Ideas Newsletter

Takeaway: Current Investing Ideas: WAB, ZBH, GLD, MCD, RH, LNKD, ZOES, FNGN, FL, PENN, GIS, EDV & TLT

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Below are our analysts’ updates on our thirteen current high conviction long and short investing ideas. Please note that we added Wabtec (WAB) to the short bench this week. In addition, we removed Utilities (XLU) from the long side. We feature CEO Keith McCullough’s updated levels for each ticker below.  


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Trade :: Trend :: Tail Process - These are three durations over which we analyze investment ideas and themes. Hedgeye has created a process as a way of characterizing our investment ideas and their risk profiles, to fit the investing strategies and preferences of our subscribers.

  • "Trade" is a duration of 3 weeks or less
  • "Trend" is a duration of 3 months or more
  • "Tail" is a duration of 3 years or les



To view our analyst's original note on Restoration Hardware: CLICK HERE


This was a textbook print from Restoration Hardware – or for any company, for that matter. In case you missed it, shares finished Friday's trading up over +9%.


RH put up the best comp in all of US retail this quarter with 16% brand comp and 19% store comp. That drove 26% EBIT growth and 27% EPS growth.  RH beat by a penny, but took up the lower end of the year by $0.03 more than the 2Q beat. That upside is coming entirely in the fourth quarter, and as we suspected this all allowed RH to set the bar low for 3Q as revenue from new businesses will not be booked until 3Q closes in October.


We think all of this sets up for a beat in another 90 days, at the same time square footage growth is accelerating to 29% vs 7% in 2Q, new concepts (RH Modern/RH Teen) are in full swing, and EPS is growing 40%+. This is going to be a rough time for the bears – especially with 25% of the float short.


Transformational stories like Restoration Hardware are not linear, and this one certainly has not been. The stock chart over three years certainly proves that. But it also proves that the people who bought on quarterly noise have made money almost without fail.


If the market decides to sell off based on lower guidance in 3Q (i.e. if the after-market gains reverse), then consider it a gift.  Fundamentally and financially, we’re about to see growth at RH go on a multi-year tear. We think this stock is headed to $300 over the next 2-3 years. We’ve been patient for the catalyst calendar to begin, and the waiting is finally over.


Our Healthcare Sector Head Tom Tobin published a stock report on Zimmer Biomet for Investing Ideas subscribers on Friday. Click here to access.


We added Wabtec to the short bench on Friday. Our Industrials Sector Head Jay Van Sciver will send out a full stock report in the upcoming week.


The report below was written by Financials Co-Sector Head Jonathan Casteleyn.


Financial Engines' fundamentals are solid as we expect strong 3Q15 net fund raising, a continuation from solid 2Q results, sourced by ongoing marketing campaigns in the quarter.


While market depreciation will be a drag (depending on exactly where beta returns shake out), we remind investors that the company is still in the seasonally strongest part of the year for AUM wins as marketing campaigns are most active in the middle two quarters historically.


Our research shows that the stock's return has been positive every 4th quarter calendar period since coming public with an average return of 22.6%. This stronger performance should carry through to the beginning of 2016 as the company prepares for the Wells Fargo catalyst (we calculate a $0.11 per share earnings opportunity as WFC starts to provide the firm's advisory services).


With a recent 2 standard deviation move in the company's valuation, but no fundamental change in our estimated $1.3 trillion in assets-under-contract (AUC) opportunity, we highlight mean reversion providing a rebound in the stock price.


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To view our analyst Hesham Shaaban's original note on LinkedIn: CLICK HERE


We just received our first 3Q15 update to our LinkedIn tracker. This tool gauges the strength of the selling environment for LNKD’s salesforce.  Our tracker is suggesting that the selling environment is not only improving, but doing so at an accelerating rate into 3Q15; suggesting that the organic guidance cut on LNKD’s last earnings release was not the result of any negative inflection in LNKD’s fundamental prospects.


We remain long LNKD into its next earnings release. 


We’re expecting a clean beat and raise, which we expect will be a positive catalyst for the stock, especially given the current dearth of good Internet longs. 


The update below was written by our Gaming, Lodging & Leisure team.


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Bottom Line here?


September regional gaming revenue growth should accelerate meaningfully from August and provide a catalyst for the stock. Our bull thesis on PENN appears very much intact.


Our Consumer Staples team has no material update on General Mills this week. They reiterate their bullish long-term thesis on GIS shares.


Shares of Zoës Kitchen were up +5.4% this week, compared to a +1.7% rise for the S&P 500.


Our Restaurants team has no material update on ZOES. The company remains on their Best Ideas list as a long. In our team's eyes, ZOES represents the best growth story in the restaurants sector.


Sector Head Howard Penney believes the recent downturn in the stock represents an excellent buying opportunity for longer term investors. 


To view our original note on McDonald's: CLICK HERE


McDonald’s remains on the Hedgeye Restaurants Best Ideas list as a long.


The company is one of Sector Head Howard Penney's favorite names. He thinks McDonald's is finally emerging from the doldrums and is doing everything they need to do to fix the company domestically.


Penney believes there is not only a huge inflection point coming for the profitability of the company, but also for their sales. He thinks this means Wendy’s, Jack In the Box, Sonic will suffer a bit as MCD begins to take its market share back. 


The best characterization of our short Foot Locker call is that the company has done everything right over this economic cycle, such that it took net margins from -2% to +7%, and drove RNOA from 5% to 28%. As such, FL is sitting today at a peak multiple on what we believe to be peak earnings (and almost certainly peak earnings growth).


The problem is the lack of runway in key earnings drivers, like  changing up store banners, closing underperforming assets, and taking Nike up to 80% (from 60%). They were all tremendous profitability and margin enhancers. Unfortunately, they are irreplicable.


There are almost no more stores left to close outside of the normal course of business, asset swapping opportunities between banners (Locker, Lady, Champs…) are few and far between, and Nike shifting above 80% of sales – already an exceedingly unhealthy level – is very slim. In fact, one could argue that FL is Nike’s best off-balance sheet asset.


This week we rolled out our new Macro Overlay video series. This new addition is exclusively for Investing Ideas subscribers. When conditions warrant, Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough will distill and contextualize current global macro and market developments and the key takeaways you can apply to the names on our Investing Ideas list.  If you didn’t have a chance to view it, please click here.


In a higher volatility, growth-slowing environment, you want low-beta exposure (stocks that move less than the market) and a larger allocation to long-term Treasuries.


In the video above, Keith rank-orders our top investing ideas positions from a fundamental macro and style factor perspective (low-beta, big cap liquidity, slower growth):


  1. Treasuries (TLT)
  2. “Something that looks like Treasuries” (EDV)
  3. Gold (GLD)
  4. Low-Beta, Big-Cap liquidity: McDonalds
  5. Low-Beta, Big Cap Liquidity: General Mills


To be clear, we have no idea what the Fed will say or do next week.


We do know that:


  1. They should have started raising rates in September 2013
  2. Tightening into a slowdown isn’t within the framework of modern day central policy


We can only stick to what the top-down market signals and ebb and flow of economic data suggests. We have a high amount of conviction that global growth continues to slow. We like long-duration bonds (TLT, EDV), and Gold (GLD) exposure if the Fed takes a dovish policy turn next week.


That said, our net exposure to any asset class would be next to nothing until the event is digested. For longer term investors, we remain long of the three aforementioned tickers (TLT, EDV, GLD).


If you are a shorter-term investor, please see here for the Real-Time Alert in TLT that we sent to subscribers on Friday (which precipitated our removal of Utilities (XLU) from Investing Ideas). We hope that it helps to bridge the gap between the two products (Real-Time Alerts being shorter-term and more tactical vs. Investing Ideas which caters to the intermediate or longer-term investor).


We recognize and appreciate that our current allocation may put some people to sleep. But, as we have mentioned repeatedly, our job in this tumultuous environment is to not lose money.


Our macro team circulated some content over different airwaves this week to highlight just how extended stock market valuations currently sit, even with the recent drawdown. Please note that we don’t anchor on valuation to manage everyday risk, but the interpretation of this data points to one of our key macro themes: #LATECYCLE


  • Shiller PE:  Remains above 24x (price to avg. trailing 10-year earnings ratio for S&P 500 stocks as a whole) and sits just south of the top decile of its historical range.  Mapping the Shiller PE by decile vs subsequent market performance suggests return expectations should move systematically lower alongside incremental increases in valuation
  • Tobin’s Q:  Historically, at extremes, Tobin’s Q has served as a solid lead signal for subsequent market performance.  Currently, the q-ratio sits at ~1.06 which is greater than 1.3 standard deviations above the long-term mean value – a level that has generally not been a harbinger of positive forward returns historically.
  • S&P 500 Market Cap-to-GDP:  Assuming the collective output of SPX constituents credibly reflects aggregate national production (or serves as a credible proxy for it), the Market Capitalization-to-GDP ratio effectively represents a price-to-sales multiple for the economy.  At current levels we are well above both the LT average and the 2007 highs.  

Please see the chart below which is an aggregation of Shiller P/E, Tobin’s Q, and S&P 500 Market Cap-to-GDP.


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Early Look

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Stock Report: Zimmer Biomet (ZBH)

Takeaway: We added Zimmer Biomet to Investing Ideas on the short side on 9/4.

Stock Report: Zimmer Biomet (ZBH) - z 1 ZBH table 9 11 15




Zimmer Biomet (ZBH) is in the crosshairs of a number of our Healthcare themes. 


The first, and specific to ZBH, is our view that the demographic drivers of knee joint replacement are well past peak and in a secular decline.  We did what we believe is a thorough analysis of the contribution of aging and obesity to the population of people with severe osteoarthritis of the knee.  What we found was a market that peaked in 1990s and has likely drawn down the majority of eligible patients as implant rates per capita rose faster than the underlying patient population growth. 


Second, affordability of medical spending has peaked in the United States with deflationary pressures mounting and being expressed through policy changes alongside the broadening adoption of IT systems.  Better information systems and price transparency are likely to have an increasingly negative impact on device costs with orthopedic devices sitting at the top of the spending list.  


On a related note, Medicare recently initiated an aggressive global payment policy (CCRJ) which we expect to create a strong incentive for providers to pressure device costs. 


We believe the #ACATaper is emerging over the coming months as the newly insured revert to spending levels similar levels as seen with typical insured populations.  We’ve documented several instances where the newly insured consumed medical care at elevated rates during the initial rollout of this historic program, with evidence that knee replacement volume saw a dramatic increase.


Lastly, the Biomet merger (while accretive) is not the solution for ZBH shares.  Cost synergies are rarely a positive when organic growth is slowing.  


INTERMEDIATE TERM (TREND) (the next 3 months or more)


We do not expect fundamental misses of dramatic size in the intermediate term.  However, employment growth slowing and fears of a recession will certainly dampen investor appetite for what is viewed as an elective procedure.  



LONG-TERM (TAIL) (the next 3 years or less)


Our team's long-term view calls for slowing/declining unit volume and deteriorating pricing.  The impact to gross margins should be significant with very little spending flexibility within the organization. 


Stock Report: Zimmer Biomet (ZBH) - z 2 ZBH chart 9 11 15

HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull

Takeaway: Futures maintained their recently strong activity levels bringing QTD activity to +7% y/y growth, breaking out of a summer lull.

Weekly Activity Wrap Up

The Labor Day holiday couldn't pause futures activity (the combination of CME Group and ICE Futures U.S. activity) which came in strongly this week at an average 18.9 million contracts per day, exceeding the third-quarter-to-date average of 18.7 million. That brings the third quarter to a +7% year-over-year and +6% quarter-over-quarter expansion. Our Best Idea in the sector continues to be the CME Group (CME). As the chart below shows, volatility tends to be seasonally high as we move into the "back to work" months of September and October and CME Group exchange volumes have already begun to benefit from this trend. See our recent note on the company which highlights the back-end-loaded nature of the stock's returns given historical Fall volatility and a year-end special dividend.


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon18


U.S. cash equity and options activity for the week were both lower than their 3QTD averages in light of the holiday. However, both categories continue to show impressive year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter growth. U.S. cash equity volume averaged 6.8 billion shares this week, bringing the third quarter to a 7.3 billion ADV, an expansion of +29% Y/Y and +15% Q/Q. U.S. equity options activity averaged 15.7 million contracts this week. Year-over-year growth in U.S. options is tracking at +17%.


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon1


U.S. Cash Equity Detail

U.S. cash equity trading finished the week at 6.8 billion shares traded which is blending to a 7.3 billion daily average thus far for the 3rd quarter of 2015. This is +29% year-over-year growth for U.S. stock activity. The market share battle for volume is mixed. The New York Stock Exchange/ICE's share of third-quarter volume remains at 24%. NASDAQ's share also remained unchanged week over week at 19%, 100 bps lower than last year, a -4% decline.


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon2


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon3


U.S. Options Detail

U.S. options activity came in at a 15.7 million ADV this week which is blending 3Q15 activity to 18.4 million contracts per day, up +22% quarter-over-quarter and +17% year-over-year. The market share battle amongst venues continues to be one of losses at both the NYSE/ICE and NASDAQ. NYSE has lost 400 basis points of share year-over-year settling at just 18% of options trading currently. NASDAQ has shed 300 basis points of share, good for a -15% loss from last year as ISE/Deutsche Boerse and BATS mop up volume and share.


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon4


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon5


U.S. Futures Detail

CME Group volume came in this week at 15.0 million contracts. That blends 3Q15 volume to a 14.6 million average level, a +8% year-over-year expansion. Additionally, CME open interest, the most important beacon of forward activity, continues in strong fashion. 104.8 million CME contracts are pending, good for +25% growth over the 84.1 million pending at the beginning of 2014, an expansion from the prior week's +23%.


Activity levels on the futures side at ICE hit 3.9 million contracts this week, with 3Q15 blending to a 4.1 million daily average, a +2% year-over-year expansion. ICE open interest this week tallied 64.9 million contracts, a -6% contraction versus the 69.2 million contracts open at the beginning of 2014, an improvement from the prior week's -8%.


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon6


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Monthly Historical View

Monthly activity levels give a broader perspective of exchange based trends. As volatility levels, measured by the VIX, MOVE, and FX Vol should rise to normal levels after the drastic compression this cycle, we expect all marketplaces to experience higher activity levels.


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon10


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon11


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 HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon15


Sector Revenue Exposure

The exchange sector has broadly diversified its revenue exposure over 10 years as public entities with varying top line sensitivity to the enclosed trading volume data. The table below highlights how trading volumes will flow through the various operating models at NASDAQ, CME Group, ICE, and Virtu:


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon19 3




 We recently presented our investment thesis on the Exchanges. To summarize,

  • Long CME:  Financially oriented CME Group (CME) is enjoying a long awaited boom in activity, as trader counts and open interest in Treasuries, Eurodollars, and FX products are swelling. The decade long concentration on trading energy and commodities is over and with steeply shaped forward curves and more profitable opportunities, financial products are seeing rapid adoption. 
  • Short ICE: We see collateral damage from the ongoing rapid price decline in energy and commodity markets. As a result, these important products at ICE will be less active than the Street expects, as commercial hedging and speculative energy trading dries up.

We think CME has $5 per share in earnings power in the out year and the stock will revisit near $140. As outlined in our presentation deck and replay below, a CME long position can also be paired with a short ICE position, with favorable fundamental exposures on each side of the trade.


Separately, recent IPO Virtu (VIRT) is being valued incorrectly by the market. Our main qualm is that the company takes intraday prop risk, but has no tangible equity capital to cover any potential trading losses. Shares of VIRT are currently on our Best Ideas list as a short with a fair value in the mid-teens (30-40% downside).


Hedgeye Exchange Black Book Replay HERE

Hedgeye Exchanges Black Book Materials HERE


HEDGEYE Exchange Tracker | Futures Rising From Their Summer Lull - XMon20


 Please let us know of any questions,


Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT 




 Joshua Steiner, CFA





Cartoon of the Day: Slow Growth Gorilla!

Cartoon of the Day: Slow Growth Gorilla! - Slow growth cartoon 09.11.2015 copy


Below is an abridged excerpt from today's Early Look:


A little bit of a #TepperTantrum yesterday from the Appaloosa Management founder and stalwart bull. 


Advocating higher cash allocations, highlighting higher volatility and increasingly challenged corporate fundamentals, voicing concerns over current multiples and pervasive over-optimism around forward growth prospects.   


Sound familiar?


Tepper’s fundamental and valuation concerns are really just manifestations of our current late-cycle reality and a recapitulation of our 2Q15 #LateCycle Macro Theme.   


We don’t always agree with Tepper but, when we do, we like to do it 3-months and 150 SPX handles ago.


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