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BLMN | HOW BAD IS BAD? ASK THE STEAK TRACKER

Takeaway: Adding it to the SHORT bench

It’s clear to us, and we suspect many others, that BLMN is going to have a bad 3Q15.  Given that the stock is down 28% year-to-date, we also suspect that the company will not recover from the 3Q15 miss and it will translate into a disastrous year.  If the fundamentals unfold the way it looks like they will, the company is going to need to revisit the need for a major restructuring.

 

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN

BLMN needs to sell off non-core assets and focus on the core concept, Outback Steakhouse.  Looking at the same-store sales performance of Bonefish and Carrabba’s below, it’s clear that these concepts are in a secular decline and need to undertake a new path, under new ownership.  Management constantly reminds investors that “we remain disciplined stewards of capital as we focus on delivering on our long-term goals and driving shareholder value.”  Despite this, we believe that multi-branded casual dining companies are inefficient with capital, no matter what management says. 

 

This means reprioritizing their investments as appropriate. For now, they should focus their investments on international opportunities, the successful Outback relocation initiative, new units at Outback and Fleming's and the remodel program that will keep assets up-to-date.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE QUARTER

The company is scheduled to release earnings on November 3rd before the market opens.  As we see it, for 3Q15, BLMN will post flat EPS year-over-year of $0.10 for the quarter vs consensus at $0.14.  For full year 2015, we see estimates coming down to $1.20 versus consensus at $1.27.

 

For 3Q15 we see the Outback concept missing same-store sale estimates by 370bps.  In addition, Bonefish and Carrabba’s will also miss by 170bps and 210bps, respectively.   In 2Q15, management updated full-year comp sales guidance from “at least 1.5%” to “approximately 1.5%.” At the time, the lowered expectation was due to lower sales expectations at Bonefish. 

BLMN | HOW BAD IS BAD? ASK THE STEAK TRACKER - CHART 1

BLMN | HOW BAD IS BAD? ASK THE STEAK TRACKER - CHART 2

BLMN | HOW BAD IS BAD? ASK THE STEAK TRACKER - CHART 3

 

 

Needless to say the disappointing same-store sales will lead to disappointing margins.  We suspect that the biggest deleverage relative to expectations will come from the Labor and Other expense lines.

  

On the positive side, management will likely lower expectations for commodity inflation.  As of 2Q15, management expected commodity inflation to be between 3.5% and 4% down from 4% to 6% at the beginning of the year.

 

VALUATION

The stock has a very low value relative to its peers, but low is not always cheap. BLMN, currently trading at 6.8x EV / NTM EBITDA could compress slightly from here. Where we believe the real price drop will come from is a decline in EBITDA. We are currently projecting them to have total EBITDA in 2015 in the $445mm to $455mm range. Looking out into 2016 we are not expecting it to increase in any meaningful way, leading us to our bearish take on the name. Below is chart of EV / NTM EBITDA, showing little upside, with a reasonable amount of realistic downside.

BLMN | HOW BAD IS BAD? ASK THE STEAK TRACKER - CHART 4

 

MACRO MONITOR – STEAK TRACKER

For those of you who were not able to read our first note using the Macro Monitor, please refer to the link HERE. The macroeconomic data sets in the monitor allow us to pin point data that is relevant to the company and compare it to actual and projected performance. Economic data such as CPI, PPI, PCE, etc, is reported on a monthly basis, allowing us to get an intra-quarter read on the companies trends.

 

We are naming this the “Steak Tracker”, right now it consists of three very relevant employment and CPI data sets that have given a reliable read into the trends of Outback Steakhouse. The first is Men Employment 55-64 YOA, we view this age group as a major consumer of steak at restaurants. Secondly, CPI – uncooked beef steaks, and lastly CPI – beef and veal have been great barometers for Outback Steakhouse SSS trends.

BLMN | HOW BAD IS BAD? ASK THE STEAK TRACKER - CHART 5

BLMN | HOW BAD IS BAD? ASK THE STEAK TRACKER - CHART 6

BLMN | HOW BAD IS BAD? ASK THE STEAK TRACKER - CHART 7

 

As you can see all three of these are trending downwards. These trends, coupled with our fundamental analysis of the troubles this company is facing lead us to our BEARISH thesis, and with that we are adding it to the SHORT bench.

 

The stock is cheap and could get cheaper!

 

Additionally, we are also going to be taking Cracker Barrel (CBRL) off of the SHORT Bench.

 

BLMN | HOW BAD IS BAD? ASK THE STEAK TRACKER - CHART 8

 

Please call or e-mail with any questions.

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director

 

Shayne Laidlaw

Analyst

 

 

 


Emerging Markets? #Crashing

Emerging Markets? #Crashing - China crash cartoon 08.25.2015

 

In a note to subscribers this morning, Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough warned investors about the underappreciated risks embedded in emerging market debt.

 

“Emerging Markets didn’t like the Euro Devaluation last week, the EM MSCI Index closed -0.8% on the week. Reminder: there’s a $9T USD denominated debt #bubble that deflates on these tightening events (see our Q4 Macro Themes deck). Yes, ECB President Mario Draghi ramping USD is deflationary – ask Oil down -6.3% last week, or Energy Stocks (XLE -1.4%).”

 

Emerging Markets? #Crashing - em debt

 

Take a look at this slide from our Q4 Macro deck on emerging market debt .

 

Click to enlarge the image below:

Emerging Markets? #Crashing - macro deck usd

 

We see #deflation and the popping of over-inflated asset bubbles everywhere. That's why #Crashing is one of our Q4 Macro themes.

 

But we'll let you be the judge of the evolving trend playing out in emerging markets...

 

Emerging Markets? #Crashing - EM index 

 

*If you’d like to learn more about our institutional research offerings or obtain a copy of our Macro Themes deck please ping sales@hedgeye.com.

 

 


UPDATE: Hedgeye Energy Analyst Kevin Kaiser Reiterates His Short Case on Kinder Morgan | $KMI

In case you missed it, Kinder Morgan (KMI) is back in our crosshairs after posting underwhelming 3Q15 results, reflecting just how overvalued this name is. For the record, KMI remains a capital intensive, cyclical conglomerate with low-to-no growth and an over-levered balance sheet. 

 

UPDATE: Hedgeye Energy Analyst Kevin Kaiser Reiterates His Short Case on Kinder Morgan | $KMI - z ff

 

In Kaiser’s opinion, the MLP “go-go” days of valuing this company based upon its dividend/distribution are behind us. He sees no reason why fair value for this company shouldn’t be in the range of 9x-10x current EV/EBITDA, or $10-$13 per share suggesting over 55% downside.

 

UPDATE: Hedgeye Energy Analyst Kevin Kaiser Reiterates His Short Case on Kinder Morgan | $KMI - z kmi

 

UPDATE: Hedgeye Energy Analyst Kevin Kaiser Reiterates His Short Case on Kinder Morgan | $KMI - z 77

 

In its conference call last week, Kinder Morgan reduced its 2016 dividend growth guidance to +6%-10% from 10%+ through 2020 and offered new commentary that management has found a new “alternative source” of equity capital.

 

Bottom line: Whether it’s Rich Kinder himself, or other avenues, investors should be very wary of any new financing vehicle options that may be introduced as the ultimate “Hail Mary” to salvage this broken model.

 

*If you are interested in learning more about Kaiser’s research and how you can subscribe, or any of our other institutional research offerings, please send an email to sales@hedgeye.com


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MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA

Takeaway: Brazil burns while China goes back to the Central Bank well one more time. Chinese GDP growth dovetails with Brazilian Sov CDS at 455 bps.

Key Takeaway:

Brazil appears to be coming apart at the seams. Sovereign CDS have widened to +455 bps, up another +14 bps last week. The move is remarkable not just because of its speed and magnitude (swaps have doubled since June), but also because not much else in EM following suit. While most of EM was widening from the summer through the early Fall, the trend over the last ~4wks has been tightening, whereas Brazil continues to widen.  

More broadly, most of our heatmap below has shifted from red to green based on the latest data. One broader theme underpinning the move is the central bank action from China last week. The positive reaction came despite the country's third quarter GDP coming in at 6.9%, the slowest rate since the financial crisis. Chinese slowing continues to be a point of concern for us, and we advise caution against relying on central-bank-stimulated optimism.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - pinocchio

 

Current Ideas:

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM19

 

Financial Risk Monitor Summary

• Short-term(WoW): Positive / 6 of 12 improved / 1 out of 12 worsened / 5 of 12 unchanged
• Intermediate-term(WoW): Positive / 7 of 12 improved / 2 out of 12 worsened / 3 of 12 unchanged
• Long-term(WoW): Negative / 2 of 12 improved / 2 out of 12 worsened / 8 of 12 unchanged

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM15

 

1. U.S. Financial CDS – Swaps tightened for 21 out of 27 domestic financial institutions. CDS for Genworth financial tightened the most, by -55 bps to 577, while CDS for MBIA widened the most, by +60 bps to 752.

Tightened the most WoW: MMC, HIG, AIG
Widened the most/ tightened the least WoW: MBI, AGO, SLM
Tightened the most WoW: ALL, MMC, ACE
Widened the most MoM: LNC, GNW, MBI

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM1

 

2. European Financial CDS – Swaps mostly tightened in Europe last week. Likely aiding the decrease in risk perception was a better than expected reading from the EU's PMI composite flash. Additionally, as expected, the ECB signaled no rate changes at its October policy meeting.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM2

 

3. Asian Financial CDS – CDS for Chinese banks tightened following the PBOC's cutting interest rates and the reserve-requirement ratio. The central bank's move followed Chinese third quarter GDP coming in below 7% in the October 18 reading. CDS in India also tightened significantly, between 10 and 17 bps.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM17

 

4. Sovereign CDS – Sovereign Swaps mostly tightened over last week. Spanish and Italian sovereign swaps tightened the most, both by -13 bps.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM18

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM3

 

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM4


5. Emerging Market Sovereign CDS – Brazilian CDS rose another +14 bps last week to 455 bps. For context, that's roughly a doubling since the summer. What's particularly notable is that the rest of the EM complex is actually trending tighter over the last few weeks.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM16

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM20

6. High Yield (YTM) Monitor – High Yield rates fell 15 bps last week, ending the week at 7.39% versus 7.54% the prior week.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM5

7. Leveraged Loan Index Monitor  – The Leveraged Loan Index rose 3.0 points last week, ending at 1849.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM6

8. TED Spread Monitor  – The TED spread rose 1 basis point last week, ending the week at 32 bps this week versus last week’s print of 31 bps.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM7

9. CRB Commodity Price Index – The CRB index fell -3.1%, ending the week at 194 versus 200 the prior week. As compared with the prior month, commodity prices have decreased -1.0%. We generally regard changes in commodity prices on the margin as having meaningful consumption implications.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM8

10. Euribor-OIS Spread – The Euribor-OIS spread (the difference between the euro interbank lending rate and overnight indexed swaps) measures bank counterparty risk in the Eurozone. The OIS is analogous to the effective Fed Funds rate in the United States.  Banks lending at the OIS do not swap principal, so counterparty risk in the OIS is minimal.  By contrast, the Euribor rate is the rate offered for unsecured interbank lending.  Thus, the spread between the two isolates counterparty risk. The Euribor-OIS spread widened by 2 bps to 12 bps.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM9

11. Chinese Interbank Rate (Shifon Index) – The Shifon Index rose 1 basis point last week, ending the week at 1.91% versus last week’s print of 1.90%. The Shifon Index measures banks’ overnight lending rates to one another, a gauge of systemic stress in the Chinese banking system.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM10

12. Chinese Steel – Steel prices in China fell 0.9% last week, or 19 yuan/ton, to 2138 yuan/ton. We use Chinese steel rebar prices to gauge Chinese construction activity and, by extension, the health of the Chinese economy.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM12

13. 2-10 Spread – Last week the 2-10 spread widened to 145 bps, 2 bps wider than a week ago. We track the 2-10 spread as an indicator of bank margin pressure.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM13

14. XLF Macro Quantitative Setup  – Our Macro team’s quantitative setup in the XLF shows 0.0% upside to TREND resistance and -5.9% downside to TRADE support.

MONDAY MORNING RISK MONITOR | BRAZIL & CHINA - RM14


Joshua Steiner, CFA



Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT


Retail Callouts (10/26): Retail Idea List, Holiday Free Shipping Wars Under Way, LULU, BBY, TGT

Takeaway: LULU to the top of our Short bench. Retail facing 3 margin headwinds heading into 4Q: Free Shipping, Labor Inflation, & Bloated Inventories

Hedgeye Retail Idea List

Retail Callouts (10/26): Retail Idea List, Holiday Free Shipping Wars Under Way, LULU, BBY, TGT - 10 26 15 chart1

 

We took LULU to the top of our Short bench this week. While the stock sold off with the market on Friday, we still think that there is a very high liklihood that last week's management change is a precursor to the CEO ultimately getting fired. While we think that's a bullish event, it would likely come along with another operational Black Eye (miss and guide down). When we have a better sense of the timing -- or if the stock heads higher from here -- we'll press this short meaningfully.

To see our note LULU | CEO IS ON THE BLOCK NEXT - CLICK HERE

 

BBY, TGT, WMT, AMZN - Best Buy starts the move to free holiday shipping this year, announcing free shipping with no minimum order through Jan. 2.

(http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y15/m10/i26/s03)

BBY has kicked off the Free Shipping wars as we'll call them this year with a $0 free shipping promotion that kicked off on Sunday. We can't think of many things on the Best Buy site that we would actually buy that fall below the old $35 threshold, but in the rare instance that a consumer wants to buy a $5 iPhone case (see example below), well now it ships for free.

 

Target was the biggest player in the space to turn to free shipping last year. Though we haven't seen a formal announcement from the company yet, a few promotional pieces make it appear that TGT will start a similar free shipping promotion running through the Holidays on November 1st. And we would not be surprised in the least to see several other retailers use this as an offensive weapon. Unfortunately, for almost everybody except the bullet-proof content-owners of the world (i.e. Nike) that math doesn't work and free shipping would be even more dilutive to margins. Even worse news is that if they don’t play ball, then there’s risk to the top line (i.e. if either KSS or JCP opts-in to the free-shipping game, they both lose). The way we see it, retail is facing three margin headwinds heading into the quarter 1) free shipping, 2) labor inflation, and 3 bloated inventory positions. 

Retail Callouts (10/26): Retail Idea List, Holiday Free Shipping Wars Under Way, LULU, BBY, TGT - 10 26 15 chart2

Retail Callouts (10/26): Retail Idea List, Holiday Free Shipping Wars Under Way, LULU, BBY, TGT - 10 26 15 chart3

 

LULU - Lululemon plans to expand the West Edmonton mall store which does $7000/SqFt.  Taking size from 3.600 SqFt to 7,000 SqFt

(http://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2015/10/lululemon)

 

JCP - J.C. Penney cutting 300 of 3400 positions at HQ

(http://www.retailingtoday.com/article/jc-penney-letting-go-00-hq)

 

WMT - Wal-Mart continues pressure on vendors, looking to reduce SKUs and extend its payment windows.

(http://www.wsj.com/articles/wal-mart-shrinks-the-big-box-vexing-vendors-1445820469?alg=y)

 

Hudson's Bay Company Announces New Off-Price Concept with launch of Find @ Lord & Taylor

(http://investor.hbc.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=938301)

 

TJX - The TJX Companies, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Australian off-Price Retailer Trade Secret

(http://investor.tjx.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=118215&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2100900)

 

UA - Curry Two launched Saturday, and Dub Nation colorway to launch Tuesday

(http://footwearnews.com/2015/focus/athletic-outdoor/under-armour-curry-two-dub-nation-sneakers-release-photos-164459/)

Retail Callouts (10/26): Retail Idea List, Holiday Free Shipping Wars Under Way, LULU, BBY, TGT - 10 26 15 chart4


Earnings Season Update: Recession On Tap?

We’re still in the early days of earnings season. Here’s a quick update on where we stand. As you can see below, it's not looking good.

 

Earnings Season Update: Recession On Tap? - earnings season

 

U.S. industrial firms are continuing to warn of a pullback in spending. Why? Because we're in a global industrial recession.

 

Click headline below to read full story.

 

Earnings Season Update: Recession On Tap? - wsj recession

 

Make no mistake. This year has been the best year for short selling since 2008 - every hedge fund should have capitalized on it. There is plenty of alpha out there for hedge funds to be capturing in 2015. Here are a few recent long/short ideas we've highlighted to our customers (see Pandora, Athenahealth and Boyd Gaming in respective order herehere and here.)

 

Hedgeye Macro analyst Darius Dale chimed in on these developments:

 

Earnings Season Update: Recession On Tap? - darius

 

Earnings Season Update: Recession On Tap? - darius 2

 

On a related note, I think hedgies shorting the lows and then chasing these highs will be one major reason why stocks crash again.


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.

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