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November 12, 2015

We've made some updates and enhancements to Daily Trading Ranges. You'll now receive risk ranges for 20 tickers each day -  the last five of which will be determined by what's flashing on Keith's screen and by what names you're asking about. Contact support@hedgeye.com if you have any questions or feedback.

 

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INDEX BUY TRADE SELL TRADE PREV. CLOSE
UST10Y
10-Year U.S. Treasury Yield
2.38 2.09 2.32
SPX
S&P 500
2,054 2,093 2,075
RUT
Russell 2000
1,160 1,204 1,178
COMPQ
NASDAQ Composite
4,999 5,111 5,067
NIKK
Nikkei 225 Index
18,996 19,930 19,691
DAX
German DAX Composite
10,588 11,001 10,908
VIX
Volatility Index
14.17 18.83 16.06
DXY
U.S. Dollar Index
98.05 100.23 99.16
EURUSD
Euro
1.06 1.08 1.07
USDJPY
Japanese Yen
121.33 123.99 122.85
WTIC
Light Crude Oil Spot Price
42.07 45.37 43.07
NATGAS
Natural Gas Spot Price
2.19 2.39 2.27
GOLD
Gold Spot Price
1,065 1,105 1,086
COPPER
Copper Spot Price
2.16 2.27 2.22
AAPL
Apple Inc.
115 120 116
PCLN
Priceline.com Inc.
1,279 1,371 1,330
VRX
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.
71.06 92.69 78.90
BABA
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
77.98 83.29 79.85
M
Macy's Inc.
38.91 45.27 40.44
KSS
Kohl's Corp.
41.22 46.12 43.16

 

 


The Macro Show Replay | November 12, 2015

 

 


Cartoon of the Day: Get a Second Opinion

Cartoon of the Day: Get a Second Opinion - Yellen cartoon 11.11.2015

 

"The Fed's 'forecast' is wrong 70% of the time," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote earlier today. "They are the new market risk."  


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Shhh! Macy's CEO Just Hinted At Recession

Takeaway: Retail analyst Brian McGough sees #LateCycle risk in Macy's numbers.

Macy’s shares are getting crushed today. The department store giant’s stock is down 14% after reporting troubling 3Q earnings. Are Macy’s poor performance emblematic of a broader economic trend playing out, perhaps even of an emerging consumer recession?

 

We think so.

 

Shhh! Macy's CEO Just Hinted At Recession - macy s crashing

 

Whether you look at durable goods, consumer confidence, industrial production, ISM Manufacturing, company earnings (the list goes on and on), the data appears to be rolling over.

 

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren seems to think so too. In fact, his presence on today’s earnings call spoke volumes in and of itself. As Hedgeye Retail analyst Brian McGough pointed out in a note to subscribers this morning, it was the first time that Lundgren had participated in an investor call since 4Q 2009. Back then, Lundgren was taking a victory lap of sorts, after Macy’s had emerged from the recession with a clear vision forward.

 

Shhh! Macy's CEO Just Hinted At Recession - Macy s dude

 

How times have changed. In its most recent quarter, Macy’s sales were down 5%, inventories up 5%, and the company lowered full-year revenue and profit guidance. “The company didn’t have a whole lot to get bullish about,” wrote McGough.

 

Furthermore, if Lundgren’s presence this go-around was meant to downplay Macy’s poor quarterly results, he did an equally poor job of it. Here’s an excerpt from McGough’s research note:

 

“Arguably the most troubling factor from our vantage point is that Lundgren said "We believe that the retail industry is going through a tough period that we seem to experience something like this every five to seven years or so, and this one feels familiar in that regard."   

 

And a tweet from Keith.

 

Click image to enlarge

Shhh! Macy's CEO Just Hinted At Recession - r word 

 

So while he didn’t come right out and drop the “R” word (Recession), we can read between the lines. In his research note, McGough offers his thoughts:

 

“He probably did not mean this to sound so dire, and softened it up accordingly after seeing the stock down double digits (his recoil didn’t work). But our concern is that growth is definitely slowing in the broader economy, and it appears to be very late-cycle.

 

But it does not feel like a recession – yet. If Macy’s is putting up numbers like this and making these statements today, what happens when (not if) the US economy contracts again? We certainly don’t want to be there when that happens.”

 

Macy’s is just one more example of what our Macro team has been calling out for a while now, #LateCycle and #GrowthSlowing.

 

Don’t say we didn’t tell you so.


REPLAY | EARNINGS RECAP | #ACATaper | JOBS REPORT | JOLTS

Takeaway: JOLTS report tomorrow, be ready!

SUMMARY

We went into the studio to present a couple of key charts and take Q&A.  We touched on the VRX conference call, and touched on AHS and other names we are short for the #ACATaper.  Be ready for the JOLTS update tomorrow from BLS, it should be interesting and will tell you more than last Friday's employment report!  

The slides and video from yesterday are linked below with a few key ones below.

 

REPLAY | EARNINGS RECAP | #ACATaper | JOBS REPORT | JOLTS - 2015 11 11 Q A

 

REPLAY | EARNINGS RECAP | #ACATaper | JOBS REPORT | JOLTS - 2015 11 11 JOLTS Slowing

REPLAY | EARNINGS RECAP | #ACATaper | JOBS REPORT | JOLTS - 2015 11 11 HC Employment ROC

REPLAY | EARNINGS RECAP | #ACATaper | JOBS REPORT | JOLTS - 2015 11 11 JOLTS Percent of Healthcar

 

CLICK HERE FOR SLIDE DECK


M | A Small Taste

Takeaway: A small taste of when the economy really weakens. Numbers still too high. REIT value no longer a crutch. This name can get a lot cheaper.

Conclusion: This might have been the longest Macy’s conference call in over a decade, but from where we sit, the conclusion on the stock is quite simple. Stay away from it. Is it an outright short? Maybe not after today’s steep sell-off. But we think that numbers are too high, even after the company’s guide down. At 10x earnings, 6x EBITDA, and a 9.5% FCF yield, it certainly looks cheap – but it had the same multiples yesterday before the earnings print. At this point, it’s all about earnings, and unfortunately, expectations for next year are high by over 10%. Consider the following:  a) we’re late in an economic cycle, b) the CEO just said it is the worst sales environment in 5-7 years, c) there’s no clear path to recovery (potentially ever), and d) one of the biggest bull cases (REIT) was just blown up. At this point, we think people are probably going to test the low end of the valuation spectrum until they have confidence that numbers have bottomed. For department stores like Macy’s, that’s 7-8x earnings, 4-4.5x EBITDA, and 15%-20% FCF yield. If our model is right, that implies a stock in the high-$20s. This is one we’re going to avoid, and will short on green as we gain confidence in our model.  

 

There was a lot of information in this print. Let’s focus on the Majors.

1)      Terry Lundgren Saves The Day – Kinda.  Macy’s CEO was on the conference call for the first time since 4Q09 – when he took a victory lap after implementing MyMacy’s as we emerged from the Great Recession. But this guest appearance by the man was anything but a victory lap. It was intended to be a fire retardant. It didn’t work.

2)      This Was All About Being Accountable to Activists. Let’s be clear on why Lundgren was on the call. It was not to discuss weak sales trends, strategic plans or financial results. Karen Hoguet (CFO) is about as savvy as they come, and could easily handle this on her own.  He needed to be on the call to be accountable to all the activist investors who have been in very close contact with Macy’s over the past year about converting into a REIT – something we’ve long viewed as financially and logistically impractical. Management stated as plain as day that Macy’s WILL NOT pursue the REIT strategy. This means if someone is invested in Macy’s for a REIT – and there are plenty who are – they probably need to either exit the position, or morph the thesis to be focused on the base business. But with sales down 5% and inventories up 5%, the company didn’t give a whole lot to get bullish about. Yes, Macy's contracted Tishman Speyer (the partner it used on the Brooklyn store) deal to find strategic/joint venture alternatives for 4 of its Flagship properties with the potential to touch more of the footprint as M rationalizes it's sq. ft. in those doors and attempts to creatively monetize a portion of its 'A' assets. But this is a far cry from monetizing 150mm square feet.

3)      The 5-7 Year Itch. Arguably the most troubling factor from our vantage point is Lundgren said "We believe that the retail industry is going through a tough period that we seem to experience something like this every five to seven years or so, and this one feels familiar in that regard."   He probably did not mean this to sound so dire, and softened it up accordingly after seeing the stock down double digits (his recoil didn’t work). But our concern is that growth is definitely slowing in the broader economy, and it appears to be very late-cycle. But it does not feel like a recession – yet. If Macy’s is putting up numbers like this and making these statements today, what happens when (not if) the US economy contracts again? We certainly don’t want to be there when that happens.

4)      Not a Likely LBO. One investor addressed LBO math in the Q&A. We happen to disagree, in that our model only comes up with a 6.2% ROI. There are actually a few things about the model that we like. a) at a 50% premium to current levels, M could be taken out with only $5.4bn in equity, assuming 50% is funded by Senior Debt and 30% by mortgaging its stores. That also gets us leverage of 3.8x, which actually quite good for such a large deal. The problem is that in order to get a 20%+ return – a level that’s a lot more palatable to us – we need to assume a reacceleration in sales and margins to new peak. In other words, we need to go another 5-years without an economic downturn.

 

M | A Small Taste - 11 11 2015 M chart1B

 

M | A Small Taste - 11 11 2015 M chart2


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