RTA Live: January 8, 2016


FL | FINL Closures Not Material For FL

Takeaway: FINL store closures worst case gives FL 1.5% in EPS Growth.

FINL announced yesterday that it would be closing 25% of its existing fleet over a 4 year time period. That’s gross closures as the company will be working on the quality of its real estate portfolio to increase its penetration in better quality malls, i.e. more overlap with FL in better markets. What we know – each of the 150 stores earmarked for closure are doing about 1mm bucks per store, about 50% below the company average of $2mm. 65% of those sales are attributed to FINL loyalty members.


If we look at the store footprint overlap by mall between Foot Locker (banner) and Finish Line it’s only 67% (chart 2 below). And our sense is, there is more overlap on the top end of the spectrum compared to the bottom end where FINL will be closing locations. That’s because FL has been extremely prudent over the past 5 years as it stripped capital out the model by rationalizing its store footprint.


All in we get to a $0.03 benefit to FL’s bottom line, and $20mm to the top line per year through FY19 from the door closures assuming a high overlap ratio between the store locations. Less than 1% accretion per year. To get there we assume that FINL recaptures 40% of the lost sales, and 80% of the forfeited share shifts over to FL. We assume a 30% margin for dollars transferred, as FL won’t have to spend up dramatically to win those $. Worst case, assuming FINL recaptures 0% of the dollars lost, and FL gets 100% (ain’t going to happen as NKE pushes its DTC agenda), we could see a $40mm benefit to the top line and $0.06 on the bottom about 1.5% of earnings growth.


FL |  FINL Closures Not Material For FL - FL 1 8 16 chart1


FL |  FINL Closures Not Material For FL - FINL FL overlap

CHART OF THE DAY | Recession? This Indicator Sees Worst Contraction Since 2009

Editor's Note: Below is a brief chart and excerpt from today's Early Look written by Hedgeye Director of Research Daryl Jones. Click here to learn more.  


"... In the Chart of the Day, we highlight ISM Manufacturing data, which contracted for the first back-to-back month since 2009. As the chart highlights going back to the 1980s, this type of contraction typically precedes or coincides with a recession. The same scenario could be said for a slew of data including industrial production, capital investment, durable goods, exports, and the list goes on. In fact, of the 34 key economic data points we track for the U.S., 24 have gotten worse sequentially."


CHART OF THE DAY | Recession? This Indicator Sees Worst Contraction Since 2009 - CoD 01.08.16

Hedgeye Statistics

The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.

  • LONG SIGNALS 80.46%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.35%

The End of the Beginning

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

-Winston Churchill


The quote above is one of my favorite quotes from Churchill. After all, what exactly is the end? What is the beginning? Certainly for many of us, the start of the year signifies a beginning. In the investment management business, it really is a new beginning in that performance numbers are again set at zero and the race for outperformance begins anew.


We used this same Churchill quote in the conclusion of a recent video we put together on the history of Hedgeye. We showed that video to a new group of analysts that we are onboarding this week. We are officially announcing the combination on Tuesday next week, but suffice it to say we think the group we acquired will dramatically improve our research with their domain expertise in studying government policy. Stay tuned for the official announcement early next week.


There is no question that the next twelve months will be critical in Washington, DC. We will definitely have a new President, we will certainly have a slew of new legislators, and generally speaking the election outcomes at this point are still unknown. It seems likely that Hillary Clinton will get the Democratic nomination and, much to the chagrin of many, Donald Trump seems poised to capture the Republican nomination.


But even these nominations are far from done deals at this point, especially in the broader context of how unhappy Americans are with the government, which is obvious in a few areas:

  • President Obama’s approval ratings are dismal at around 44% and disapproval being above 50%;
  • In the most recent “Direction of the Country” poll, those believing the country is going in the wrong direction came in at 59%, versus those believing the country is going in the right direction at 27%; and...
  • Finally, the worst approval rating is Congressional job approval, with 73% disapproving and a mere 13% approving of the job Congress is doing.

Whoever is elected President is going to have the challenge of winning the country back and the objective is likely to come with a slew of legislative activity. So, as it relates to the governments impact on the economy and markets, we are likely only at the end of the beginning.


The End of the Beginning - Bull SCREAM 01.06.2015


Back to the Global Macro Grind …


This has been a busy week at Hedgeye and the month is only going to get busier as our Sector Heads ramp up their idea production. We have a couple of key events to highlight in the coming weeks, but most importantly this past week was our Q1 Macro Themes Conference call. The first theme, front and center, was US #Recession. We were the first to call out the likelihood of U.S. growth slowing more than expected and now we are #TimeStamped making the recession call.


In the Chart of the Day, we highlight ISM Manufacturing data, which contracted for the first back-to-back month since 2009. As the chart highlights going back to the 1980s, this type of contraction typically precedes or coincides with a recession. The same scenario could be said for a slew of data including industrial production, capital investment, durable goods, exports, and the list goes on. In fact, of the 34 key economic data points we track for the U.S., 24 have gotten worse sequentially.


All this is not to say that a recession is a forgone conclusion, but as our colleague and Senior Macro analyst Darius Dale wrote in response to a client question earlier this week:


“Per the preponderance of indicators we track, the U.S. economy has the highest probability of entering into recession somewhere around Q2/Q3 of this year. Recall that a technical recession requires two consecutive quarters of QoQ SAAR contraction, though the NBER’s actual dating of recessions is a bit more nuanced.


Our +1.5% estimate for 2016E is calculated as the average of the four quarterly YoY estimates; this is the same calculus the BEA uses to calculate annual growth rates. Given that distinction, you don’t have to have a full-year number be negative to experience an intra-year recession (or one that spans multiple calendar years). Recall that U.S. Real GDP grew +1.9% during CY1990 in spite of the July ’90 - March ’91 recession and +1% during CY2001 in spite of the March ’01 – November ’01 recession.


Beyond that, the +1.5% estimate doesn’t actually include an outright technical recession. Recall that we run a predictive tracking algorithm that feeds high and low-frequency data into the model to generate a probable forecast range for any given quarter in conjunction with the directional adjustment implied by the base effects. Obviously the C&I data has been recessionary, but given its outsized weight in the GDP calculus, we actually do need to observe further slowing of consumption data to open up the downside in the quarterly forecast ranges throughout 2016E.”


So from a timing perspective, we think Q2 going into Q3 is when growth likely slows the most, but it will require a slowdown in consumption to fully push the economy into a recession. One catalyst for this slowdown in consumption may be the housing market being worse than expected.


In that vein, our Housing team is introducing their view of the U.S. housing market on Wednesday January 13th and are shifting to a negative bias. The call is titled, Less Good is Bad, and they are making the call that key metrics for housing will likely slow in 2016. Housing, of course, has a very high correlation to consumption, so in the world of interconnected research, housing will be a critical determinant in how much the economy slows.


So, is a U.S. recession and housing slowdown the end? No, but it is also not likely the beginning of outsized equity returns.


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 2.09-2.24%

RUT 1051-1090

VIX 18.74-27.49
USD 97.44-100.12
Oil (WTI) 32.28-36.26


Keep your head up and stick on the ice,


Daryl G. Jones

Director of Research


The End of the Beginning - CoD 01.08.16  

Don't Blame China

Client Talking Points


Thinking like consensus does is the biggest risk, but they will stare at the absolute number this morning instead of the rate-of-change; don’t forget that the U.S. employment cycle peak was a NFP growth rate of 2.3% in Q1 of 2015 – it’s also the latest of late cycle indicators (put another way, there’s nothing this number can be to change our bearish TREND view).



We remain bullish on this breakout in volatility (new range = 18-26) – if all the Chinese could do having the government buy stocks overnight is get a +0.6% bounce in Hong Kong, London, and Germany, that’s not what stock market bulls need here. We believe the bulls are sellers on rallies for the 1st time – hedge funds have to get a lot shorter too; performance out there is bad.

S&P 500

The U.S. stock market has never NOT crashed (20% or more decline from peak – that would get you 1704 SPX from the 2130 #bubble high) when corporate profits go negative for 2 consecutive quarters – we’ll have that in earnings season that starts next week – JPM’s earnings are way more important to me than this jobs report.


*Tune into The Macro Show at 9:00AM ET - CLICK HERE

Asset Allocation


Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration

With the Fed's 25 basis point hike in interest rates, in the financial sector, FII stands to benefit most from even this marginal change.


In essence, Federated Investors (FII) has a stable business for what we think will be a volatile 2016. 2015 finished with slight positive inflows into the firm's main business line, money market or cash products. This is reminiscent of the start of cash builds in 1999 and 2006 ahead of the negative returns in risk assets in 2000 and 2007.


RH is our top long idea in all of retail, and we view the recent weakness in the stock as a buying opportunity. All in we think the company will build to $5bn in sales at mid-teens operating margin which equates to $11 in earnings power. This growth and profitability comes from...

  •  ~30% Square footage growth with new full line design galleries.
  • New businesses, like Modern and Teen, that can be easily layered over its low cost infrastructure.
  • Leveraging occupancy from the "sweet heart" real estate deals the company is getting as a high end traffic driving 

The yield spread (10Y’s -2Y’s) compressed to a 52-week low of 120 basis points last week.  AGAIN, that’s a 52-week low in growth expectations right after “lift-off”. Into year-end, the bond market continues to price in what it has all year long: #Slower-and-lower-for-longer.


We continue to believe deflation will pressure the policy-fueled leverage embedded in junk and high yield bond markets. The cheap money, corporate credit boom inflated asset prices and it has more room to deflate. This deflationary run started in the second half of 2014, with the introduction of our #Deflation theme. Back then, was also the low in cross-asset volatility and the high in outstanding corporate credit (commodity producers chasing inflation expectations were the largest contributor).

Three for the Road


LIVE Healthcare Q&A Friday @ 11AM - A Special Jobs Report Edition & Best Ideas Recap… via @hedgeye



Keep steadily before you the fact that all true success depends at last upon yourself.

Theodore T. Hunger


Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now the highest-grossing film ever in North America, pulling in $758.2 million and beating out Avatar.

The Macro Show Replay | January 8, 2015


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