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Investing Ideas Newsletter

Takeaway: Current Investing Ideas: TIF, JNK, DRI, LAZ, NUS, W, FL, WAB, MDRX, ZBH, ZROZ, XLU, MCD, RH, GIS & TLT

Investing Ideas Newsletter - Draghi cartoon 03.09.2016 normal

 

Below are our analysts’ new updates on our sixteen current high conviction long and short ideas. As a reminder, if nothing material has changed in the past week which would affect a particular idea, our analyst has noted this. Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough’s updated levels for each ticker are below.

 

Please note that we added Pimco 25+ Year Zero Coupon US Treasury ETF (ZROZ) to the long side of Investing Ideas this week.

LEVELS

Investing Ideas Newsletter - ranges

 

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 less

IDEAS UPDATES

TLT | XLU | ZROZ | JNK

To view our analyst's original report on Junk Bonds click here and here for Utilities

 

If you need evidence that the markets are losing faith in the grand central planning experiment, Thursday’s ECB event was a good indication that there is little cushion-add to easier policy on the margin.

 

The ECB cut the Main Refinancing Rate 5bps to 0.00%, cut the Deposit Rate 10bps to -0.40%, and cut the Marginal Lending Facility by 5bps to 0.30%. It also increased the “drug” dosage through its asset purchasing program (QE), now delivering €80 billion/month of purchases (from €60 billion prior) and expanded its purchasing mandate to bonds of non-bank corporations (specifically investment grade financial companies).

 

The market’s response yesterday basically said, “Draghi, we knew you were going to do it, and it doesn’t work.” The Euro strengthened and European equity indices closed on the low of the day. Draghi talked “helicopter money” at the press conference (literally printing money and dropping it out of helicopters for the people), but the market was unfazed.

 

The bottom line is that growth and inflation continue to decelerate in the Eurozone and globally (see our proprietary GROWTH, INFLATION, POLICY model below for a visual). In other words, there is very little central planners can do to stop the cycle and the inevitable deleveraging that must take place in credit (i.e. Junk Bond ETF [JNK]). 

 

Investing Ideas Newsletter - EUROZONE GIP

 

Here’s the simple version of the coming deleveraging in credit markets. (Note: this is bad for leveraged corporates – JNK):

 

  1. Interest rate cycles have led to lower lows in rates since the early 1980s. The most recent policy measures post crisis (QE, operation twist, and money printing), suceeded in taking interest rates and volatility to historically low levels.
  2. Capitalizing on the boom in asset prices, corporations financed at the low in spreads in 2013-14 to pursue seemingly profitable business ventures.
  3. Now those spreads are moving the other way on an epic level of corporate credit.
  4. So now energy company A needs financing to salvage cash flows at much lower oil prices, but the incremental financing is at higher rates (wider spreads).

Traditionally, the Federal Reserve could intervene in the market by lowering interest rates and enticing refinancing at lower rates (incremental easing allowing more leveraging). That can't happen this time around. The chart below is the best illustration with long-term context of the Fed’s ability to cushion credit markets currently (it’s virtually zero because rates are already virtually zero). Higher financing costs crush the leveraged debtor (short JNK!).

 

Investing Ideas Newsletter - Fed Funds Cushion

 

A final note. Stick with us. The market gets #GrowthSlowing. That's why Utilities (XLU) and Long-Term Treasuries (TLT) remain the alpha generating trades in equities and fixed income this year. (Year-to-date XLU and TLT are up 11.3% and 5.6% respectively versus -1.1% for the S&P 500.) 

MDRX

To view our analyst's original report on Allscripts click here. Earlier this week, we sent Investing Ideas subscribers an institutional research note from our Healthcare analysts Tom Tobin and Andrew Freedman. Click here to read the note with insights on our Allscripts (MDRX) short thesis along with analysis of other companies in their coverage universe, including athenahealth (ATHN), Computer Program & Systems (CPSI) and Cerner (CERN). 

NUS

To view our analyst's original report on Nu Skin click here

 

Nu Skin (NUS) shares jumped almost 4% Friday on the news that CFO Ritch N. Wood purchased 7,500 shares of the company's stock. No change to Consumer Staples analyst Howard Penney short thesis. Even with the three-week rally, NUS shares are down -7.2% year-to-date versus down -1.1% for the S&P 500. 

 

Penney continues to argue that NUS operates a "broken business model" and, due to the ongoing SEC investigation and the questionable sales of VitaMeal, NUS could be exposed to additional regulatory scrutiny. Additional catalysts for the stock's decline?

 

"If we are wrong we still predict a precipitous deterioration of the company fundamentals. As the company continues to burn through cash, it will be hard to maintain their share buybacks to prop up the stock, especially while under immense pressure from regulators. Additionally, the allegations of the DOJ against USPlabs, among others, specifically called out anti-aging regimens as a focus for current and future investigations. The dietary supplement industry is under enormous pressure from regulators, and MLM’s add an additional layer of risk to the equation." 

WAB

To view our analyst's original report on Wabtec click here

 

While it is often a challenge to attribute share price moves to events, it seems that several commodity related capital equipment providers have rallied in the last few weeks with the comparatively small bounce in oil and other commodities. We expect rail capital spending to turn down given fleet demographics and customer volume trends, with commodity prices a comparatively minor consideration.

 

We would look to use the recent squeeze as an entry opportunity, although we acknowledge the risks of adding to a position that has moved against us of late. We still expect Wabtec (WAB) to earn well less than $4 per share in 2016, with weak 2H15 implied order rates as one several supporting data points for that view.

 

Investing Ideas Newsletter - wab

TIF

To view our analyst's original report on Tiffany click here.

 

Tiffany (TIF) will report its 4th quarter and fiscal year 2015 on Friday the 18th. The company guided 2015 EPS to come in at -10% in its holiday update back in January. 

 

The important incremental information will be updated 2016 guidance. In the holiday update TIF management guided to "minimal" EPS growth in 2016. On the 4Q print, management should refresh their viewpoint and give some more specificity as to how they see 2016 playing out. Last year at this time, management was overly optimistic with their outlook. The guidance was also for minimal EPS growth in 2015, which is now tracking to a 10% decline.

 

The stock has rallied, along with the whole retail sector, since last month's retail sales beat. February retail sales (Tuesday) will be out before TIF's earnings which could influence the stock, even though that release does not include jewelry store specific details. 

 

We still see street expectations as too high in the upcoming fiscal year. 

LAZ

To view our analyst's original report on Lazard click here.

 

On Friday from Europe, Deutsche Bank joined the trifecta of investment banks now warning about a significant revenue slowdown in the sector (JP Morgan and Citigroup already mentioned that capital market trends are down -25% and -15% year-over-year respectively in recent first quarter investor presentations). While DB wasn’t overly forthcoming on details, the largest investment bank in Europe outlined that industry revenues are receding as clients are pulling back from trading fixed-income securities. In addition, the German bank outlined a vacuum in deal making as corporate sponsors are refraining from the M&A market. 

 

Lazard (LAZ) is especially impacted by this warning, with over 35% of its merger revenues in the Eurozone. Furthermore, stateside we see the over 100 basis point increase in corporate credit costs being a big deterrent to new merger announcements as historically a move higher of that magnitude in funding costs has impacted M&A by -20%. We think this soft start for all the capital market businesses will metastasize into a bigger decline as we get further along into 2016.

 

Investing Ideas Newsletter - lazard

MCD

To view our analyst's original report on McDonald's click here

 

Restaurants analyst Howard Penney reiterates his long call on McDonald's (MCD). He has no new update this week.

W

To view our analyst's original report on Wayfair click here.

 

Insider sales are hitting new highs for Wayfair (W) in March. The chart below shows insider sale volume relative to the stock price. Insiders have now sold nearly $110mm in Wayfair stock since the lockup expiration.

 

We view management's overall appetite to unload shares as a negative for the W business model long term. We think this online-only business model is one that will never be profitable in the home furnishings space in the long run. Management’s presentations may be bullish on the business model, but their trading activity points to the opposite.

 

Investing Ideas Newsletter - 3 11 2016 W sales

RH 

To view our analyst's original report on Restoration Hardware click here

 

Restoration Hardware (RH) noted with its 2/24 preannouncement that it would be moving away from promotions towards a membership model. But what happened just prior to the 2/24 announcement was the elimination of any and all promotional emails.

 

In fact, the last one was sent out on 2/16, and was arguably just as ‘Brand Destructive’ as the ones that came before it. In 3-years covering RH (the RH as it exists today), we’ve grown used to investors routinely talking about the latest promotional email from the company, and questioning why they exist for a brand that is supposedly high-end. Those emails were sent not only every day, but multiple times each day to tens of millions of consumers – most of whom will likely never spend a dime at RH.

 

The punchline is that RH is changing the way it markets its product not just because business is weak and it had a problem delivering on Modern. But because it’s what the company needs to do in order to double in size. The m.o. of the past economic cycle will certainly not take it through the next one. In fairness, RH was ready to roll this new strategy out roughly 18 months ago, but our sense is that it had such great momentum that it did not want to risk being disruptive.

 

Now, the time is right. It might be painful. In fact, it will almost certainly be painful. But do you think that, just maybe, a $38 stock and 25% downward earnings revision already knows this?

 

Investing Ideas Newsletter - 3 10 2016  RH promo email chg2

ZBH

To view our analyst's original report on Zimmer Biomet click here. 

 

No update on Healthcare analyst Tom Tobin's Zimmer Biomet (ZBH) short call this week but Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough issued this ZBH sell signal in Real-Time Alerts Friday:

 

"While it's interesting to dream up permabull market narratives about CNBC's "Dimon bottom" or how the ECB is going to save the world from a credit cycle, it's easier (on a Friday, on no volume) to deal with reality.

 

Reality is that stocks like Zimmer got hammered to the FEB lows because fundamental growth and earnings are #slowing. That reality has not changed (see ISM Services report hitting a new lows last week).

 

As a reminder, 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. 

 

Short Green,

KM"

FL 

To view our analyst's original report on Foot Locker click here.

 

Hedgeye Retail analyst Alec Richards explained why the expansion of Nike’s (NKE) direct-to-consumer business is bearish Foot Locker (FL) in a recent video on HedgeyeTV.

 

Click here to watch.

Investing Ideas Newsletter - footlocker

GIS

This stock is not likely going to go up 20% in the next year, but we do believe it will fare better than most in the consumer staples sector, especially as we head into an economic slowdown. That's why GIS is up 5.5% year-to-date versus down -1.4% for the S&P 500.

 

In the past few newsletters we've noted the effect Walmart is having on GIS, how its Yogurt business is faring against competitors, and how the company is broadening the distribution of its top 450 SKUs. On the M&A front, barring any screaming deals in the market place we don’t see General Mills (GIS) buying anything over roughly $1 billion in sales, just given the added complexity it would cause. So they will most likely continue the string of pearls approach in the Natural & Organic/Snacking categories. This does not rule out the possibility of GIS being bought, 3G & Kraft Heinz could be getting back in the mix as well, although it seems too soon for another deal this big. 

DRI

To view our analyst's original report on Darden Restaurants click here.

 

This week we learned that Darden Restaurants (DRI) CFO Jeffrey Davis resigned. Davis joined the company in July 2015 and was replaced by Ricardo Cardenas, who served as the company’s chief strategy officer since July 2015. For what it's worth, Cardenas was originally passed over for the CFO job. That didn't stop DRI shares from rising 4% this week as the company posted healthy expected same-restaurant-sales growth for its just-completed quarter.

 

Still, Hedgeye Restaurants analyst Howard Penney is unpersuaded. We've noted the significant issues facing DRI's Olive Garden chain, including remodeling 400 older RevItalia restaurants. Note: Olive Garden makes up roughly 56% of sales.

 

In a recent institutional research note, Penney notes:

 

"Olive Garden is now lapping positive same-store sales figures with the biggest hurdles coming over the next three quarters. Please see below, the first chart displays same-store sales going back to 1Q12, with four quarters of consensus estimates. In 3Q16, Olive Garden will be comping against 2.2% sames-store sales growth. The second chart shows monthly traffic trends at Olive Garden. As you can see positive traffic is a rare occurrence, with just three positive months of traffic in the LTM November 2015 period."

 

Investing Ideas Newsletter - dri sss


Cartoon of the Day: The Big Bang Theory

Cartoon of the Day: The Big Bang Theory - ECB cartoon 03.11.2016

 

"Our #BigBangTheory remains a very relevant market risk," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote this week. "My theory goes that central market planners (BOJ, ECB, Fed, etc.) lose the #BeliefSystem of the market place - instead of currencies going down when they attempt to ease and devalue, they go up (and stocks go down). This just happened in both Japan and Europe."


Howe: ‘Trump Will Run To The Left Of Clinton’

 

Hedgeye's Demography Sector Head Neil Howe made a bold prediction on today's edition of The Macro Show. According to Howe, in the general election, Donald Trump will pivot to the left of Hillary Clinton to scoop up the Bernie Sanders crowd.


the macro show

what smart investors watch to win

Hosted by Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough at 9:00am ET, this special online broadcast offers smart investors and traders of all stripes the sharpest insights and clearest market analysis available on Wall Street.

ZROZ: Adding Pimco 25+ Year Zero Coupon US Treasury ETF to Investing Ideas (Long Side)

Takeaway: We are adding ZROZ to Investing Ideas today.

Editor's Note: Below is a brief explanation from CEO Keith McCullough on why we are adding ZROZ to Investing Ideas today.

 

ZROZ: Adding Pimco 25+ Year Zero Coupon US Treasury ETF to Investing Ideas (Long Side)  - z dodod

 

At this point, the perma bull narrative on why "stocks are gonna rip" is changing by the week. The latest is that "rates are going up into the Fed being hawkish next week, so the Financials are gonna rip."

 

OK

 

But, wasn't the main reason why stocks crashed in JAN-FEB that the Fed was raising rates (tightening) into a slowdown? Doesn't raising rates tighten the screws on "reflation" trades and crush Junk Bond and EM bulls? 

 

Oh. Right. #Recession risks have abated, so it's different this time.

 

Right. Other than at the firm that called #GrowthSlowing to begin with. Hedgeye maintains its non-consensus view that US GDP and corporate profit growth will look slowest in Q2 when both "comp" the toughest (i.e. PEAK) of the cycle.

 

Buy Zeroes (and more Long-term Treasuries, TLT) on red here. It's been a much better position than "stocks" in 2016.


Call Invite | Is This a Generational Buying Opportunity in Emerging Markets?

Watch this presentation live below at 1:00pm ET. 

 

Please join us on Wednesday, March 16th at 1:00pm EST for a conference call highlighting our latest thoughts on emerging markets. Recall that the globally-interconnected, rigorously quantitative nature of our research led us to be appropriately bearish on the structural outlook for EM economies and their financial markets as far back as early 2013, ultimately reiterating that view on a subsequent conference call in late 2014. Now, we are keen to apply a similarly rigorous framework in the process of kicking the tires on the long side of emerging markets.

 

KEY TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

 

  • Have emerging market financial assets bottomed? Despite a broad-based rebound in EM asset prices throughout the YTD, the belief that many EM asset markets remain at/near trough valuations has some merit. In this presentation we identify and vet potential catalysts for a sustained recovery and/or another material leg down for EM capital and currency markets.
  • Are the Chinese economy, its banking system and the yuan as vulnerable to collapse as investor consensus believes? Many investors seem to be of the view that China requires a material devaluation of the RMB to stave off banking crisis and/or outright economic collapse. Some investors actually believe each of those outcomes are inevitable. In this presentation, we offer our well-researched thoughts on the viability of these views.
  • Which countries will outperform from here? The latest refresh of our proprietary EM Crisis Risk Index will offer valuable insights as to which countries investors should overweight and underweight from here.

 

CALL DETAILS

 

  • Toll Free:
  • Toll:
  • UK: 0 -
  • Confirmation Number: 13631753
  • Materials: CLICK HERE

 

As always, our prepared remarks will be followed by a live, anonymous Q&A session. Please submit your questions to . Also, for those of you who cannot join us live, we will be distributing a replay video of the call shortly after it concludes.

 

Kind regards,

 

DD

 

Darius Dale

Director


Teflon Don + 6 Key Election Takeaways

Takeaway: Donald Trump is poised to clean up on Tuesday, putting the party on the verge of crowning a nominee before its Democratic rivals.

Below is an excerpt from Potomac Research Group Chief Political Strategist JT Taylor's Morning Bullets sent to institutional clients each morning.

 

TWELFTH NIGHT

After a dozen debates, Marco Rubio finally nailed one, but it may have come too late for the Senator.  With only four days to go before the make-or-break-FL vote on Tuesday, Rubio's performance is sure to give him some badly-needed oxygen, but it's unclear whether it will be enough to dethrone Donald Trump. It was also good news for Ted Cruz and John Kasich, who don't have a shot in the state, but need to deny Trump its 99 delegates in order to have a path forward. Trump turned the theatrics way down last night as part of his recent pivot to a more 'presidential' demeanor -- but it was clear who the alpha dog was on stage, with Cruz the only one willing to take him on directly. Last night's debate was, mercifully, the most civil and policy-oriented to date with Cruz, Kasich and Rubio leading the charge on wide range of issues -- but when the frontrunner's shallow grasp on any given topic doesn't seem to matter, its impact is largely a matter of optics, not substance.

 

Teflon Don + 6 Key Election Takeaways - z tefl

 

BEN'S BLESSING

To ensure that any good news from last night's debate is overshadowed going into the weekend, Trump has secured the endorsement of his onetime rival Ben Carson with an announcement to come at a 9am presser today.   While his support has dwindled over the course of the primary, he still has a very loyal following and may augment Trump's current lead in Carson's home state of FL.

 

ROLL REVERSAL

Donald Trump is poised to clean up on Tuesday, putting the party on the verge of crowning a nominee before its Democratic rivals -- a scenario that would have been inconceivable just a few months ago. We've noted that Hillary Clinton's delegate lead was insurmountable, allowing her to shift her focus to running against Trump in the general election -- now Bernie Sanders' surprise win in MI has forced Hillary to turn her attention back to becoming her party's nominee. With Hillary refocused on Sanders, it gives Trump all the more room to secure his delegate lead, and avoiding the flak that he would otherwise be getting from her and the Democratic party.

 

HILLARY VEERS LEFT

Sanders' resiliency has forced Clinton to shift her campaign message to cater to his supporters. In many ways she's now running the campaign that Sanders hoped for with regard to the issues, but at the same time she is trying to paint Sanders as a conservative stooge on gun rights, the Ex-Im bank, and even the minutemen militias patrolling the Mexico border -- while herself outflanking Obama to the left on immigration. The farther left Clinton ventures, the more difficult it will be for her to swing back to the center for the general -- and TPP is only the first casualty of this shift.

 

SELF SUPPORTING

Being the frontrunner with a sizeable delegate lead, and having a devoted support base that won't budge is the typical dream of a presidential candidate. Labeling himself as a 'unifier' and an 'asset' to the party because he brings out more voters, Trump's new tack belies his divisive rhetoric -- including his newest statement about Islam. Trump is only expanding his own support base, not the party's, and he is narrowing his chances of winning in the general election every time he steps up to the mic.

 

STICKS AND STONES

Trump is spending more money in FL and OH than he has done in recent states, to bolster his dominance in earned media -- which so far has played in his favor. Knowing that this is a chance to knock out two opponents and seal the deal for the nomination, he's spent $1.2 million in FL and just over $800k in OH. He'd be the first to say that this is pocket change for him, but that figure is dwarfed by the combined spending of his rivals and the anti-Trump superPACS, which have dumped well over $10 million into the two states. The anti-Trump movement is rushing to throw all they can at Trump before Tuesday, but we again doubt it will stick to the Teflon Don.


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