This Week In Hedgeye Cartoons

Our cartoonist Bob Rich captures the tenor on Wall Street every weekday in Hedgeye's widely-acclaimed Cartoon of the Day. Below are his five latest cartoons. We hope you enjoy his humor and wit as filtered through Hedgeye's market insights. (Click here to receive our daily cartoon for free.)




1. Happy April Fools' Day (4/1/2016)

This Week In Hedgeye Cartoons - April foo cartoon 04.01.2016


See today's supposedly "bullish" non-farm payroll numbers? Nothing to celebrate. "Remember, whatever the bulls want to characterize as "good" news now = #Fed rate hike," says Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough. 


On a related note, we've got big news.


2. Dysfunction (3/31/2016)

This Week In Hedgeye Cartoons - Yellen cartoon 03.31.2016


"The Fed is S&P 500 dependent, not data dependent," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote recently. 


3. Reality Check (3/30/2016)

This Week In Hedgeye Cartoons - Math   Myth cartoon 03.30.2016


"Since Q4 ended on December 31st (they haven’t been able to centrally plan a change in the calendar dates yet), has anyone considered why we just saw the worst 6 week start to a stock market year ever? Yep, it’s the Profit vs. Credit Cycle (within the Economic Cycle), stupid," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote in a recent Early Look.


4. Whack! (3/29/2016)

This Week In Hedgeye Cartoons - oil cartoon 03.29.2016


Oil is getting knocked around again today, down another -2.4%, despite Fed head Janet Yellen reiterating that declining crude prices are "transitory."


5. Corporate Contraction (3/28/2016)

This Week In Hedgeye Cartoons - corp profits cartoon 03.28.2016


While U.S. 4Q GDP was revised up to +1.4%, the corporate profit component showed a -10.5% Y/Y contraction. That marks the second consecutive quarter in which corporate profit growth was down Y/Y. Over the past 30 years, two consecutive quarters of shrinking corporate profits have always preceded a material stock market crash.

Investing Ideas Newsletter

Takeaway: Current Investing Ideas: HBI, LAZ, MDRX, FL, NUS, JNK, TIF, WAB, ZBH, CME, ZROZ, XLU, MCD, GIS, TLT

Investing Ideas Newsletter - Yellen cartoon 03.31.2016


Below are our analysts’ new updates on our fifteen 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 removed Restoration Hardware (RH) from the long side of Investing Ideas this week. We also added Hanes Brands (HBI) to the short side and CME Group (CME) to the long side. Retail Sector head Brian McGough and Financials analyst Jonathan Casteleyn will send out full stock reports next week. We will send CEO Keith McCullough’s updated levels for each ticker in a separate email.



To view our analyst's original report on Junk Bonds click here, here for Utilities and here for Pimco 25+ Year Zero Coupon US Treasury ETF.


You might have heard on the radio while driving into work Friday that “the jobs market is good.” Non-Farm payroll additions came in over +200 again (+215K to be exact) and private sector wage growth was also “good,” increasing +4.2% Y/Y. But as we continue to reiterate, absolutes like “good” and “bad” are outside the Hedgeye vocabulary. We’re most concerned with "better" or "worse" from a rate of change perspective.


Our translation of the “jobs market is good” commentary? The non-farm payroll number was is "less good" (i.e. "worse") from a Y/Y rate-of-change perspective.


Growth in non-farm payrolls peaked in February 2015 at +2.3% Y/Y and the trend since then has been one of decline (+2.0% Y/Y for March 2016):


Investing Ideas Newsletter - 04.01.16 NFP Growth


If there was something “good” about the jobs report, it was embedded in the salary & wage growth numbers which accelerated on a Y/Y % change basis vs. February, right?


While accelerations are good, one data point does not make a trend. In reality, private sector salary and wage growth peaked on a Y/Y % change basis in December of 2014. So, yes "good" but again we’re still well passed peak. 


Investing Ideas Newsletter - 04.01.16 Wage Growth


From a process perspective, the goal is to get the longer-term trends of growth and inflation correct. On that front, inflation-adjusted growth is like a sine curve that goes through cycles of peaks and troughs, and we use every relevant data-series as an additive to predicting where we are in this endless sine curve: 


Investing Ideas Newsletter - 04.01.16 Sin Curve


So how does all of this filter down into our Investing Ideas?


Along with a myriad of other economic data points, the two labor market charts referenced above from Friday’s late-cycle non-farm payrolls report continue to roll over. That's why you stay bullish on Long Bonds (TLT and ZROZ), Utilities (XLU) and short Junk Bonds (JNK). We expect more alpha after what was a great Q1, as the back-end of the Treasury curve continues to get flatter regardless of Fed rate hikes. We were alone in that camp, in December, when we first told you that a rate hike was in fact good for long-duration Treasury bonds. Stick with what's worked.


Here's the Q1 2016 Scorecard (data through 3/31):

  • TLT +8.3%
  • XLU +14.7%
  • JNK +1.0%
  • versus S&P 500 +0.7%


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


Allscripts (MDRX) press releases announced two deals this week:


  1. A contract renewal and expansion with University Hospitals; and
  2. A dbMotion win at Salford Royal in the U.K.  


With respect to the UH deal and the impact on 1Q16 bookings, we would note that Allscripts does not include renewals in reported bookings and the bulk of incremental revenue ($3-6 million) associated with the 5 Sunrise Hospital installations will likely flow through maintenance and therefore also not be reflected in reported bookings. One of the hospitals has over 300 beds, but the rest are small, under 150 bed facilities (~900 beds total). However, Allscripts will lose 2x the number of beds in 2017 between the loss of Summa Health and Barnes Jewish when these facilities switch over to Epic in 2017.


Below are our key takeaways from our conversations with Allscripts' customers:


University Hospitals

  • Rolling out the core Sunrise suite to 5 hospitals UH acquired in the last two-years. One of the hospitals has over 300 beds, but the rest are small, under 150 bed facilities (~900 beds total). 
  • Renewed and expanded existing contract to include additional inpatient modules for surgery and radiology.
  • Allscripts was generous in the pricing of both the existing and expanded portions of the contract renewal.
  • CEO of University Hospitals has a strong relationship with Allscripts.
  • UH does not use Allscripts for hosting services and in a limited capacity for implementation services. 
  • Physicians happy with Sunrise.  Touchworks is an issue, but no plans on changing.

Barnabas Health/RWJ

  • Cerner will likely replace Allscripts at RWJ facilities when EHR contracts expire in 2020. However, they will consider all alternatives at that time.
  • RWJ embedded with Allscripts and the physicians are happy with Sunrise, although they have devoted substantial internal resources to integrating Touchworks.
  • It is highly probable that Barnabas will purchase dbMotion as a short-term solution to normalize data exchange with RWJ (similar to Baylor, Scott & White).
  • Looking to optimize revenue cycle in 2017 and consolidate vendors.  Will keep all options open and consider athenahealth.
  • Will likely go the HealtheIntent route for population health as you get the most value out of a system that is integrated with your EHR.


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


We think the rally back in shares of resource-related capital equipment companies, like Wabtec (WAB), has provided an opportunity to sell or enter a short. We expect rail capital spending to turn down given fleet demographics and rail volume trends. We still expect to earn well less than $4 per share in 2016, with a weaker second half of the year.


Investing Ideas Newsletter - wab table 


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


Hedgeye Managing Director Howard Penney has no update on Nu Skin (NUS) this week but reiterates his short call on the company. 


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


Tiffany (TIF) has rallied over the past month and a half along with most of retail. The Retail (XRT) is up 20% from its trough in mid February, and TIF has traded alongside. The company is up 21% since then. At the same time, TIF earnings expectations have continued to head downward. The stock is now trading over 19x 2016 consensus EPS numbers that we still think are too high.


Ultimately, we estimate that earnings growth will continue to underperform those lofty expectations and the premium P/E multiple will be at risk.


Investing Ideas Newsletter - tif chart


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


Investing Ideas Newsletter - lazard


Financials analyst Jonathan Casteleyn has no update on Lazard (LAZ) this week but reiterates his short call. Below are the key takeaways from Casteleyn's original stock report:

  • "Our main contention is that Wall Street is ignoring warnings signs of a high-water mark in M&A, including rising private equity participation levels and also all-time highs in consideration value. Both metrics last peaked in 2007."

  • "In addition, the constant rise of corporate credit costs from mid-2015 to current day has widely referenced Moody's indices higher by over 100 basis points. Our research shows that a move of this magnitude has historically impacted M&A by -20% on an annual basis."
  • Meanwhile, Lazard is riding a wave of new, successful Emerging Market product offerings. "The firm's EM exposure is understated and we estimate it is 55% of assets-under-management, and not the stated 30%." Also, "Lazard Asset Management has never sidestepped an EM melt-down, experiencing both negative growth and also market depreciation."
  • "The Street currently is at $2.78 billion in top-line for 2017 on EPS of $4.01 with '18 at $2.82 billion and $4.40."
  • "Our base case estimate is the stock is worth $30 per share on 10x our $3 EPS estimate for '16. Meanwhile, our bear case if M&A activity rolls over by -20%, is a $22 stock at $2.20 in earnings at a 10x multiple."


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


McDonald's (MCD) hit an all-time high this week. "They can't chase Energy Charts today, so they're just dog-piling into our long calls on GIS and MCD," wrote Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough on Friday. 


We've said it before, McDonald's has all the style factors that we like during these turbulent macro market times; high market cap, low beta and liquidity. The stock is up 7.5% this year beating the S&P 500 by more than 600 bps. In August 2015, Restaurants analyst Howard Penney wrote that "2015 will be the last time this stock is below $100."


A prescient call. Stick with it.


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


Growth in the US medical economy remains strong through March 2015 based on both healthcare and hospital employment as well as the job openings data. To date, we have not yet seen the #ACATaper in full force, although there are clear signs of slowing. This week, we saw a study from Blue Cross Blue Shield which makes us more convinced it's coming.  


The study details the massive difference in medical consumption between ACA enrollees and other plan enrollees.


Within the Obamacare population, inpatient and outpatient visits were north of 80% higher per person. We expect that increase to mean revert as these chronically uninsured people get the care they need and drop back to the insured baseline. And since knee replacement surgery was 6-fold higher among these newly insured, this will be a problem for Zimmer Biomet (ZBH) when it does.


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


In Foot Locker's (FL) 10K, the company disclosed that the percent of its purchases from Nike went DOWN in 2015 to 72% from 73% a year earlier. A whopping 1%, you say? Does this REALLY matter? Yes. It does. And here’s why…


  1. The share gain for Nike from 50% to 73% has been the primary driver of FL’s gravity-defying earnings recovery. Nothing that Foot Locker sells drives more traffic and boosts ASP more than something with a Swoosh on it.
  2. We think that Nike will add $10bn in online sales by 2020, and that’s off a base of $32bn. By our calculations, Brick&Mortar sales are likely to be down every year – unless industry sales growth can be in excess of 6% (and that only happens when we’re at the peak of a cycle). Let’s also keep in mind that Nike isn't the only company shifting online.
  3. At the same time, Nike’s percentage showed that 73% is likely the ceiling at Foot Locker, we actually saw FL’s Footwear Ratio go up 300bp to 82%. So it sold more footwear, but less of it was Nike (thank you Steph Curry/UA)
  4. FL bulls might argue that the company still comped well with less Nike going through the pipe. Yes, that’s true. But in the US, FL comps last year went from ‘low DD’ in ’14 to ‘high singles’ in ’15. We’ll call that a 300-500bp slowdown in comps, with just  100bp less in Nike product as a percent of the total. What happens if (when) the Nike ratio goes down to a healthier (but still unhealthy) 60%? FL comps are solidly negative in that scenario – there’s really no way around it. 


Bottom Line: With no square footage growth, peak gross margins, higher investment in SG&A and capex to compete against its vendors, this could easily cost FL 1,000bp in RNOA, $2-$3 in EPS, and 40% of its market cap.


Investing Ideas Newsletter - FL 3 31 2016 chart1


Joining McDonald's, General Mills (GIS) also hit an all-time high this week.


We continue to like GIS as one of the best large cap names in the packaged food space. With that being said, the third quarter was not without some noise around the numbers. Just look at the Green Giant divestiture, Walmart clean store policies, foreign currency exchange, and grain merchandising to name a few things that muddied the waters.


But after filtering out the noise, this is a business that is truly turning a corner. When fiscal year 2016 began last June, we knew this was not going to be an easy ship to turn towards success.


Now, many key product platforms are turning (through strong product innovation and renovation) in the right direction and operational improvements implemented through cost savings initiatives, GIS is on the cusp of success. We will be measuring this success and expect GIS to realize sustained top line growth in the low single digit range.


Investing Ideas Newsletter - gis 

The Week Ahead

The Economic Data calendar for the week of the 4th of April through the 8th of April is full of critical releases and events. Here is a snapshot of some of the headline numbers that we will be focused on.



The Week Ahead - 04.01.16 Week Ahead

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Risk Managed Long Term Investing for Pros

Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough handpicks the “best of the best” long and short ideas delivered to him by our team of over 30 research analysts across myriad sectors.

Cartoon of the Day: Happy April Fools' Day

Cartoon of the Day: Happy April Fools' Day - April foo cartoon 04.01.2016


See today's supposedly "bullish" non-farm payroll numbers? Nothing to celebrate. "Remember, whatever the bulls want to characterize as "good" news now = #Fed rate hike," says Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough. 


On a related note, we've got big news.

Godot's Cycle | A Few Quick Points on March NFP

Those waiting for an inflection to Trend acceleration in domestic growth have been waiting for 9-months and will be watching the economic paint dry for a long while still.  Those looking for an imminent, acute collapse in activity and a Saturday recession will be similarly disappointed.      


Since 1K labor review notes have already hit your inbox and because my proclivity for brevity has become an increasing function of my age, # of kids, and proximity to the weekend, let’s go with the bullet-point set of tangible takeaway:


  • Sequential ↑, Trend ↓ | The March Employment data was good but not good enough.  Given the easiest comp in years (Last March = +84K) we knew we’d get a sequential, rate-of-change acceleration in employment growth.  The Trend, however, remains one of deceleration off the RoC peak of +2.28% YoY recorded in February 2015. 
  • Bro, Don’t be So Bro-Cyclical About It! Peak rate-of-change in employment growth doesn’t herald an imminent recession.  Over the last three cycles, on average, the expansion lasted 24-months after reaching peak employment growth.  Notably, however, the cycle consistently plays itself out after cresting.  In other words, we don’t roll off peak growth then re-breach it to the upside. 
  • Comps:  With 2Q16 comps being the hardest of the cycle, the trend toward deceleration won’t abate over the nearer-term.   Reported 1Q earnings will remain dismal and the slope of the line across most growth metrics will remain negative in 2Q.
  • Labor ↑, Profits ↓:  To the extent demand & output continue to decelerate, healthy employment gains effectively equates to (further) lower productivity and margin pressure for businesses.   The combination of rising labor costs and declining demand/profitability can only persist so long until it feeds back negatively on hiring and capex decisions. 
  • Income:  With growth in aggregate hours rising and wage growth accelerating modestly, aggregate income growth should reflect modest acceleration when the official March data are reported later this month.  If the savings rate retreats off the highs of recent months, consumption growth should see similar improvement.  Like the employment dynamics highlighted above, this would represent a sequential improvement inside a larger trend towards deceleration. 
  • The Cycle | We’ll review this in fuller detail on our 2Q16 Macro Themes call on Thursday but the following fundamental macro metric flow sufficiently captures the broader reality:
    • 4Q14: Income Growth, Corporate Profits and SPX Margins Peak --> 1Q15: Employment Growth peaks --> 1H15: Consumption Growth & Confidence Peak--> 3Q15: Equities Peak  ……So, not some mystical transcendental function, it’s simply the cycle playing out largely as a commonsense expectation of it would suggest.   
  • Good = Bad:  Perceived good news =  ↑rate hike risk = $USD ↑ = equities/commodities/everything-reflation ↓.  Correlations, of course, build and decay but nearer-term inverse correlations to the dollar remain strong at present.   
  • Quad #3/4:  As it stands currently, we’re walking the edge of stagflation’s blade.  Rising inflation + Slowing Employment Growth classically characterizes the late-cycle.  If, however, wage inflation fails to materialize alongside the rise in broader inflation (driven by excess price growth in key consumer cost centers of housing/healthcare) and consumption/income continue to slow then stagflation risk starts to percolate more tangibly.  Neither scenario  - late cycle and/or stagflation -  is particularly supportive of pro-growth positioning.  

A visual tour of the data is below.  Enjoy the weekend.


Godot's Cycle | A Few Quick Points on March NFP - Empl Summary table


Godot's Cycle | A Few Quick Points on March NFP - NFP YoY


Godot's Cycle | A Few Quick Points on March NFP - NFP vs Earnings


Godot's Cycle | A Few Quick Points on March NFP - Impled Income Growth


Godot's Cycle | A Few Quick Points on March NFP - Tech vs Energy


Godot's Cycle | A Few Quick Points on March NFP - EP


Godot's Cycle | A Few Quick Points on March NFP - LFPR


Godot's Cycle | A Few Quick Points on March NFP - Labor Share


Godot's Cycle | A Few Quick Points on March NFP - Prof Donw



Christian B. Drake



McCullough: Is The Fed Dumb Enough To Hike On Today’s Jobs Report?

In this brief excerpt from The Macro Show earlier today, Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough discussed how the Fed will interpret today’s late cycle non-farm payroll numbers and its implications for investors.

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