- Their high unit growth strategies have likely pushed their respective management teams to compromise their real estate standards, leading to less favorable lease terms. For reference, as of their most recent 10-Ks, JBX, DRI and EAT are all subject to operating lease obligations that decline each year.
- CMG management addressed this issue on its conference call yesterday, saying:
“Occupancy costs as a percentage of revenue were up during the quarter, primarily due to our opening proportionally more restaurants in more expensive, densely populated areas such as Boston, New York, Philly, Washington DC, Florida, and San Francisco. In addition to being much more expensive on a square footage basis, these sites typically have significantly higher non-cash straight-line rent expenses associated with them as we lock up these sites for the long term with cap rent escalation. In fact, half of the 20 basis point increase in the quarter is due to an increase in this non-cash straight-line rent. Of the total occupancy rent expense – occupancy expense in the quarter of about 1.6 million or 50 basis points is non-cash, straight-line rent related to future rent escalations. While these rent escalations are expensed today, they typically relate to escalations that are payable 5 to 20 years from today.”
Obviously this reminds us that Asia has slowed. But what does this tell us about governments that opt to bail out their banks and devalue their currency? The Japanese economic narrative is not one that Ben Bernanke should aspire to have his name associated with.
It’s time for the US to raise interest rates.
Brazil raised interest rates overnight by another 75 basis points, taking their benchmark rate to 13%. This is definitely one of the factors creating weakness in the commodities markets this week. The world needs inflation fighters, and if the USA is not going to take that leadership role, a country like Brazil is good enough for me.
Well done, Mr. Mereilles.
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1. The Macau Government seems to be serious regarding a potential 5,000 table cap per license. They may have already set up an investigative committee to look at the cap. If implemented I think there would be some sort of grandfathering for already permitted developments. A cap would obviously result in a pretty big boost to same store revenues.
2. It appears that traffic at the Venetian Macau has actually picked up recently despite the new Visa restrictions. Assuming it translates into volume this would be a pretty nice boost given the lower than expected market share and margins at the property thus far.
While +27% year over year inflation is hardly deflationary. The point here is the sequential monthly rate of change. I think this will be broad based across country level inflation reports as the July data is released in August.
Inflation is consensus. Now the focus shifts to trying to find when/if it slows.
- Texas: EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson and Texas Governor Rick Perry agreed to delay the renewable fuels waiver decision - if prices continue to drop during the delay period it becomes more likely that the EPA will deny the waiver (7/24 was original deadline.) Cattle lobbyists maintain that current RFS mandate, coupled with any unforeseen weather issues, could drive corn to $8 for 2009 season when mandatory blending goes into effect. To put it in context: There are 162 operating ethanol plants with 41 under construction or expansion In the US, with almost all running at significantly less than total capacity. Total US ethanol capacity is estimated at 9.4B gallons currently.
- Canada: C.D. Howe Institute (economic think tank) sponsored study by University of Guelph (top agricultural sciences school in Canada) has stirred protest from bio-fuels industry groups. Study contends that there are no demonstrable environmental benefits of current bio-fuel process. Canadian media have linked study to World Bank report earlier this year which contended that bio-fuels were responsible for 75% of global food inflation.
- South Korea: Increasing use of black sea barley for stock feed -Ukraine/Russia harvest expected to be good. This potentially has a negative pressure on Barley buyers in NA as Canadian farmers were more focused on Corn & Wheat due to pricing.
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