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INSIDE THE HEDGEYE NOTEBOOK: Sept. 17, 2010

 

Another day, another grind…
 
Here are the bullish/bearish DATA and PRICE moves in my notebook from the last 48 hours.

 

 

INSIDE THE HEDGEYE NOTEBOOK: Sept. 17, 2010 - Notebook Image Hedgeye

 


BULLISH:
1.      SP500 continues to hold its immediate term TRADE line of support = 1111

2.      The range in our 3-day probability model for the SP500 continues to tighten (46 points now)

3.      All 9 sectors in our SP500 TRADE/TREND model continue to flash bullish TRADE, confirming the index signal

4.      India raised rates by 25bps to 6%, making its 5th hike of 2010, and the BSE Sensex continued to make higher-highs

5.      Chile raised rates by 50bps to 2.5% on inflation concerns (yes, they are real) and Chilean equities are +32% YTD

6.      FTSE and DAX continue to flash bullish TRADE and TREND

7.      Netherlands reported a better than expected unemployment rate of 5.3% (down 20bps m/m) and now that stock market is bullish TRADE/TREND

8.      Russian and Norwegian stock markets have recovered their bullish intermediate term TREND lines (bullish oil signal)

9.      Both the Euro and British Pound (were long FXB) are back to bullish TRADE and TREND relative to the USD

10.  Both Brazil and Canada continue to trade bullish on both TRADE and TREND durations

11.  Commodity prices continue to be in a Bullish Formation (bullish across all 3 of our core investment durations: TRADE, TREND, and TAIL)

12.  CRB Index and soft/agricultural immediate term TRADE correlations (inverse) continue to be north of .80 across the board

13.  Gold prices continue to make higher-highs and higher lows (fear of US Congress and Japanese Bureaucrats trade)

14.  The Yield Spread (10s minus 2s) has expanded week/week by 8 basis points; bullish immediate term TRADE signal for financials

15.  US CPI and PPI inflation reports came in very much benign for august, support the storytellers at the Fed who never will see inflation

16.  Texas Instruments (TXN) buyback of $7.5B was a beast, stoking the “cash on corporate balance sheet” bull case that we heard in 2007

17.  Spanish Debt sales were both longer duration (30yr) and lower yield (5.07% vs. 5.9% last) than prior auctions

 


BEARISH
1.      SP500 continues to flash bearish from an intermediate term TREND perspective = 1144 resistance

2.      Volatility (VIX) is holding its 21-22 level of intermediate term support = sell signal

3.      US stock market breadth has deteriorated this week = 1st week it has done that in the last 3

4.      US Dollar continues to be a train wreck: down -1.8% w/w and down 13 of the last 16 weeks

5.      Short term US Treasury Yields (2s) have broken their immediate term TRADE line of support again of 0.52% = bearish US GDP signal

6.      Philly Fed survey -0.7 was another miss

7.      University of Michigan Consumer confidence drops to 66.6 here in September (from 68.9 in AUG) despite low-volume stock market strength

8.      Waxman, Weiner, Schumer all picking up the government intervention/fear-mongering from gold to china = bearish US Dollar and bond yield factor

9.      UBS comes out with their super duper “idea” list of “39 Potential M&A candidates” this week; smacks of 2007 sellside hope

10.  Chinese equities closed down for the final 3 days of the week; still bullish TREND, but bearish immediate term TRADE is as bearish does

11.  China is a “manipulator” rhetoric really turning up the volume on anti-Congress commentary in Asian publications

12.  Japanese Yen has finally broken its immediate term TRADE line of support and looks to have locked in a 3-6 month high in the rear-view

13.  Pakistan showing some equity weakness into week’s end; geopolitical risk? its certainly being priced into commodity inflation

14.  Greece continues to act like the dog of dogs after breaking critical TREND line of support at 1575 on the ATG Index (down -29% YTD)

15.  UK Retail Sales dropped sequentially to +0.4% (AUG) vs +1.0% (JUL)

 
On balance, still more immediate term bullish than bearish DATA and PRICE moves in my notebook and I guess that explains partly why I have the longest invested position I’ve had in our Hedgeye Asset Allocation Model in months (cash position has dropped from a peak of 79% to 46% today), but I’m getting very nervous about holding my longs here (13 LONGS, 10 SHORTS). Congress scares the hell out of me.
 

Enjoy your weekend,
KM
 
Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer
HEDGEYE RISK MANAGEMENT

 

 

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NATURAL GAS BEARISH OUTLOOK: DRILLING TECHNOLOGY DRIVING U.S. GAS PRODUCTION INTO OVERSUPPLY

The note below is from Lou Gagliardi, our recently-launched Sector Head of Energy. If you'd like to trial his energy sector research, which includes access to the replay of his launch presentation on natural gas, crude oil, and opportunities in the global E&P sector, please email sales@hedgeye.com.

 

 

Position: Short natural gas (UNG)

 

Conclusion: Advances in drilling technology are way ahead of the demand curve, creating excess inventory which puts downward pressure on price that could lead to a prolonged period of oversupply.

 

As we stated in our Energy Sector launch yesterday, we are bearish on the outlook for natural gas for three key reasons: demand, human behavior, and technology.  Today we want to focus on the technology aspect of the bear case for natural gas.

 

The increasing utilization of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in combination as production methods of tapping into unconventional natural gas shale plays in the lower 48 over the last several years has rocketed U.S. natural gas production. When demand re-emerges, indications are that production will chase price leading to a natural gas oversupply situation. Surprisingly, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its Energy Information Agency (EIA) is forecasting flat natural gas demand for 2011, but (surprisingly) higher prices. We obviously disagree.

 

Some key facts to consider as it relates to our thesis:

 

Production

  • U.S. Gas production peaked in about 1974 and finally turned higher in 2005 due to increasing utilization of horizontal rigs and hydraulic fracturing (highlighted in the charts below).
  • From 2005 to 2010 (YTD), U.S. gas production increased ~20%.  In that period gas rigs declined ~20%, but horizontal rigs increased 325% (vertical rigs declined 77%).

Horizontal drilling technology

  • Horizontal rigs have increasingly displaced Vertical rigs; today roughly 65% of overall rigs in the US are horizontal rigs (highlighted in the charts below).
  • Horizontal rigs generate greater production flow rates than vertical rigs, due to greater contact area with reservoirs.
  • While horizontal drilling incurs higher costs, as much as two or three times that of a vertical well, the production factor can be increased as much as 15 or 20 times.
  • Additionally, horizontal drilling can lead to an increase in reserves in place by 2% of the original oil in place. The production ratio for horizontal wells versus vertical wells is ~3 to 1, while the cost ratio of horizontal versus vertical wells is only ~2 to 1.
  • Horizontal drilling has reduced drilling and completion costs to under $4.00/Mcf from over $5.00/Mcf. By contrast, the marginal cost of US gas production from conventional vertical wells averages ~$6.00/Mcf. 

Access to unconventional assets 

  • Today, roughly half the natural gas consumed in the U.S is produced from unconventional wells drilled within the last few years made accessible by new drilling technology.
  • Unconventional gas production accounts for nearly 50% of total U.S. gas production.
  • Reportedly breakeven costs for U.S. unconventional gas plays range from as low as $3.30/Mcfe in the Marcellus, and $3.66/Mcfe in the Fayetteville and Horn River to $4.43/Mcfe and $4.79/Mcfe in the Montey and Haynesville, respectively.
  • Drilling (horizontal) technology has enhanced deepwater exploration in areas such as Brazil (Sub-Salt), Gulf of Mexico (GOM - Lower Tertiary); and unconventional resource plays in areas besides the lower 48, as the Canadian (Oil Sands-In-Situ), Europe, China, and other unconventional plays such as Tight Gas Sands, and Coal Bed Methane.

Pent up supply

  • In a low gas price environment companies have sought to restrict flow rates, slowing production, to focus on maximizing “ultimate gas recovery”.
  • High production rates reduce a reservoir’s permeability, by slowing the production flow rate; you slow the “decline curve” and increase potential estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) rates.
  • Reducing the flow rate also defers the need for capital intensive compression, which comprises roughly a third of operating costs.
  • Restricted flow rates can likely increase the recovery factor from 30% to 40%.
  • Hydraulic fracturing enables the production of natural gas and oil from generally 5,000-20,000 feet.

In aggregate, advances in technology related to horizontal drilling and fracturing allow E&P companies to access natural gas reserves in areas that were once considered unconventional.  The impact of this is a lower aggregate cost to access the natural gas, and less steep decline curves.  As a result, production outstrips long term domestic demand growth, which we measured at ~0.5% per annum over the last thirty years.

 

Natural gas supply and demand facts don’t lie; DOE projections for price do.

 

Louis Gagliardi

Managing Director

 

NATURAL GAS BEARISH OUTLOOK: DRILLING TECHNOLOGY DRIVING U.S. GAS PRODUCTION INTO OVERSUPPLY - L1

 

NATURAL GAS BEARISH OUTLOOK: DRILLING TECHNOLOGY DRIVING U.S. GAS PRODUCTION INTO OVERSUPPLY - L2

 

NATURAL GAS BEARISH OUTLOOK: DRILLING TECHNOLOGY DRIVING U.S. GAS PRODUCTION INTO OVERSUPPLY - L3

 

NATURAL GAS BEARISH OUTLOOK: DRILLING TECHNOLOGY DRIVING U.S. GAS PRODUCTION INTO OVERSUPPLY - L4


EARLY LOOK: Deeply Disturbing

 

 

 

 

 "It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."
– United States Supreme Court decision in American Communications Association v. Douds

 

 

 

Before I start getting into one of the most critical long term TAIL risks that I am currently seeing develop in my interconnected global macro model (analytically incompetent Congressmen starting an economic war with China), allow me to paint a few mathematical lines around the core of the issue – unawareness.
 
1.      US Dollar: for the week-to-date = DOWN -1.8% (just another week of the same debauchery)

2.      Chinese Yuan: for the week-to-date = UP +0.90% (its best week in 28 months)

 


Now President Obama has been crystal clear in rhetoric on making decisions “based on facts” so we, as citizens, should hold him accountable to that in order “to keep the government from falling into error.”
 
To be fair, maybe our immediate term TRADE duration (3-weeks or less) is too short term for the economic sophisticates managing America’s currency risk from Washington, DC. So let’s look at currency “manipulation” on our intermediate term TREND duration:
 
1.      US Dollar: has declined in 13 of the last 16 weeks, and has lost over -8% of its value since early June when CNBC started begging Bernanke for QE2.

2.      Chinese Yuan: has been stable, not losing more than 0.5% of its value in any given week for the last 3 months.

 

 

 
If the intermediate term TREND of US Dollar devaluation and Chinese Yuan appreciation doesn’t fit your partisan politicking, let’s blow the charts out to the longest of long term so that your local politician who is gasping for the over-compensation air of re-election at the mid-terms can get “smart” on the math.
 
1.      US Dollar: after Nixon abandoned the gold standard (1971) and endowed both the Fed and Congress with the inalienable right to manipulate the world’s reserve currency via the US Federal Reserve Fund Rate, the US Dollar has only made a series of lower-highs and lower-lows.

2.      Chinese Yuan: since China de-pegged its currency in 2005, the Chinese Yuan has only appreciated in value. This morning’s price is the highest price ever for the Chinese Yuan. By our math, ever is a long time.

 


For the mathematically challenged, we’ve provided a picture of the long-term US Dollar chart so that you can forward it to Chuck Schumer (Democrat – New York) and Sander Levin (Democrat – Michigan). Before we YouTube what these professional politicians had to say on this matter, here’s what the Chinese said overnight:
 
1.      “Large fluctuations in the US Dollar’s exchange rate may impede the global economic recovery.” –Chinese Central Bank

2.      “The appreciation of the renminbi cannot solve the trade deficit with China and can’t fix the US unemployment problem.” –Jiang Yu

3.      “Pressure cannot solve the issue, rather it may lead to the contrary.” -Jiang Yu (spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry in Beijing)

 


Back to America’s conflicted, compromised, and confused:
 
1.      “We have to figure out ways to change behavior” –Tim Geithner

2.      “The U.S. economy is trying to pick itself up off the ground, China’s currency manipulation is like a boot to the throat of our recovery.” –Chuck Schumer

3.      “Chinese practices have led to a staggering US Trade Deficit… and it’s deeply disturbing.”  - Sander Levin

 

You got that right Colonel Sander Levin – the comments coming out of your mouth are Deeply Disturbing on so many levels that are obvious to any educated American on global risk matters right now that I can end with that. If your objective is to fear-monger uneducated Americans into going anti-China, shame on you.
 
Chuck Schumer became a member of the New York State Assembly in 1975. Sander Levin assumed office in Michigan’s 12th district in 1983. If these two characters want to point fingers at China for US government spending, deficit building, and debt incursion rather than hold themselves accountable to zero US private payroll adds in the last decade, they can go ahead and try – maybe that gets the next lemming in line to vote for them again, but in the age of the internet, I don’t think Americans are that stupid. Gentlemen, you have been YouTubed.
 
What do the alleged “non-partisan” people in Washington have to say about all this? Eswar Prasad, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, concluded that “as the US mid-term election nears, the temptation of grandstanding on China will be irresistible to most Congressman.”
 
Thank you, Mr. Prasad.
 
The fact of the matter is that US Dollar depreciation is aided and abetted by stock market cheerleading to keep the US Federal Funds rate at ZERO percent anytime this country has an economic problem. That horse has been beaten to a dead pulp and has only equated to a high/low society whereby guys like me get paid to trade the volatility of commodity prices born out of that Dollar Depreciation as America’s poor get jammed with higher prices.
 
Mr. President, you tell me who is lying here, because it certainly isn’t market prices. The price of oats are up +24% in the last month alone (I eat oatmeal for breakfast). On our immediate term TRADE duration here are the highest inverse correlations to the USD Dollar:
 
1.      Sugar = 0.90

2.      Oats = 0.88

3.      Cotton = 0.86

4.      Corn = 0.85

5.      Oil = 0.79

 
*note to Chuck – these are very high inverse correlations.


According to the US Census Bureau, there were 43.6 MILLION Americans living in poverty in 2009 and the latest reading on Americans who live off of food stamps is about that same number (which is at a 15 year high). Professional politicians who are pointing fingers at the Chinese this morning get one big fat middle one from me – their fear-mongering is Deeply Disturbing. It’s US monetary policy, stupid.
 
My immediate term support and resistance lines for the SP500 are now 1111 and 1134, respectively. With the US stock market being immediate term TRADE bullish, I have upped my asset allocation to US Equities to 6% this week and taken my position in cash down to 46%. With US Congress imposing this kind of systemic risk to our financial system however, I’ll be a net seller all day today.

 

 

Best of luck out there today,
KM
 
Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer
HEDGEYE RISK MANAGEMENT

 

 

 

EARLY LOOK: Deeply Disturbing - chart1

 

 

Subscribe to Hedgeye to receive research and portfolio positions in real-time.  This note was originally published and emailed to subscribers at 8am, this morning, September 17, 2010.


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The Grind: What's In My Notebook

Another day, another grind…

 

Here are the bullish/bearish DATA and PRICE moves in my notebook from the last 48 hours.

 

BULLISH:

  1. SP500 continues to hold its immediate term TRADE line of support = 1111
  2. The range in our 3-day probability model for the SP500 continues to tighten (46 points now)
  3. All 9 sectors in our SP500 TRADE/TREND model continue to flash bullish TRADE, confirming the index signal
  4. India raised rates by 25bps to 6%, making its 5th hike of 2010, and the BSE Sensex continued to make higher-highs
  5. Chile raised rates by 50bps to 2.5% on inflation concerns (yes, they are real) and Chilean equities are +32% YTD
  6. FTSE and DAX continue to flash bullish TRADE and TREND
  7. Netherlands reported a better than expected unemployment rate of 5.3% (down 20bps m/m) and now that stock market is bullish TRADE/TREND
  8. Russian and Norwegian stock markets have recovered their bullish intermediate term TREND lines (bullish oil signal)
  9. Both the Euro and British Pound (were long FXB) are back to bullish TRADE and TREND relative to the USD
  10. Both Brazil and Canada continue to trade bullish on both TRADE and TREND durations
  11. Commodity prices continue to be in a Bullish Formation (bullish across all 3 of our core investment durations: TRADE, TREND, and TAIL)
  12. CRB Index and soft/agricultural immediate term TRADE correlations (inverse) continue to be north of .80 across the board
  13. Gold prices continue to make higher-highs and higher lows (fear of US Congress and Japanese Bureaucrats trade)
  14. The Yield Spread (10s minus 2s) has expanded week/week by 8 basis points; bullish immediate term TRADE signal for financials
  15. US CPI and PPI inflation reports came in very much benign for august, support the storytellers at the Fed who never will see inflation
  16. Texas Instruments (TXN) buyback of $7.5B was a beast, stoking the “cash on corporate balance sheet” bull case that we heard in 2007
  17. Spanish Debt sales were both longer duration (30yr) and lower yield (5.07% vs. 5.9% last) than prior auctions

BEARISH

  1. SP500 continues to flash bearish from an intermediate term TREND perspective = 1144 resistance
  2. Volatility (VIX) is holding its 21-22 level of intermediate term support = sell signal
  3. US stock market breadth has deteriorated this week = 1st week it has done that in the last 3
  4. US Dollar continues to be a train wreck: down -1.8% w/w and down 13 of the last 16 weeks
  5. Short term US Treasury Yields (2s) have broken their immediate term TRADE line of support again of 0.52% = bearish US GDP signal
  6. Philly Fed survey -0.7 was another miss
  7. University of Michigan Consumer confidence drops to 66.6 here in September (from 68.9 in AUG) despite low-volume stock market strength
  8. Waxman, Weiner, Schumer all picking up the government intervention/fear-mongering from gold to china = bearish US Dollar and bond yield factor
  9. UBS comes out with their super duper “idea” list of “39 Potential M&A candidates” this week; smacks of 2007 sellside hope
  10. Chinese equities closed down for the final 3 days of the week; still bullish TREND, but bearish immediate term TRADE is as bearish does
  11. China is a “manipulator” rhetoric really turning up the volume on anti-Congress commentary in Asian publications
  12. Japanese Yen has finally broken its immediate term TRADE line of support and looks to have locked in a 3-6 month high in the rear-view
  13. Pakistan showing some equity weakness into week’s end; geopolitical risk? its certainly being priced into commodity inflation
  14. Greece continues to act like the dog of dogs after breaking critical TREND line of support at 1575 on the ATG Index (down -29% YTD)
  15. UK Retail Sales dropped sequentially to +0.4% (AUG) vs +1.0% (JUL)

On balance, still more immediate term bullish than bearish DATA and PRICE moves in my notebook and I guess that explains partly why I have the longest invested position I’ve had in our Hedgeye Asset Allocation Model in months (cash position has dropped from a peak of 79% to 46% today), but I’m getting very nervous about holding my longs here (13 LONGS, 10 SHORTS). Congress scares the hell out of me.

 

Enjoy your weekend,

KM

 

The Grind: What's In My Notebook - The Grind


THE M3: CoD APARTMENT HOTEL; MICE; TAM KEEPS 30% TARGET; LIGHT RAILWAY

The Macau Metro Monitor, September 17th 2010

 

APARTMENT HOTEL ROOMS CAN'T BE SOLD: GOV'T Macau Daily Times

Despite a recent change in the land agreement, CoD cannot sell the rooms individually in its apartment hotel, said the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT).  The Secretary for Transport and Public Works issued a land revision allowing the property to increase the construction areas of its five-star hotel and a four-star apartment hotel by 42 percent and 32 percent respectively.

 

According to the DSSOPT,  the land concessionaire adjusted the investment strategy in response to the local market’s development, and therefore increased the area of part of its five-star hotels.  The decision to change the five-start apartment hotel to four-star  was to make the development project meet the demand of different types of customers, added DSSOPT.  In addition, DSSOPT reiterated that the land parcel could not be transferred to another party without the approval of the Government.

 

MICE BUSINESS PICKING UP AT VENETIAN MACAO macaubusiness.com

Total MICE group hotel bookings grew by 42% YoY in the first half of 2010, “with no sign of slowing down this year and into 2011,” says Sands China.  A total of 33 trade shows have been confirmed for 2010, up 22% since 2008.  The company says it is seeing a particularly strong growth in emerging markets with group business from India up 63% from 2009 and China up 72%.

 

GAMING REVENUE GROWTH IN MACAU TO SLOW DOWN UNTIL THE END OF 2010: GOVERNMENT macaubusiness.com

Secretary Tam continues to expect GGR growth of 30% for 2010.  Mr. Tam said he believed the growth of the gaming revenue in the fourth quarter of 2010 would be slower since the comparison basis is higher.

 

US $1B LIGHT RAILWAY UP AND RUNNING IN MACAU BY 2014 SCMP

According to Michael Lam Soi-hoi, a transport infrastructure consultant with the city's government, Macau will spend US$1 BN to build a light railway by 2014 and continue expansion thereafter.  The US$1 billion would be spent on Phase I of the plan, which comprised two light rail lines and would start operation in 2014, Lam said.


R3: GIII, M, HLYS, LVMH, and SocialSmack

R3: REQUIRED RETAIL READING

September 17, 2010

 

The real-time feedback loop continues to grow for consumer brands as social media sites such as SocialSmack solicit instant feedback on a brand’s worthiness.  There’s no hiding anymore if your product or customer service isn’t up to par. 

 

RESEARCH ANECDOTES

 

- Keep an eye on a new social media site called SocialSmack. The site is partially an information network, a consumer review site, and part game.  The goal is to allow users to give “props” or “drops” to specific brands as well as connect them to other SocialSmackers.  Yet another reason for companies to focus on their customer now that they are about to have a real-time report card.

 

- The combination of two old-school off-pricers is  finally a reality with the opening of Fb Sy on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.  Yes, that is the horrible new name for the Filene’s Basement/Syms combo.  Within the store, Syms remains the brand of choice for men’s while everything else is marketed under Filene’s Basement.  Seems like management is torn between choosing sides on this one.

 

- Several changes among fashion brands took place this year in Interbrand’s annual ranking of the top 100 global brands.  Louis Vuitton remains the highest ranked fashion brand on the list, logging in at number 16 overall.  H&M (#21), Nike (#25), Gucci (#44), and Zara (#48) were all in the top 50.  Other ranked brands included Adidas, Hermès, Gap, Armani and Burberry.  Dropping off the global 100 were Ralph Lauren, Prada, and Puma. 

 

 

OUR TAKE ON OVERNIGHT NEWS 

 

GIII and The Camuto Group Form JV to Open and Operate Footwear and Accessories Outlet Stores - The goal is to open units in the first half of next year. Privately held Camuto Group, founded in 2001, will supply merchandise, and G-III will provide the infrastructure for the new concept. Brands in Camuto’s portfolio include Vince Camuto, Jessica Simpson, BCBG Max Azria, BCBGeneration, Kensiegirl, Lucky Brand and Arturo Chiang, among others. G-III is a publicly held manufacturer of outerwear and women’s sportswear and also operates retail outlet stores under the Wilsons Leather nameplate. <wwd.com/business-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Interesting combo here given that GIII is providing infrastructure for a footwear business in which it really has little expertise.  Perhaps this is really more of a play on leveraging Wilson’s retail infrastructure given Wilson’s is not one of the bright spots in the GIII portfolio.

 

Heelys Rolling into China - Heelys Inc. announced on Wednesday it had hired Tokyo-based Japan-Asia Strategies and its owner, Thomas Seymour, to build the footwear firm's business in Asia. According to the company, Seymour will work closely with Heelys VP of international John O’Neil to evaluate market opportunities for the brand. <wwd.com/footwear-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  When all else fails, head to China.  We can just see the company presentations now highlighting the number of children’s feet in just Shanghai alone. 

 

Jimmy Choo To Reopen Retail Locations - After extensive renovations to bring its stores in line with its global design concept, Jimmy Choo has reopened three locations. The stores — at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif.; The Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, N.J.; and Highland Park Village in Dallas — each feature design elements of a 1940s boutique and showcase the full range of Jimmy Choo shoes, handbags, small leather goods and sunglasses. CEO Joshua Schulman noted that the stores needed to be updated to fully reflect the broader product range that the company now offers.  <wwd.com/footwear-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  Good timing as the company is rumored to be for sale.  The stores will be key to transforming the brand beyond shoes into a “lifestyle” brand. 

 

Macy’s Prepares For More Online Growth - The retailer will expand a Tennessee fulfillment center to support its growing online sales. Macy’s says web sales for the first half of 2010 increased 31%.  <internetretailer.com>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  No surprise here as this allows M to further expand is SKU count online as well as offer improved service.  E-com remains one the single biggest capital uses across the broadline space.

 

Lord & Taylor to Expand For First Time in A Decade - Sources said the retailer is seeking a second location in Westchester County, N.Y., largely based on the success of its Scarsdale branch in Westchester. That unit is the chain’s best-performing branch store. It is said to generate between $90 million and $100 million in annual sales, ranking second in volume behind L&T’s Fifth Avenue flagship. The retail chain owns the 180,000-square-foot Scarsdale location, both land and building. However, a source noted it can not be expanded. The last time L&T opened a store was in 2000. <wwd.com/business-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  Something is clearly working for the private equity parents to invest in L&T’s first store in 10 years!  Or, a growth story makes for an easier sale/IPO.  Either way, clearly L&T is finding its niche again and exploiting it in the market where it likely has the highest brand awareness and customer loyalty.

 

LVMH's Hublot Plans to Double Asian Stores on China Luxury Boom - Hublot , the Swiss watch brand that timed the World Cup, plans to more than double store numbers in Asia, driven by Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Biver ’s conviction that China offers at least 30 years of growth.  <bloomberg.com>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  Heely’s and Hublot’s in the same day. Now that’s a combo. 

 

Eve May Raise $445 Million Selling Shares to Finance China Menswear Shops - Eve Enterprise Group , the Chinese luxury menswear chain, plans to raise about 3 billion yuan ($446 million) selling shares to fund store openings as rising incomes fuel demand for tailored clothing. <bloomberg.com>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  Recall that Chinese consumption is not just fueling demand for Western Brands.  Local incumbents are turning up the competitive heat and are well capitalized.  Eve might just put a damper in Men’s Wearhouse’s  China plans.

  

More Studies Showing Retail Hiring Increases for Holiday - Retailers are more optimistic about revenue growth and are even planning to hire additional workers this holiday season as they recover from the prudence that’s dominated their thinking since the market disruptions of 2008. Those are the key takeaways from two studies, one from CIT Group Inc., surveying middle-market retailers, suppliers, and manufacturers; and the other from management consultancy Hay Group Inc. exploring the seasonal hiring intentions and sales and promotional expectations of 20 major retailers, including JCP and ANF. According to the CIT study, 68% of retailers expect to hire more workers this holiday season than they did for holiday 2009. And while 72% said they expect to discount more this year than a year ago. In the Hay Group study, 83% of the retailers said they plan to hire more or the same number of workers for the season, with 61% hiring about the same and 22% employing anywhere from 5 to 15% more to meet their holiday needs. <wwd.com/business-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:   While the promotional activity expectations are hardly surprising, we are a bit surprised to see that hiring will be up across most retail chains.  Perhaps this is more a result of understaffing last year than a true bullishness surrounding this 4Q.  Additionally, we would expect e-commerce to remain robust which in theory should also allow for more conservative staffing for those with multi-channel operations.

 

BFC: Fashion Worth 20 bn Pounds to UK Economy - The direct value of the fashion industry to the British economy is nearly 21 billion pounds according to a study released on the eve of London Fashion Week. The "Value of the UK Fashion Industry" report, commissioned by the British Fashion Council (BFC), defines the industry and analyses the economic value of Britain's fashion industry for the first time, the BFC said in a statement with the report's release. It said that fashion's wider contribution to the economy in influencing spending in other industries, ranging from IT to tourism, was calculated as more than 16 billion pounds. "This means that, including direct, indirect, induced and 'spill over' effects, the fashion industry's total contribution to the UK economy is estimated to stand at more than 37 billion pounds," the report said. <uk.reuters.com>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:   Translation:  The UK is giving NYC a run for is money as a key fashion center and this is likely to continue.

 

EU Leaders Agree to Give Pakistan Increased Market Access - European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to give Pakistan increased market access through a “time-limited” reduction in tariffs on key product categories as part of a support package to help the country recover from the summer’s devastating floods. The pending agreement would involve suspending tariffs on about a dozen major textile and apparel products from Pakistan worth about 231mm euros, or $300mm, annually. Key Pakistani textile exports, including cotton yarn and fabrics, are among the products being examined, EU diplomats said. EU leaders also agreed Thursday to seek to make Pakistan eligible for GSP Plus trade status by 2014. <wwd.com/business-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  Despite the tariff reductions, it will still take some time before commodity and textile production re-accelerates from the post-flood devastation. 

 

India: Textiles Ministry to Revive TUF Scheme in 3 Months - India’s textiles ministry has decided to reintroduce the Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) scheme, under which the government will subsidize a portion of interest on loans, exchange rate fluctuations and capital equipment on a case-to-case basis, in the next two to three months. <fashionnetasia.com>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  Government subsidized technology upgrades are just another step in India becoming an even bigger player in the textiles industry as it looks to offer a viable alternative to Chinese production.

 

 


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