Monday, August 13, 2012

Preview of macro/earnings 8/13-8/17

Welcome back everyone, its been a couple weeks since the last update due to final exams and a bit of a last hurrah over here at Oxford. I can say that it has probably been my best summer yet, but I’m home now and heading back to school for fall semester this upcoming Friday.

After the employment report two Fridays ago, we saw a huge unexpected jump, and the market reacted in a positive manner. My opinion, that was a good number, but to continue upward movements in the market like that, we need to continue to see numbers like this or 200K+ month in and out.

This past week was pretty light on all aspects, we drifted up a bit, with the S&P up just over 1% and the NASDAQ up nearly 2%, mainly driven by Apple.

I expect markets to be a bit more volatile this week with the large amount of data being released, we seem to be in the formation of a market top, being a bit over 1% away from 4 year highs. I am still a bit confused as to why the market keeps going up when growth is continuing to slow, but it is all about following the trends.

Above a picture of the weekly performance of the S&P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones
Along with a look at ES_F CL_F and EUR/USD futures.

Reviewing my recommendations from the last post, we saw Texas Roadhouse down slightly, but beat expectations. Looking at internals from the report, they beat EPS .28 v .22 and revenue is growing at a steady pace as they continue to build more restaurants.
Kent Taylor, CEO of Texas Roadhouse, commented, “Our results remained strong in the second quarter highlighted by 15 percent revenue growth and a 28 percent increase in diluted earnings per share. We are encouraged by the impressive sales volumes currently being generated by our 2012 restaurant class. Our solid real estate pipeline will enable us to grow at least 25 restaurants in 2013. Finally, our balance sheet and cash flow remain healthy as we continue to internally fund our growth while returning excess capital to our shareholders through dividends.” Overall, the conference call was optimistic and he is looking for more growth in the restaurant sector as 2013 is quickly approaching. So far this year, they have built 15 new restaurants. I mentioned that this place is busy, and I am not lying when I say that, every time I drive by, the parking lot is full.

Frontier Communications, one of my long holdings, is up 25% after is earnings report from July 31st. Earnings estimates and revenue were both below expectations, but it was Maggie Widerotter, CEO of Frontier on the conference call saying that “Frontier’s second quarter 2012 showed solid revenue performance and the highest operating margin since the closing of our acquisition,” said Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman & CEO of Frontier Communications. “Our strong results were positively impacted by our proactive revenue initiatives commenced in the second quarter to rationalize our product set and our customer pricing. Our new, residential tiered pricing gives customers flexibility and choice, which should enhance the run-rate of our financials for the second half of 2012. During the quarter, we expanded our network’s broadband reach to an additional 60,000 households and are aggressively focused on increasing our overall network speeds over the next eighteen months. Frontier is also excited to be connecting 92,876 additional broadband homes through our $71.9 million receipt of the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund, which is aligned with our corporate goal of improved broadband connectivity for rural America and we will connect even more broadband households starting in Q4 2012 through our recent agreement with Hughes Network Systems.” That was the bit of good news though, but troubling was that FY estimate EPS for ’13 may be guided down from .24 to .20, seeing that the last 4 reports have all come under expectations. The stock now is trading at a bit of a premium with a rich P/E if that is going to be the story. I have an upside target of $5.00 set on the stock, which is where most analysts have it at now, I will reevaluate there, but I may look into selling it, seeing subscriber growth is really coming to a halt as people are looking for cheaper alternatives.

Invesco Mortgage Retail also came in a bit below expectations at $79.8 million, or $0.68 per share for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 compared to $84.1 million, or $0.72 per share from Q1 ’12. Book value per share stayed about the same. Since almost all of their earnings are paid out in dividends, the dividend will stay close to what the EPS is. I continue to be long this company, along with analysts estimates being brought up to 21.00

Dominion Resources reported in line with analysts estimates EPS, but a slight revenue miss. The stock is down about 2% from the release of the numbers, though looks to be a good long term hold for an income stream.

 Marco data for this week is as follows:

No major data

8:30 AM EST Producer Price Index
Prev 0.1 % Consensus 0.2 %   (range -0.2 % to 0.6 %)
Ex food + energy Prev 0.2 % Consensus 0.2 %            (range 0.0 % to 0.2 %)
Measure of the average change over time in the prices received by domestic producers of goods and services. Consensus expects to see a slight tick up, but I see a flat to disappointing number ahead of us.

8:30 AM EST Retail Sales
Prev -0.5 % Consensus 0.3 %  (range0.0 % to 0.4 %)
less autos prev -0.4 %  consensus 0.4 % (range 0.1 % to 0.7 %)
Less Autos & Gas prev -0.2 % consensus 0.5 % (range 0.3 % to 0.7 %)
Measure of the total receipts at stores that sell merchandise and related services to final consumers. We expect to see a few ticks higher after last months dismal report, but the continuing trend seems to be lower in the near term. I expect a read higher than last month, but not quite what consensus is saying.

10:00 AM  EST Business Inventories
Prev 0.3% Consensus 0.2% (range -0.1% to 0.5%)
The dollar amount of inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Last month we saw a tick up in the inventories to sales ratio, to the highest in a year, something to keep an eye on as manufacturing is slowing, less products will be sold.

8:30 AM EST Consumer Price Index
Prev 0.0 % Consensus 0.2 %   (range 0.0 % to 0.5 %)
less food & energy prev 0.2 % Consensus 0.2 % (range 0.1 % to 0.2 %)
As we have seen the US dollar continue to gain strength on the Euro and other currencies, we see the CPI hit new 2 year lows. Look for continued signs of weakness and deflation as growth continues to slow. I expect a slight tick up but no very large gains in CPI for the near term.

8:30 AM EST Empire State Manufacturing
Prev 7.39 Consensus 7.00 (range -2.00 to 9.00)
No doubt in my mind this goes negative, we see the correlation and weakness to the Philly fed numbers and we are ready for further contraction in the manufacturing sector.

9:15 AM EST Industrial Production
Production prev 0.4 %  consensus 0.5 % (range 0.3 % to 1.1 %)
Capacity Utilization prev 78.9 % consensus 79.2 %      (range 79.0 % to 79.6 %)
Manufacturing prev 0.7 % consensus 0.5 %      (range 0.2 % to 0.8 %)

8:30 AM EST Housing Starts
Starts prev 0.760 M     Consensus 0.750 M     (range 0.695 M to 0.785 M)
Permits prev 0.755 M   Consensus 0.766 M     (range 0.695 M to 0.805 M)
We see continued slow growth in the housing market, surely this sector will turn around, but it will be decades. As shown below, at least we are above 600K, but well below the 1.5-2M we were seeing in the mid 2000’s.

8:30 AM EST Jobless Claims
Prev 361K Consensus 365K (range 355K to 375K)

10:00 AM EST Philadelphia Fed Survey
Prev -12.9 Consensus -5.0 (range -16.5 to 0.0)
Look for continued weakness here

9:55 AM EST Consumer Sentiment
Prev 72.3 Consensus 72.0 (range 71.0 to 75.5)

10:00 AM EST Leading Indicators
Prev -0.3% Consensus 0.2% (range 0.0% to 0.4%)

Earnings reports for this week:

Monday: Sysco

Tuesday: Estee Lauder, Home Depot, Saks, TJX Companies, Valspar

Wednesday: Abercrombie, Cisco, Deere, Target

Thursday: Bon-Ton, Dollar Tree, Wal-Mart

Friday: JM Smucker

I will be looking at the following 3 companies: TJX, Cisco, and Dollar Tree

TJX is a discount clothing and home fashions retailer in the US, Canada and Europe. In the past I have been bullish this name mainly on the prices they sell their clothing at when they are name brand items. The stores are generally busy, but the problem facing them is their European growth is slowing and it is starting to hurt. We saw last quarter revenue drop from 6.7B to 5.8B, with net income 10% below the previous read. Going forward, as long as they can outperform in the US and Canada, which is where they are getting most of their revenue, being long this name would not be a bad idea. I do expect them to beat earnings on Tuesday, due to the American presence who are continuing to look for a bargain as disposable income dwindles.

TJX’s main competitor is Ross Stores and their chart patterns are very similar. Ross reports on Thursday.

Next, Cisco which designs manufactures and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology (IT) industry It has five segments: United States and Canada, European Markets, Emerging Markets, Asia Pacific, and Japan. Seeing from where it does most of its business, I expect a pretty dismal report from Cisco this week, they have tended to not perform very well in the past, and have had no real upward traction since the economic crisis in ’08. Another reason is John Chambers the CEO is most known for being pessimistic and not mentioning many sparks of hope. Looking at their balance sheets, net income has nearly doubled in a year, though has slowed the past two quarters. Emerging Markets and Europe will be a huge problem this quarter and I am sure Chambers will mention that on the call. The only spark I see in CSCO long term is possibly the 1.8% yield, but there are better, higher income stream companies to put your money into, expect disappointment.

Up next one of my long-term favorites, Dollar Tree. They are a discount store selling nearly every item at a dollar; 98% of their stores are located in the US with the rest in Canada, so full North American exposure is a definite plus. The past two quarters were a bit concerning to long term investors as we saw income drop from 187M to 116M, though mostly due to onetime items. The trend is still up, as people will continue to buy inexpensive items.

Above comparing Dollar Tree to Dollar General and Family Dollar, they have all had good performances ytd, I expect long term growth for all of these companies.

I will be looking at other names this week at well included on the list, we should be a bit more volatile and should see some sense of direction taking us into the fall and out of the light volume summer. 

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