Excerpt: You see, pretending you create jobs while waiting for an economic recovery that is still many biz cycle units away is a far cry from actually having real jobs that pay real people real money to buy real, tangible, useful things of value that help the real economy. Don’t hate on me, I’m just keeping it real! Here are the investment sectors and particular companies to look out for…

 bernanke on unemployment

A few months ago I went I Went To The NY Fed To Illustrate The Lies Perpetrated By The Fed Chairman Himself. These lies centered around his purported aid to the general economy and in particular the labor market by pledging to buy $1B USD of mortgage back securities per month.

Now, I’m not going to get into how enriching MBS traders and banks holding fraudulent loans get’s Joe Sixpack a job in this diatribe, but those who are interested can join the conversation via the following:

What I do aim to accomplish in this piece is to illustrate the problems of such potential malfeasance in not only the consumer discretionary sectors (see Reggie Middleton's REALity TV #2 - Bernanke's Bank Bailouts Blow Up Consumer Discretionary) but a side variety of other investment sectors. You see, pretending you create jobs while waiting for an economic recovery that is still many cycle units away is a far cry from actually having real jobs that pay real people real money to buy real, tangible, useful things that help the real economy. Don’t hate on me, I’m just keeping it real!

The BoomBustBlog research team has performed another fundamental/forensic scan to uncover near to medium term Bernanke victims. We identified several main sectors and their primary segments. From that we drilled down into:
• Sub-sectors/segments
• Negative factors and their potential impact: factors driving negative outlooks
• Illustrative companies in each subsector (not the shortlisted ones): These are example Companies, with actual shortlisted companies being released to subscribers later this week via detailed exercise
• News articles/key comments from the sell side and independent analysts - includes supporting articles and key comments

The actual document is available to all paying subscribers here File Icon Economic Recession Short Candidate (Global Macro, Trades & Strategy). As promised, specific shortlisted candidates will be upcoming this week and throughout next week, but be forewarned that we are tweaking and improving the list even as I type this. For those that don't subscribe, here's an excerpt...

re-recession short candidate research

The illustrative companies above are pretty much common sense. Ethan Allen, who can't sell much upper middle class furniture in a recession and a faux housing recovery. Fossil, with trinkets and wares whose demand is generated almost solely by trendy name branding. Fedex, UPS and Ryder - all companies which are literally barometers of global economic commerce and health since they represent commercial purchasing and shipping. Below are some less obvious candidates, though...

transport short candidates

Again, these are simply illustrative companies. Subscribers who are interested in those companies from this exhaustive list who have made it to the initial short list of Bernanke victims that:

  1. have underlying options trading,
  2. are liquid enough to short and
  3. still have enough meat on the bones to feast,

should download this document - File Icon Economic Recession Short Candidate. Casual readers may click here to subscribe

Much more to follow... Don't forget Ruminations on the Fed, the Dollar, ZIRP, QE and Math vs Magic - Hey, Even Harry Potter Has Problems...

 
Published in BoomBustBlog

 Throughout the last two quarters I have bandied about corny, colloquial, yet highly descriptive articles describing the factual representation of Spain's outlook, such as The Economic Bloodstain From Spain's Pain Will Cause European Tears To Rain or You Have Not Known Pain Until You've Tried To Limit The Borrowing Costs of Spain!!! Well, as humorous as my nascent stand-up routine may appear to be, the facts of the matter should have market participates on edge. 

Fact 1: As revealed in the post, The Embarrassingly Ugly Truth About Spain: The IMF, EC and ALL Major Rating Agencies Are LYING!!! Spain has serious asset/liablity mismatch and extreme issues with NPAs in its banking system. It will NOT be able to grow out of this situation in the near term and this was apparent 3 years ago! 

I warned that Spain was effectively ignoring some very large, bank related and budgetary problems as far back as 2009/10.... Reference The Spain Pain Will Not Wane: Continuing the Contagion Saga:

In the general our analysis Spain public finances projections_033010, the first four (of 12) pages basically outline the gist of the Spanish problem today, to wit here are the first two:

Spain_public_finances_projections_033010_Page_02

Fact 2: These NPAs will get much worse before they get better, detailed in As The Truth Catches Up With Spain, Will Banks Finally Be Forced To Mark To Market? You don't need my analysis to see the light. Spain currently sports more than  than 50% youth unemployment. Greater than 50% - and it's major grading partners are not far behind, or even far ahead!

See this chart from  ZeroHedge:

Data: Bloomberg and Greek Statistics Office

Fact 3: Spain is already on FIRE, yet so few refuse to smell the fumes.

What is FIRE? See Reggie Middleton Sets CNBC on F.I.R.E.!!! and First I set CNBC on F.I.R.E., Now It Appears I've Set...

For more on this, see The F.I.R.E. Is Set To Blaze! Focus On Banks, part 1. A lot of people, even professionals, truly believed that the FIRE malaise would not be European in nature. Whaattt????!!!

Here are some more anecdotal facts fanning the FIRE...

Egypt Pays Less Than Spain for Euros as IMF Talks Persist

Businessweek- Egypt locked in lower borrowing costs than higher-rated Spain in selling a more-than-planned 640.2 million euros ($817 million) of debt, 

Spain's bad loan ratio hits new record of 10.7%: central bank

MADRID -- Spanish banks' bad loans surged to a new record level in September with more than one in ten classed as high risk, the central ...

Spain Sells 4.94 Billion Euros of Debt, Exceeding Maximum Target

Spain exceeded its maximum target at an auction of bills and its borrowing costs were little changed from a month ago as euro region finance ..

To bad the Spanish aren't Egyptians, though... Egypt Pays Less Than Spain for Euros as IMF Talks Persist

Egypt locked in lower borrowing costs than higher-rated Spain in selling a more-than-planned 640.2 million euros ($817 million) of debt, ..

The Spanish heat is not just in real estate and banking, either. Reference this European Insurer That Needs Insurance As $6B Of Its Bonds Are Instantly Subordinated Due To "Spain's Pain". Insurers are very heavy investors in European sovereign debt AND the debt of financial institutions. This is a wonderful place to be when you are recovering from the most expensive natural disaster that hit the US eastern seaboard, eh? But hey, weren't the European financial institutions getting killed by choking on Sovereign debt (reference Dead Bank Deja Vu? How The Sovereigns Killed Their Banks & Why Nobody Realizes They're Dead)? You know the saying, "You can run but you can't hide?" Well, banking officials have been doing a lot of hiding (of NPAs), and soon its going to be time for the running to come into play. In case you missed the pun, European Bank Run Watch: Spaniard Edition

It would be interesting to see who will be in the condition to feast at the Spanish barbecue...

 thumb_Reggie_Middleton_on_Street_Signs_Fire

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Published in BoomBustBlog

Five months ago I posted Moody's Actions Add Pressure To The Inevitable In France? Yesterday we see MOODY'S DOWNGRADES FRANCE'S GOVT BOND RATING TO Aa1 FROM Aaa as well as FRANCE MAINTAINS NEGATIVE OUTLOOK BY MOODY'S. As excerpted from the Moody's press release (emphasis supplied by ZeroHedge)...

Moody's decision to downgrade France's rating and maintain the negative outlook reflects the following key interrelated factors:
1.) France's long-term economic growth outlook is negatively affected by multiple structural challenges, including its gradual, sustained loss of competitiveness and the long-standing rigidities of its labour, goods and service markets.
2.) France's fiscal outlook is uncertain as a result of its deteriorating economic prospects, both in the short term due to subdued domestic and external demand, and in the longer term due to the structural rigidities noted above.
3.) The predictability of France's resilience to future euro area shocks is diminishing in view of the rising risks to economic growth, fiscal performance and cost of funding. France's exposure to peripheral Europe through its trade linkages and its banking system is disproportionately large, and its contingent obligations to support other euro area members have been increasing. Moreover, unlike other non-euro area sovereigns that carry similarly high ratings, France does not have access to a national central bank for the financing of its debt in the event of a market disruption.

Moreover, France's credit exposure to the euro area debt crisis has been growing due to the increased amount of euro area resources that may be made available to support troubled sovereigns and banks through the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the facilities put in place by the European Central Bank (ECB). At the same time, in case of need, France -- like other large and highly rated euro area member states -- may not benefit from these support mechanisms to the same extent, given that these resources might have already been exhausted by then.

In light of the liquidity risks and banking sector risks in non-core countries, Moody's perceives an elevated risk that at least part of the contingent liabilities that relate to the support of non-core euro area countries may actually crystallise for France. The risk that greater collective support will be required for weaker euro area sovereigns has been rising, most for notably Spain, whose economy and government bond market are around twice the combined size of those of Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Highly rated member states like France are likely to bear a disproportionately large share of this burden given their greater ability to absorb the associated costs.

More generally, further shocks to sovereign and bank credit markets would further undermine financial and economic stability in France as well as in other euro area countries. The impact of such shocks would be expected to be felt disproportionately by more highly indebted governments such as France, and further accentuate the fiscal and structural economic pressures noted above. While the French government's debt service costs have been largely contained to date, Moody's would not expect this to remain the case in the event of a further shock. A rise in debt service costs would further increase the pressure on the finances of the French government, which, unlike other non-euro area sovereigns that carry similarly high ratings, does not have access to a national central bank that could assist with the financing of its debt in the event of a market disruption.

Excerpts from my warning 5 months ago, which has a slightly different, although potentially more realistic bent...

As a result Italian yields went up a few days ago - Italian Yields Forced Higher on Rating's Cut Ahead of Debt Sale, and went even higher today as Bund yields were actually issued with negative yields pushing that spread/gap ever wider... Bunds rise as Germany sells debt at negative yields

Italian 10-year yields were four basis points up at 6.07 percent, with two-year debt underperforming, yielding 8 bps more on the day at 3.96

Mish (Mike Shedlock) adds... Italy GDP expected to contract by 2% globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/.../

So, when are the alarms going to be sounded by anybody other then BoomBustBlog for France??? I have made this quite clear in the past, namely in Watch The Pandemic Bank Flu Spread From Italy To France To ... where I simply quoted the arithmetical obvious, then in French Banks Can Set Off Contagion That Will ... where I basically did the same. The French banking problem is woefully unrecognized, although I'm sure the rating agencies will pick up on it this time next year, after the collapse and/or bank run. This is basically the gist behind that hard hitting European documentary on the US rating agencies...

24398 kReggie_VPRO_Ratings_agencies

Continuing my rant on the effectiveness (not) of the ratings agencies, I bring to you an interesting documentary on the rating agencies' effect on the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, produced by VPRO Tegenlicht out of Amsterdam. You can see the full video here, but only about half of it is in English. I appear in the following spots: 4:00, 22:30, 40:00...

Reggie Middleton Discussing the Rating Agencies effect on Sovereign Europe

Subscribers can reference French Bank Observations & Focus on...(519.21 kB 2012-06-28 08:36:37).  Part and parcel to this common sense update is recognition of the fact that Italy will bust French banks, causing France to do the socialist bailout thingy. See this chart from the report...

27765French bank Italian exposure 

French bank Italian Exposure: As Italy pops with outrageous funding yields (just like Greece), France will be forced to bailout its banks once again, leaving the socialist country facing the dilemma of potentially having to ask for a bailout itself. As you may know from my previous writings, the French banking system is bigger than France itself so a true bailout cannot practically come from within.

Another BIG Reason Why BNP Paribas Is Still Ripe For Implosion!

As excerpted from our professional series File Icon Bank Run Liquidity Candidate Forensic Opinion:

BNP Paribus First Thoughts 4 Page 01

This is how that document started off. Even if we were to disregard BNP's most serious liquidity and ALM mismatch issues, we still need to address the topic above. Now, if you were to employ the free BNP bank run models that I made available in the post "The BoomBustBlog BNP Paribas "Run On The Bank" Model Available for Download"" (click the link to download your own copy of the bank run model, whether your a simple BoomBustBlog follower or a paid subscriber) you would know that the odds are that BNP's bond portfolio would probably take a much bigger hit than that conservatively quoted above.  Here I demonstrated what more realistic numbers would look like in said model... 

image008image008image008

To note page 9 of that very same document addresses how this train of thought can not only be accelerated, but taken much further...

BNP Paribus First Thoughts 4 Page 09BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_09BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_09

So, how bad could this faux accounting thing be? You know, there were two American banks that abused this FAS 157 cum Topic 820 loophole as well. There names were Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. I warned my readers well ahead of time with them as well - well before anybody else apparently had a clue (Is this the Breaking of the Bear? and Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise?). Well, at least in the case of BNP, it's a potential tangible equity wipe out, or is it? On to page 10 of said subscription document...

BNP Paribus First Thoughts 4 Page 10BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_10BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_10

Yo, watch those level 2s! Of course there is more to BNP besides overpriced, over leveraged sovereign debt, liquidity issues and ALM mismatch, and lying about stretching Topic 820 rules, but I think that's enough for right now. Is all of this already priced into the free falling stock? Are these the ingredients for a European bank run? I'll let you decide, but BoomBustBloggers Saw this coming midsummer when this stock was at $50. Those who wish to subscribe to my research and services should click here. Those who don't subscribe can still benefit from the chronology that led up to the BIG BNP short (at least those who have come across my research for the first time)...

Thursday, 28 July 2011  The Mechanics Behind Setting Up A Potential European Bank Run Trastde and European Bank Run Trading Supplement

I identify specific bank run candidates and offer illustrative trade setups to capture alpha from such an event. The options quoted were unfortunately unavailable to American investors, and enjoyed a literal explosion in gamma and implied volatility. Not to fear, fruits of those juicy premiums were able to be tasted elsewhere as plain vanilla shorts and even single stock futures threw off insane profits.

Wednesday, 03 August 2011 France, As Most Susceptble To Contagion, Will See Its Banks Suffer

In case the hint was strong enough, I explicitly state that although the sell side and the media are looking at Greece sparking Italy, it is France and french banks in particular that risk bringing the Franco-Italia make-believe capitalism session, aka the French leveraged Italian sector of the Euro ponzi scheme down, on its head.

I then provide a deep dive of the French bank we feel is most at risk. Let it be known that every banked remotely referenced by this research has been halved (at a mininal) in share price! Most are down ~10% of more today, alone!

Subscribers, see also 

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Published in BoomBustBlog

ZeroHedge reports: EURUSD Soars As Eurogroup Calls IMF Bluff

Whether it is a pure low volume technical run for the 200DMA, or fundamental bias as 'officials' comment that the release of a EUR44bn aid tranche to Greece is expected by December 5th, is unclear. One thing is certain, the Eurogroup is placing the decision squarely back in Madame Lagarde's lap as it appears to be behaving as if the IMF's threat not to disburse funds (due to Greece's unsustainable debt load) does not exist. While Lagarde is unlikely to want to be the trigger for GRExit, the non-European members may have differing perspectives or will they all just continue kicking the can down the road - proving once and for all that all the power lies with the Greeks as their supposed overlords "can't handle the truth".


Yeah, I know no one wants to hear it, but I told you so. This situation was clear from the start, the very day that Greece defaulted the FIRST time. Until the 3rd default, I can simply keep cutting and pasting the following, for a negative Primary Balance simply prevents anyone from sinking money into Greece from getting it back - PERIOD!!!

As The Year Comes An End The Ability Of Greece To Kick The Can Mirrors The Chances Of A Man With No Feet

Despite extensive, self-defeating, harsh and punitive austerity measures that have combined with a lack of true economic stimulus, Greece has (to date) failed to achieve Primary Balance. For the non-economists in the audience, primary balance is the elimination of a primary deficit, yet the absence of a primary surplus, ex. the midpoint between deficit and surplus before taking into consideration interest payments.

Greece_Primary_balanceGreece_Primary_balanceGreece_Primary_balanceGreece_Primary_balance

The primary balance looks at the structural issues a country may have.

Government expenditures have outstripped revenues ever since 2007 and have gotten worse nearly every year since, despite 3 bailouts a restructuring, austerity and a default!

Greece_Primary_deficit_copyGreece_Primary_deficit_copy

 

Published in BoomBustBlog

FB Sep 21 12 18 puts

A couple of weeks ago after Facebook reported, I posted Hey Muppets, Only Another 100% Climb In Share Price To Go Before You Break Even With MS/GS/FB Investment Advice. You see, I warned about FB a half of a year before the IPO (reference the FB IPO Analysis & Valuation Note - update with per share valuation released exactly 5 months ago on 05/21/2012 (click here to subscribe)) stating that this thing was coming to market at multiples of a realistic valuation. So, what did Facebook's bankers do? They raised the offering price even more. Makes sense doesn't it?

Well, it makes more sense than the lock-up of hundreds of millions of shares ending, flooding the market with excess supply and the price of the stock.... increases!!!

Well, there may be a logical reason for this. By now, the more astute early investors in Facebook either read my analysis or somehow have come up with similar conclusions independently. That being the case, these guys had massive unrealized capital gains and a strong incentive to preserve them. Thus, they did what every hedge fund should do but what so little ever seem to do. What is that you ask? They hedged. I would assume that as soon as FB shares became available for short and/or puts started trading, these guys competed with me to get short in order to lock in whatever gains they still had left. That being the case, once the lock-up period expired, and actual sales occurred it was offset (and possibly then some) by the supportive buying created by the short position covering.

Of course, this is just a theory, but its a plausible one. Only time will tell if it holds water, for if the upward price pressure was cause by short covering, it will be over by next week and we should see a marginal decline.

FB Sep 21 12 18 puts

 
Published in BoomBustBlog

This is a contributed piece by BoomBustBlogger "Long Short Trader". While I do not endorse, or corroborate his work, it does make for an interesting read. I also find that I share his opinion on Seeking Alpha as well. Enjoy....


In late June of this year, a friend told LST to look into shorting Organovo Holdings, (“ONVO”), a “3D printing” concern. LST missed most of the move, but it nevertheless turned out to be a decent short. ONVO naturally led LST to look into the other 3D printing names as well, such as DDD and SSYS. LST avoided shorting them at the time for various reasons, including:

  • There appeared to be a real underlying 3D printing growth story, though LST was not able to determine who would be the winners
  • Certain growth oriented investors and promoters, who had previously (and successfully) promoted names like CMG, MAKO, BNNY, MNST, etc. were saying that DDD was the real deal, the best name among its peers, etc… so LST figured the risk of a continued parabolic move up were real
  • No one mentioned the possibility of fraud or accounting issues; rather, most of the skeptical comments swirled around “overvalued”, “overextended”.

LST kept these names on the back burner…until an article critical of DDD came out this Monday: http://seekingalpha.com/article/999501-3d-systems-has-the-printer-jammed

LST is generally not a huge fan of seeking alfalfa, but was pleasantly surprised by Douglas W. House and Gray Wolf Research’s work. Not to mention, House comes across as a very articulate, objective, responsible, respectful, and overall nice guy, based on his DDD piece (See the comments section in the piece as well; He responds with clarity and wit, even as some of his detractors do not).

Flash forward to yesterday night. DDD announced the following (after market close): 

DDD announced today that it plans to hold a conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss, fact-check and clarify several materially inaccurate statements and conclusions made in recently published articles related to various matters including its calculation of growth, accounting methods and acquisition activities on Monday, November 19, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

“We are aware of certain recent articles and their materially inaccurate and misleading conclusions.  We reaffirm the accuracy of our public filings and accounting methods in all respects, and are pursuing legal remedies to hold those responsible parties accountable for what appears to be malicious, irresponsible and self-serving articles.  We look forward to discussing, fact-checking and clarifying these inaccuracies for the benefit of our shareholders, customers and partners, who we believe have been irrevocably harmed by these articles,” said Abe Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems

While the Douglas House piece elevated LST’s interest in shorting DDD, it is the company’s unexpected response (so far) that has put the nail in the coffin. You can assume that LST will initiate a starter short position (in some form) in the coming days. Specific problems LST sees with DDD’s response:

  • DDD Says it is “Pursuing Legal Remedies” – Note that the stock of companies who go after critics, and pull the legal card, tend not to fare so well. These types of companies who shoot the messenger tend to betray a guilty conscious. The response is a classic Spy the Lie* moment.
  • Refers to the articles as “Malicious, irresponsible, and self-serving” – LST found the article well-intended, responsible, and not self-serving (or at least no more self-serving than DDD). LST believes the management is looking to distract and intimidate its critics. It is quite ironic that DDD is picking on one of the most even-toned skeptical pieces that LST has seen in recent memory.
  • DDD does not say the claims are false – DDD skirts around the issue with sweeping statements like “We reaffirm the accuracy of our public filings and accounting methods in all respects”, or “their materially inaccurate and misleading conclusions”. Nowhere does DDD simply say the claims are false. LST sees this, too, as a poor attempt to distract.
  • Why Not Simply Provide Supplementary Disclosure on all the Acquisitions – Sunshine is the best disinfectant, after all.

LST is likely going to do more work on this and related names. As of now, DDD reminds LST of the not-so-rare earth schemes, like MCP, REE, etc. back in 2011. The similarities are quite amazing. Just like the not-so-rare earth names in 2011, there is a legitimate business trend in 3D printing land. HOWEVER, the publicly traded names are probably not the best vehicles to benefit from the said trend. To make matters worse with DDD, looks, walks, and sounds more like a plain vanilla roll-up.

DDD, then, is not a valuation short: it is looking more and more like a Fad short, where the market has confused this roll-up for something it is not. LST leaves you with a list of concerns as identified in the above-mentioned pieces.

SUMMARY OF RED FLAGS

  • A garden variety roll-up that is perceived to be, and promoted as, a hot growth/tech play (note that roll-ups trade at very low P/E multiples)
  • Concerns that there is channel stuffing
  • Issues with poor disclosure, accuracy, and quality of organic growth; that core growth is deteriorating even as the consolidated #s look fine due to acquisitions
  • No true earnings growth (a.k.a. free cash flow)
  • Reliance on capital markets for growth; DDD needs the market, the market doesn’t need DDD
  • R&D underinvestment relative to competitors, which isn’t exactly what you find in true growth names
  • Downgraded auditors back in 2003, from a big four firm to a more regional one (went from Deloitte to BDO)
  • Most recent acquisitions’ year over year growth over comparable 9 month period (Z-corp and Vidar) is flat
  • Management says revenue from “The Cube” will be immaterial for the rest of the year
Published in BoomBustBlog

Last Friday I posted Deconstructing The Most Hated Trade Of The Decade, The 375% BoomBustBlog Apple Call!!, wherein I outlined the profitability of the BoomBustBlog Apple research from a trading perspective. This crux of that article was to debunk the widely assumed notion that I was bearish on Apple's share price for 2 years. The reality of the matter was that the paid research and opinion clearly supported much of Apple's share price until right about the last earnings report, until I notably went bearish and Apple promptly lost 25%.

apple stock and front month options

Notice how this chart shows subscription research would have provided ample profits LONG and short, with the long presumed to be unleverred as a straight stock purchase. This is to put to bed any naysayers. Now, as to whether my many proclamations over the last two years regarding Apple were able to hold water, we let the facts speak on the reasoning behind the call and the accuracy of my call in the deterioration of Apple's margins, market share and status. The following was a document that was only available to paid subscribers (published in late 2010) but now is freely available since its message has come to pass. As you read this, please keep in mind that the document was published a year and a half ago, even though it does seem like it is recent. I have just released fresh research on Apple that details the lower bounds (pessimistic scenario) that I see for the share price. Subscribers can access it here Apple 4Q2012 update professional & institutional and Apple 4Q2012 update - retail).

If after reading the article linked in the first sentence and the material below, and you believe that I'm the best thing since Wall Street brokerages were private partnerships that could squander other peoples capital at insanely levered levels while misleading muppets with inanely bullshit analysis and sales pitches to 89% losses on their recommendations (reference Multiple Muppet Mashing Leaves Groupon Shareholders Holding The Bag After 89% Off IPO Coupon) just to get paid multi-million dollar bonuses instead of jsil time, then feel free to subscribe here. 

Apple -Competition and Cost Structure Page 08Apple -Competition and Cost Structure Page 10

As very accurately predicted in our report published above over a year ago, Samsung has eclipsed Apple in smartphone sales and capability!applApple -Competition and Cost Structure - unlocked Page 01Apple -Competition and Cost Structure - unlocked Page 02Apple -Competition and Cost Structure - unlocked Page 03 copyApple -Competition and Cost Structure - unlocked Page 04 copyApple -Competition and Cost Structure - unlocked Page 05Apple -Competition and Cost Structure - unlocked Page 07 copyApple -Competition and Cost Structure - unlocked Page 08 copyApple -Competition and Cost Structure - unlocked Page 09 copyApple -Competition and Cost Structure - unlocked Page 10 copyApple -Competition and Cost Structure - unlocked Page 11Apple -Competition and Cost Structure Page 08Apple -Competition and Cost Structure Page 10

 

 

Published in BoomBustBlog

Following up on the post of Tuesday, 14 August 2012, Muppets Get MASHED Once Again - Groupon Half Off Share Price Coupons Selling for 20 Cents On The Dollar!!! Groupon is now trading at $2.61 after its most recent earnings announcement. We warned pre-IPO that this stock was pure trash. Let's see how that warning panned out... (spoiler alert: free BoomBustBlog Anti-sell side research available for download below)...

Groupon charg

An 89% drop since the IPO. For those not paying attention, that's damn near all of the share price... disappeared! You could have made a fortune selling this. You may have even made a dollar or two litigation with the issuers or the company itself. Don't forget,  At least eight brokerages slashed their price targets on the firm. Where were these firms when we were warning pre-IPO? 

Here are some key highlights: Groupon restates revenue, EXACTLY as I warned just three months earlier.

  1. Monday, 26 September 2011 What's The Best Way To Profit From Groupon's IPO?
  2. file iconGroupon Revenue Restated 09/26/2011
Groupon starts trading on the Nasdaq via IPO...
  1. Sunday, 13 November 2011 I Hope You Groupon IPO Investors Got Coupons At The IPO!!! Yeah, That's Right I Was The First To Say It
Favorite hits from said documents...
Groupon revenue restated Page 1
Groupon revenue restated Page 2
Groupon Valuation redacted Page 14
 
Groupon revenue restated Page 1Groupon revenue restated Page 2Groupon revenue restated Page 3Groupon revenue restated Page 4Groupon Valuation Page 01Groupon Valuation Page 02Groupon Valuation Page 03Groupon Valuation Page 03 copyGroupon Valuation redacted Page 11Groupon Valuation redacted Page 12Groupon Valuation redacted Page 14

You know that you really don't have to follow eight brokerages to make money on Groupon. All you really had to do was subscribe to BoomBustBlog, reference For Those That Want To Take A Peek Inside the Professional BoomBustBlog Paywall, Here's All of My Groupon Research - MUPPETS!!!

I have commented ad nauseum on the percieved need to do business with name brands, those who do God's work, and those who simply cannot trade - muppet masters and all - as I clearly articulated on the Max Keiser show last week.
... and on previous shows. 

Now, all of you Goldman, Morgan Stanley, et. al. lovers, don't get your muppetware in a bunch, you know that I know that you know that It Is Now Common Knowledge That Goldman’s Investment Advice Sucks???, as excerpted:

It's official, the mainstream media has turned on those "doing God's work" and come to the side of BoomBustBlog.

In case you still don't get it, the sell side research departments of these banks did not offer BoomBustBlog research to their clients. Oh no, then how in the hell can they dump their stock??? They issued glowing reports from their own analytical cum soft sales staff.

On that note, let's reminisce.... In June of 2011 I release proprietary research to BoomBustBlog Subscribers. You can now download said report absolutely free, here icon Groupon Forensic Analysis & Valuation (923.04 kB 2011-06-16 10:34:36). After reading said report, prepare for some real comedy, as reported by Dailypolitical.com:

Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Stifel Nicolaus from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) downgraded shares of Groupon from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note to investors on Monday. They now have a $20.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $30.00. Separately, analysts at Benchmark Co. cut their price target on shares of Groupon from $32.00 to $28.00 in a research note to investors on Monday. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Groupon in a research note to investors on Thursday, February 9th.

Groupon traded down 3.20% on Monday, hitting $14.54. Groupon has a 52-week low of $14.85 and a 52-week high of $31.14. The company’s market cap is $9.376 billion.

Whoa!!! Goldman Sachs reiterated their "buy" recommendation just in time for their damn Muppet Clients to lose ~40% by the close of the market today. Go ahead, stuff those damn Muppets, fellas!For the record, in June of 2011, a full ten months ago, I made clear to my subscribers the following (as excerpted from the now free download)...

We value Groupon at $6.6bn using DCF. The current valuation is based on 10 years of revenue projections which are overly optimistic in our view.  We have forecasted revenues of $4.0bn in 2011 and expect revenues to nearly double to $7.5bn in 2012 and reach $35bn by 2020. We have assumed cost of equity of 12% and terminal growth of 3% from 2021 onwards. We have kept gross profit at stable levels and assumed operational gearing to (∆ Operating Profit / ∆ Revenue) to improve considerably. Despite these optimistic projections we were still not able to justify a valuation close to $10bn let alone $20-25bn. We only see downside risks to valuation of $6.6bn and believe that Groupon’s rejection of Google offer of $6.0bn was a mistake in first place. Google’s valuation of $6.0bn most assuredly included a premium for synergies that Google could have achieved with Groupon which would be clearly absent in the standalone entity. We see the fair value of Groupon close to $3.0-4.0bn if we assume a more realistic picture. Given all kinds of questions surrounding Groupon’s business regarding the sustainability of revenue growth, costs control and even the business model itself (i.e., the relationship with merchants) and external competition, we remain deeply concerned even on the sustainability of a successful IPO for Groupon. 

For the record, at about $3 per share, Groupon is market-valued at about $2.2 billion dollars!!!! Here are some key highlights: Groupon restates revenue, EXACTLY as I warned three months before the IPO.There's a WHOLE LOT MORE, but this post is long enough as it is. Simply download the links above, and don't forget to reference the valuation section of original forensic report. There's an early Christmas present in there for the stingy muppets!

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I hear so little hate on the Apple call these days. When the stock first dropped after the (3rd BoomBustBlog forecast) earnings miss and the lackluster iPhone 5 debut, all I heard was "well you've been pessimistic on Apple for years!". When I released my research to actually show that I've been one of the most realistic and accurate investor/analysts to follow Apple, I then heard "but your timing was off!". When I pointed to the specific call to move to the pessimistic band of my research in early October (when Apple broke $700, an all time high), and the stock dropped nearly 25%, all I heard was......................................................................................................................................................................................................

Let this be a lesson to one and all! Do not fall in love with a name, a stock, a company, or an idea. Save your love for your significant others and your children. Let's walk through a hypothetical BoomBustBlogger's Apple holdings, assuming he followed recommended research valuation bands, presumably pushing a 375% gain and counting, unless he decides to take profits at this point. I will do this by simply reviewing the blog posts. 

As you can see from the charts below, I have always been fairly accurate on the share price of Apple. I did personally try to short it last year as it missed earnings (and the price did drop), but it was only marginally profitable. After that my subscription research implied Apple's share price was not excessively valued in the base case scenario, implicitly riding the wave up via valuations. I even moved the optimistic valuation band higher on 3/15/12 after underestimating foreign and Asian sales. All of this does not discount the infamous margin compression theory that was the backbone of the pessimistic scenario, as we shall soon see.

As soon as I got a hold of an actual iPhone 5 I knew the real short was in. After a 42% rise in Apple's share price I publicly moved my focus towards the pessimistic valuation band in my October 12 post A Review Of The Accuracy Of Last Quarter's Apple Earnings Notes (subscribers see Apple 4Q2012 update professional & institutional and Apple 4Q2012 update - retail). This post and the several subsequent posts listed the specific reasons why I knew that Apple had officially seen its heyday from a stock value perspective. Front month slightly OTM puts on Apple (strike price chosen arbitrarily so as to protect the intellectual property that is the BoomBustBlog pessimistic valuation bands, which are for paying subscribers only) have yielded 314% so far. The ride up on Apple long stock (42%) plus the timely called ride down via short dated puts (314%) make a delicious dinner for the year and window dressing at your local underperforming hedge fund, eh?

apple puts small

Simply click here to subscribe, or gift the subscription to your local brokerage and banking buddies who just don't get it how this stuff works, to wit - The Blog That Could Have Saved That Institutional Broker - Or - Beware Of Those Poison Apples!!!.

I privately (for subscribers) moved the pessimistic valuation band several days earlier in the post Right On Time, My Prediction Of Apple Margin Compression 8 Quarters From My CNBC Warning Landed Right On The Money! Here's an excerpt:

To begin with, brand new Apple valuation and forensic research is now available to all subscribers. I suggest you jump on it now while it's hot...

 apple product chart growth copy

Well, it looks as if my Apple ruminations and research have come to Fruition - and rather accurately at that. Since Apple has such a cult following, I will set the facts straight right here in a nifty little timeline as Apple tumbles in real time. This is to correct those who are comprehension challenged in saying that I've been crying to short Apple for 400 points. To begin with, I run a subscription site, I generally don't give away actionable advice for free, I charge for it. I have warned about Apple's macro and business conditions - yes, but whether to go long or short on the stock, I only opined in public once. Read below to see how that turned out. My next post will start revealing some of my actual subscription materials in order to make public the accuracy and prescience therein. Is it time for 1000s and 1000s of rose colored #iPhone sporting #iSheep and #fanbois to issue kudos to the BoomBust???

From a market and competition perspective, the writing was on the wall awhile ago. I blogged about this point often, and distributed the opinion and analysis freely. The fanboi-like naysayers apparently had a problem with differentiating fundamental reality on the street with share prices (which invariably lag). This was the case with Research in Motion, another very popular and strong performing tech darling which we also hit a grand slam on via bear run as we warned the stock will would drop from $60s and it ended up in single digits - see Hindsight Is 20/20, And As Luck Has It Our Foresight On Research in Motion Was Right On The Money Two Years Ago. The inverse came about with our Google research (Reggie Middleton currently leading the CNBC Stock Draft Pick contest, see his opinion on air here) as it went from the $400s to mid $700s to settle in the high $600s so far.

 aapl research accuracy copy

Monday, 05 November 2012 The Blog That Could Have Saved That Institutional Broker - Or - Beware Of Those Poison Apples!!!

Rochdale Trader Made Unauthorized Purchases Of As Much As $1 Billion In Apple Stock Last Month - Well, it's obvious the brokerage didn't buy that trader a subscription to BoomBustBlog.

Friday, 26 October 2012 After My Contrarian Calling Apple's 3rd Miss Accurately, I Release My Apple Research Track Record For 2 1/2 Years

I have been most accurate in tracking Apple over the last couple of years, as I have been with Google and RIMM (and from a tertiary perspective, MSFT) - the only tech companies that I have analyzed since the great crash. I'm more well known as a banking/finance/global macro/real estate guy, but my success in tech is comparable.

Thursday, 25 October 2012 Microsoft Is Doing What The "Has Been Giants Of Yesteryear" Were Afraid To Do, Make A Radical Change BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!

Friday, 12 October 2012 A Review Of The Accuracy Of Last Quarter's Apple Earnings Notes

 A subscriber convinced me to post the 1st quarter's valuation bands (subscribers, see Apple Margin & Valuation Note 03/15/2012) for Apple to squelch the comments of those who are guessing what's behind the firewall. Our base case scenario was right on target, and  during the target and after the earnings release I realized that we underestimated international (especially Asian) sell though and shifted the weight to out optimistic band which also proved fairly accurate. As all can notice, the pessimistic band is not show, and that is where the value lies here. I am now shifting my bias towards (that's towards, not to) the pessimistic band, for I feel Apple has now started to feel the competitive and margin pressures that I warned of, and has done so right at the deadline that I gave in 2010 (this is just as much a factor of luck as it is skill, alas, if it bears fruit it bears fruit). The latest valuation bands can be accessed by paying subscribers below (click here to subscribe):

Apple 4Q2012 update professional & institutional
Apple 4Q2012 update - retail
"iPhone Margin worksheet - blog download

image005 

Tuesday, 09 October 2012 Right On Time, My Prediction Of Apple Margin Compression 8 Quarters From My CNBC Warning Landed Right On The Money!

To begin with, brand new Apple valuation and forensic research is now available to all subscribers. I suggest you jump on it now while it's hot...

 apple product chart growth copyapple product chart growth copy

Well, it looks as if my Apple ruminations and research have come to Fruition - and rather accurately at that. Since Apple has such a cult following, I will set the facts straight right here in a nifty little timeline as Apple tumbles in real time. This is to correct those who are comprehension challenged in saying that I've been crying to short Apple for 400 points. To begin with, I run a subscription site, I generally don't give away actionable advice for free, I charge for it. I have warned about Apple's macro and business conditions - yes, but whether to go long or short on the stock,I only opined in public once. Read below to see how that turned out. My next post will start revealing some of my actual subscription materials in order to make public the accuracy and prescience therein. Is it time for 1000s and 1000s of rose colored #iPhone sporting #iSheep and #fanbois to issue kudos to the BoomBust???

 

 Monday, 08 October 2012 Apple Weakness Now Apparent To Others Besides BoomBustBloggers

Now that the weakness in Apple is apparent to all, and not just BoomBustBlog subscribers.... AAPL priced relative to the SPY... looking for this 4 year trend to break for the aapl story to be over as a market out-performer.

AAPL relative weekly rising wedge

Wednesday, 03 October 2012 Lauren Lyster & I See The iBubble Go iPop Once Those 10 Million MBS Trader Jobs Fail To Materialize As Bernanke Promised

 I discussed this in detail with Lauren Lyster on Capital Account. The margin discussion started at 7:55. In this video I also warned that when the iBubble goes pop, so goes the NASDAQ, and as if on cue...

Monday, 01 October 2012 iBubble, iPop - Apple Is Now More Than 97% Of The Personal Computing Market Capitalization! If That's Not A Warning Sign, You Can't Read!!!!

See how my subscribers read about the situation in detail two quarters ago!

Apple 2Q2012 results analysis Final - redacted Page 1Apple 2Q2012 results analysis Final - redacted Page 1

Apple 2Q2012 results analysis Final - redacted Page 3Apple 2Q2012 results analysis Final - redacted Page 3

Apple 2Q2012 results analysis Final Page 4

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Many have asked me if I believe in austerity measures or the Keynsian approach of spending out of recession. I have stated, time and again, that the question is loaded - hence the answer can never be sufficient. When you are trying to go from your home to the market across town in a crowded urban environment, you cannot make the trip successfully by deciding ahead of time that you are just going to make left turns (austerity? Austrian?) or right turns (stimulus? Keynsian?). You come to an intersection and you make the turn that's necessary to get you where you want to go. It might sound overly simplistic and common, but I'll be damned if common sense is one of the most uncommon things I've come across over the last 7 years or so!

On that note, there does appear to be a misunderstanding on how government finances work as compared to finances in the private sector. The government is not a for profit player that competes directly with those in the private sector, but is instead a universal support network that benefits from the success of the private sector. Hence, the government must work in the best interests of the private sector in order to thrive. This sometimes entails taking the other side of the trade to ensure that a trade can take place. One pundit who has done a good job of explaining this through pretty charts that explain the peculiar situation that we are now in (a balance sheet recession), is Dr. Richard Koo of Nomura Securities. See the FT.com article abstract:

In 2008, Barack Obama told the US people the nation’s economic crisis would take a long time to overcome. In 2012, many of those voters are losing patience, because they have not been told why this recession has lasted so long or why his policies were the correct response. Here is the missing explanation – based on not only the US experience, but also that of Japan and Europe. 

when-the-government-tries-premature-fiscal-consolidation-things-get-much-worse-and-debt-goes-higher

Today, the US private sector is saving a staggering 8 per cent of gross domestic product – at zero interest rates, when households and businesses would ordinarily be borrowing and spending money. But the US is not alone: in Ireland and Japan, the private sector is saving 9 per cent of GDP; in Spain it is saving 7 per cent of GDP; and in the UK, 5 per cent. Interest rates are at record lows in all these countries.

For those who may not get the gravity of this statement, it makes no sense to save money with a negative risk/reward proposition, unless of course the saver does not see it that way. One must save if savings are in deficit, and the risk to invest funds is considered greater than the benefit of having said funds in the first place. We are still attempting to wade through the bursting of a massive bubble, and we are playing defensive - not offensive.  In other words, are Americans seeking return OF capital over return on said capital? We are over-leveraged, and to effectively delever you cannot borrow more money or take the risk of aggressive investments. This is so even if investment capital is being offered at zero interest rates. Mr. Koo illustrates the consequences of such behavior eloquently...

However, if someone is saving money or paying down debt, someone else must be borrowing and spending that money to keep the economy going. In a normal world, it is the role of interest rates to ensure all saved funds are borrowed and spent, with interest rates rising when there are too many borrowers and falling when there are too few. 

But when the private sector as a whole is saving money or paying down debt at zero interest rates, the banks cannot lend the repaid debt or newly deposited savings because interest rates cannot go any lower. This means that, if left unattended, the economy will continuously lose aggregate demand equivalent to the unborrowed savings. In other words, even though repairing balance sheets is the right and responsible thing to do, if everyone tries to do it at the same time a deflationary spiral will result. It was such a deflationary spiral that cost the US 46 per cent of its GDP from 1929 to 1933. 

Those with a debt overhang will not increase their borrowing at any interest rate; nor will there be many lenders, when the lenders themselves have financial problems. This shift from maximising profit to minimising debt explains why near-zero interest rates in the US and EU since 2008 and in Japan since 1995 have failed to produce the expected recoveries in these economies. 

For some reason, the Fed doesn't seem to get what Mr. Koo and BoomBustBloggers do!

With monetary policy largely ineffective and the private sector forced to repair its balance sheet, the only way to avoid a deflationary spiral is for the government to borrow and spend the unborrowed savings in the private sector.

Wait a minute! The EU states are definitely borrowing, but they are not redploying the capital back into the private sector, they are simply bailing out banks! In addition, the banks are not deploying the capital into the private sector, they are simply sitting on it, just as Mr. Koo stated they would in the article excerpt above! So, after trillions of borrowing, there's no surprise why there's just relatively pennies making it into the private sector. What Mr. Koo and many who follow Keynsian economic theories seem to forget to include, is that upon borrowing the money to plunge into the private sector, you have to have a plan for paying said monies back. When you borrow said monies and simply waste them (ex. perpetual dead bank bailouts) you create a truly structural problem. Simply ask Greece, or see How Greece Killed Its Own Banks! and then move on to...

As The Year Comes An End The Ability Of Greece To Kick The Can Mirrors The Chances Of A Man With No Feet

Despite extensive, self-defeating, harsh and punitive austerity measures that have combined with a lack of true economic stimulus, Greece has (to date) failed to achieve Primary Balance. For the non-economists in the audience, primary balance is the elimination of a primary deficit, yet the absence of a primary surplus, ex. the midpoint between deficit and surplus before taking into consideration interest payments.

Greece_Primary_balanceGreece_Primary_balanceGreece_Primary_balance

The primary balance looks at the structural issues a country may have.

Government expenditures have outstripped revenues ever since 2007 and have gotten worse nearly every year since, despite 3 bailouts a restructuring, austerity and a default!

Greece_Primary_deficit_copy

On to Mr. Koo's diatribe... 

Recovery from this type of recession takes time because the flow of current savings must be used to reduce the stock of debt overhang, necessarily a long process when everyone is doing it at the same time. Since one person’s debt is another person’s asset, there is no quick fix: shifting the problem from one part of society to another will solve nothing.

The challenge now is to maintain fiscal stimuli until private sector deleveraging is completed. Any premature attempt to withdraw that stimulus will result in a deflationary implosion – as in the US in 1937, Japan in 1997, and Spain and the UK most recently.

Japan’s attempt in 1997 to reduce its deficit by 3 per cent of GDP – the same size as the “fiscal cliff” now facing the US – led to a horrendous 3 per cent drop in GDP and a 68 per cent increase in the deficit. At that time, Japan’s private sector was saving 6 per cent of GDP at near zero interest rates, just like the US private sector today. It took Japan 10 years to climb out of the hole.

when-the-government-tries-premature-fiscal-consolidation-things-get-much-worse-and-debt-goes-higher

Average citizens find it hard to understand why the government should not balance its budget when households and businesses must all do so. It is risky for politicians to explain but, until they make it clear that the economy will implode if everybody is saving and nobody is borrowing, public support for the necessary fiscal stimulus is likely to weaken, as seen during the past four years of the Obama administration.

The US economy is already losing forward momentum as the 2009 fiscal stimulus is allowed to expire. There is no time to waste: the government must take up the private sector’s unborrowed savings, to keep the economy from imploding and to provide income for businesses and households so they can repair their balance sheets. Fiscal consolidation should come only once the private sector has repaired its finances and returned to profit-maximising mode.

I have ventured along these lines several times in the past. Here is the subscription research that I feel is best poised to take advantage of the guaranteed mistakes to be made ahead, simply click your industry/sector for the most recent research (note, non-subscribers will only be able to view free reports, you may click here to subscribe)...

As for whether Mr. Koo is correct in the application of severe austerity when one should be trying to prime the pump....

Greece Is To Pathogen As Cyprus Is To Contagion As Spain Is To Infected...

CNBC reports Greece Austerity Strike Will Hurt GDP Further even as Cyprus Expects Bailout as S&P Cuts Ratings to Junk:

Cyprus said on Wednesday it expected talks to start with lenders on badly needed aid next week, as ratings agency Standard & Poor's pushed it deeper into junk territory, implying domestic political expediency lay behind a delay in clinching a deal. One of the smallest nations in the euro zone, Cyprus sought European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid in June after its two largest banks suffered huge losses due to a write-down of Greek debt.

Well, our Contagion Model showed clear paths of the knock on effects of Greek infection, and we haven't even gotten started with the economic pathogen party yet!

 

Although it seems as if Tyler is being a smart ass, he couldn't be farther from the truth. Reference my piece Lies, Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to Collapse! concerning the accuracy of the IMF's baseline scenarios...

image005.pngimage005.png

And back to the ZH post:

....Breakdown of IMF deleveraging forecasts for the three scenarios, of which the realistic one is highlighted:

  • Under weak policies, the withdrawal of foreign investors accelerates to twice the pace seen since 2009. Periphery spreads widen by about one standard deviation above the baseline.

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