Posts tagged HAFC
1/25/10 Midday Report: Bernanke likely to get bipartisan support despite claiming he doesn’t swing that way
The market is trying to rally after last week’s sell off which was caused by Obama letting Paul Volcker threaten to open up a can of whoop ass on the banking system, the senate seemingly hedging on reaffirming Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve proving once and for all that the Senate is as good at making decisions as NBC is at handling their prime time schedule, and something called “data” which showed that unemployment remains higher than Brittany Murphy on the morning of 12/20/09. Money McBags has been saying this for a while, but we are at an inflection point. The market has rallied back to above a fair value based on earnings, so either earnings are going to have to be strong, or the market is going to have to do a very public walk of shame and re-trace some of its steps.
The news today is that the Senate has defied all known human physiology and started to think with their asses (because that is where their brains appear to be) and is likely going to reconfirm Ben Bernanke as Fed Chairman. This move is said to largely be a result of the Senate’s other top choices, Bernie Madoff and Raj Rajaratnam (or Raj-squared for short), currently being a bit indisposed (though to be honest, Money McBags highly approves of Mr. Rajaratnam’s hiring practices and only wonders if he would have hired Mrs. Brosnan to cover large cap stocks or some woman named Heidi Montag to cover plastics). InTrade is betting there is a 95% chance Bernanke stays as Fed chair which are exactly the same odds of the US highest income tax rate being above 38% in 2010 and Hilary Clinton being a man.
In macro news, US existing home sales plunged 17% which was the biggest decrease since they started keeping records in 1968 (thus after both the Great Depression of the 1930s and the scratch and sniff paint fad of the 1940s). The drop in home sales was driven by the end of government tax incentives for first time buyers, continued unemployment, tougher lending standards, and not being able to find a carpet to match the drapes (a problem which Jenny McCarthy can sympathize with in this very not safe for work image).
In stock news, it’s still earnings season and most people are eagerly awaiting Apple’s earnings tonight after the bell. If they beat estimates, will they be able to rise or will the market sell the news like they did to GOOG, INTC, and Jay Leno on prime time? Haliburton announced earnings today and profits were down 7%. The company cited weaker drilling activity and the fact that Dick Cheney is no longer vice-president. And Ericcson will be cutting 1,500 jobs due to an 82% drop in profits. However, the drop in profit does disprove Tiger Woods theory that Swedes don’t go down.
In small cap news, HAFC continues it’s fall from a silly rally as it shows that the book value depends on the book (you hear that Peter Cooper Village?), and ZAGG is also taking it in the yingus as the market realizes that no one wants to pay $30 for an iPhone cover (and honestly, this might have been the easiest short since Bridget the Midget). In fact on 12/31/09, Money McBags said this in the comment section of this very blog while debating with a reader: “In fact I will wager 1 share of ZAGG (and that is funny because ZAGG is going to $0).” Just a few months ago, ZAGG was trading at a multiple greater than 30x, despite the fact that they sell one product which is overpriced, don’t even own the technology, are in a market with low barriers to entry with a lot of competitors coming in, and it is easier and less time consuming to get Artie Lange off drugs than it is to apply their ZaggSkin product. Plus management was talking about building ZAGG stores for all of their future products instead of figuring out how to make their current product easier to apply and cheaper. They are now trading at around 14x 2009 expected earnings of $.20 per share, a number by the way which has maintained stagnant despite top line growth (which happens when you have to distribute products to more expensive channels and you pay more for shipping than you receive). The easy money has been made on this short, but it is unlikely their ZaggBox sells even as well as Rosie O’Donnell’s box and their App Store or marketplace or whatever they want to call it is more commoditized than fake boobs at a casting call for Van Wilder 3: The Rise of My Pants. In other small cap news, MED pre-announced a good quarter today of 75% growth and EPS to be $.17 to $.20 in this Q. The company has great ROEs, is growing faster than a steroidal weed, and is trading at only around 20x 2010 earnings and estimates will likely move up after today’s pre-announcement. Money McBags would ordinarily like a stock like this, especially after it’s big recent sell-off, but there is something about multi-level marketing that feels oh so dirty to him and apparently others agree. MED could be a big winner, but Money McBags is going to sit this one out.
The market continues to sell off as fears grow that Obama’s financial service regulation will limit the profitability of the banks who nearly destroyed the global financial system. How fucking dare he try to regulate these fine bastions of our economy who did nothing to deserve this other than invent complex derivatives based on loans made using lax lending standards to people who couldn’t afford to purchase what they were getting loans for and then trade these derivatives using their customers’ deposits which in turn created a minor global economic recession (and by minor, I mean the exact opposite of that) when these customers could not make payments. Seriously, so they fucked up a little, big freaking deal. What’s next, is the government going to ban foods that kill us or make sure blindfolds are always available in case of a Lady Gaga sighting? Anyway I’ll get off my high horse for now (mainly because have any of you ever tried to type on a high horse? 1. It is extremely difficult to find a place for your laptop and 2. a high horse isn’t exactly steady, especially because of the resulting munchies from being so high) but fear is that while regulations may limit the banks’ ability to give the economy monetary AIDS, they will severely limit profitability and this has caused the market and bank executives to get their panties in a bunch today (which is why Money McBags is always a strong advocate of thongs (barely safe for work link)). Banks now must know how Ron Jeremy felt in the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic struck and he was forced to wear condoms, sure it still felt good (banks can still earn money), and sure he was no longer at risk of dying (the government bailed the banks out), but can’t a dude just enjoy some good old fashion bareback (prop trading)?
In macro news, 43 states reported an increase in the unemployment rate in December, reversing the November trend. All 50 states had higher unemployment rates than last year led by Michigan at 14.6%. Michigan was closely followed by the state of Nevada, the state of Rhode Island, and the state of utter fucking despair. As Money McBags stated a few days ago, the S&P P/E ratio is above it’s historic mean so the market has recovered to the point where we are going to have to see some real economic and earnings progress.
And speaking of earnings progress, GOOG absolutely crushed their quarter today but they are trading down despite beating analyst estimates because they were short of whatever their whisper number was (and the only number Money McBags ever likes having whispered to him is 69). Google’s sales were up 17% to $6.7B and they quintupled their net income which tired net income out so much, it was unavailable for interviews. CEO Eric Schmidt was also giddy calling this an “extraordinary end to a roller coaster year,” and maintained “We are optimistic about the future as a result.” He then went on to say “And China, if you fuck with us again, I know where you live, no really I do, I put China into Google maps and there you were, but the point is, I will track you down should you hack us again and you don’t want to see me when I get mad. I will take away your surfing privileges and that means no more spankwire.com.” (that last quote may have been off the record).
In other earnings news today, people continue to eat the fuck out of some McDonald’s hamburgers as they grew US same stores sales by 1% after 2 months of declines and saw solid international growth with 5.1% growth in Europe and 1% growth in Asia/Pacific/Middle East/Africa or what is known as “the non-white areas.” GE also reported a $.02 earnings beat though it was considered somewhat of a low quality beat as it was driven by tax benefits and not buying new office furniture but simply reupholstering it with pleather. The stock is moving though because big-ticket capital goods orders were up, GE Capital staved off implosion for at least another quarter, and their sale of a majority stake of NBC has investors yawning over NBC’s 30% drop in profitability due to something called producing shitty shows (and NBC, if you’re reading this, Money McBags is available to deliver his Midday Report as part of your National News any day except for Friday, because Fridays are his date nights and he needs his personal time to prepare). Finally AXP and COF are both trading down big today after strong quarters. COF announced that they expect charge-offs to increase (something about people not having jobs) so that explains their drop but AXP did nothing wrong other than be in the financial services industry and already be relatively fairly priced. If AXP continues to sell off, it may bear digging deeper.
In small cap news today HAFC is finally dropping after it’s huge run up that Money McBags has been mentioning here over the past several days. This company is more speculative than the beef and broccoli at a Panda Express located next to a pet store, but someone seems to want to take that risk. Also, KITD pulled their European share offering after raising $31MM in the US markets saying they prefer to find less dilutive ways to eliminate their warrants. Money McBags thinks this is a positive decision for shareholders and KITD remains his favorite potential buy (other than any movie that has a Hayley Atwell nude scene). One small cap company that bears following here is a stock that Money McBags owns and that is MLNK. MLNK is the former CMGI (go ahead and chuckle now, get it out if the way, it will be better for all of us) but now focuses on a core business which is basically a supply chain and rebate/repair management system mostly for computer hardware manufacturers with 70% of their business coming from Fortune 500 companies. They just put up a Q of $18MM of non-gaap operating earnings, have $145MM cash after their TFL acquisition in December and no debt and a market cap of $452MM. So that puts them at around a 4.5x run rate EV/EBITDA if one considers the $18MM per Q a good run rate, but it might not be, it might actually be too low. The company expects ths upcoming Q to be inline with their last one and then they expect to see growth in the second half of the year and they are still cutting costs which contributed to a 500bp margin improvement in the last q. It’s not a dynamic business and probably in a market growing at high single digits plus they rely on a few big customers (HP is 25% or so of revenue) and are highly levered to consumer technology purchases, but this company is cheaper than an AIDS ridden bangkok hooker who hasn’t eaten for a week. Their revenue is starting to come back, they are still streamlining the business and they are making acquisitions, but even should EBITDA somehow drop to $10MM per q, they would still be trading at less than 8x that. Money McBags is a shareholder, and will likely buy more in this downturn, so you should all take a look.
Enjoy your weekend, Money McBags will be back on Monday.
1/20/10 Midday Report: China flexes pimp hand and vows to curb lending, businesses cower in the corner and promise to work harder for daddy
The big news bringing the market down today is that China is beginning to realize they may have a bit of a bubble on their hands as they opened up their fortune cookie last night and saw their fortune was written on the back of a yuan (as for the fortune, it said “man who puts balls in peanut butter is fucking nuts”). As a result, China will reel in their profligate lending. The chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission said that he expects banks in China to decrease their loans by 22% in 2010. So in the year of the golden tiger (and also the year of Tiger Wang), businesses may not receive the showers of money they saw in 2009 (now aptly renamed from the year of the Ox, to the year of the golden shower). It is good that China is realizing that they need to reign in their stimulus sooner rather than later, but this news of course is putting fear in to investors who worry about the short term recovery from the global recession.
In US macro news, US wholesale prices showed virtually no inflation as energy price declines offset increases in food prices. This is bad news for fat people but good news for the Tin Man.
In stock news, BAC and WFC reported earnings, well to be more precise, WFC reported earnings and BAC reported losses. BAC underperformed analyst expectations by posting a loss of $.60 per share vs. estimates of a $.52 loss per share. They blamed the $.08 miss on analysts being really bad at math. Without the TARP repayment and dividends paid on preferred stock, the Q4 loss would have only been $194MM, and in related news, if I didn’t have a dick, I’d be a chick, so unfortunately the details matter (and if I were a chick, I would be totally gay for Aubrey O’Day). BAC also raised their provision for credit losses to $10.1B in Q4, from $8.5B a year earlier because of some little thing I believe they referred to as “people not wanting to fucking pay shit back.” They also had total write-downs for the year of $33.7B, more than double the $16.2B in 2008, so at least we finally know the price of dignity.
The point is, BAC benefited from the investment banking gains of Merrill Lynch while they still took it in the yingus from their consumer portfolio. They suffered a loss of $4.9B on their consumer credit card business, compared with a $3.3 billion loss a year earlier. So guess what market, things aren’t getting much better. People still love charging off like Martha Coakley loves being bad at politics (and I need to digress for a second here. Money McBags does not get involved in politics. He does not care one iota what the fuck happens in this world as long there is world peace, no capital gains tax, and free blumpkins for all. And to be honest, he’d be happy with just one of those three, unless that one was world peace, and then he’d need at least one of the other two. The point is, Money McBags is completely apolitical, for all he cares, a gay person could marry an abortion while smoking a joint through the barrel of a shotgun in the middle of the oval office while spraying chlorofluorocarbons all over a bald eagle, so the fact that he has an opinion on this senate race is unusual. But this must be said. For a democrat to lose Ted fucking Kennedy’s senate seat in Massachusetts after having a 30 point lead in the polls and without having killed someone, been arrested for fraud, or openly rooted for the Yankees and claimed Bill Russell was a bitch, is perhaps the worst performance not just in the history of politics, but in the history of anything. Think about it. Ted Kennedy killed a lady and that couldn’t stop him form winning election after election. All this Coakley broad had to do was be alive, and yet somehow she fucked that up. Sure the dude who beat her (and yes this is really him, and sorry to my straight male readers) had a secret weapon in his lovely daughter Ayla, for whom Money McBags would cure cancer (though not one of those hard cancers like nut cancer, something much easier, like cancer of the mouth, also known as Kathy Griffin), but Coakley’s loss is so colossal it should be part of the lexicon. So here we go, BAC did not lose $.60 per share this Q, they Coakleyed $.60 per share. Diatribe over).
Most interesting was the verbiage from BAC’s CEO who said “economic conditions remain fragile and we expect high unemployment levels to continue, creating an ongoing drag on consumer spending and growth.” Which seemed at odds with WFC’s CEO’s statement that: “While losses remained elevated during the quarter as expected, a more favorable economic outlook and improved credit statistics in several portfolios further increase our confidence that our credit cycle is turning, provided economic conditions do not deteriorate.” Of course, WFC managed to turn an $.08 profit compared with a ginormous loss last year, so things are looking a bit rosier for them, except if you look at their charge-off numbers which were up sequentially $300MM to$5.4B driven by commercial and consumer real estate.
So are all banks created equal or will performance differences really start to show now that the economy has sort of recovered? More importantly, has the economy actually recovered? Here are four interesting stats from this NYTimes article (as always, buyer beware with facts and the NYTimes):
1. Bank of America said the percentage of credit card loans it thinks will never be paid hit 13.53 percent in December. JPMorgan Chase expects to charge off 10.5 percent of its credit card portfolios in the first half of 2010.
2. Fourth quarter of 2009, the number of domestic credit card accounts has declined by 20 percent from its peak in the second quarter of 2008, to 341 million from 426 million
3. the amount of available credit on cards has declined by 21 percent since its peak, from $3.51 trillion in the third quarter of 2008 to $2.77 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2009, the data shows
4. Hayley Atwell is still really hot, and Money McBags will drive this bandwagon into the ground until playboy drops by the Atwell residence.
So available credit is shrinking for the US consumer. What would be interesting to know is how utilization rates have changed and whether anything can be gleaned from this other than people got rid of their 3rd and 4th credit cards which they rarely used anyway and unemployment is still high (no word on how it can afford to keep getting high though).
In small cap news, KITD, a company Money McBags is following closely announced they will be issuing shares in both the US and Prague (where they will soon be listed). They are seemingly raising capital for more acquisitions where they buy companies for their customers, fire all the employees, and enjoy the benefits of leverage. KITD is basically a large database of videos for internet/IP delivery. They get raw video from customers and then help clients manage, view, distribute, manipulate, and store that data. They have a greater than 99% customer renewal rate because once a customer gives them their data, it is a huge pain in the ass for that customer to get all of the data back and have to reformat it, etc. (it is more of a pain in the ass than Valentine’s day). KITD’s market is growing 100% a year as IP takes off, they have little competition, they also have a ton of NOLs, and 93% of their business is outside of the US. IP video is cheaper and better than digital and it represents only 23% of the global video market so there is a lot of room to grow. That said, the company is a bit odd as it has had headquarters in Dubai and now Prague and they are still unprofitable from an operating eps standpoint. Also, the CEO loves himself almost as much as he loves money and looking silly at the movies and the company basically just relaunched less than a year ago when this new CEO came in and developed a new strategy. Now the good news is that the CEO is the biggest owner and has a substantial portion of his net worth in the company, the bad news is that the CEO has led failed companies before. But he has had success recently and at least we are betting with him. Also, despite little US exposure, they did win the business of Verizon Fios which is the only IPTV telco user in the US. The company has little sell side coverage but recently announced fiscal 2010 guidance for revenue to increase at least 60% to more than $75 million, with an annual operating EBITDA margin exceeding 17.5%. Ok, so EBITDA will be somewhere around $13MM and their market cap $120MM is with $13MM of net cash as of their last 10Q, so they are trading at around 8x EV/EBITDA before their just announced capital raise and at around 1.5x revenues when companies like this who use the software as a service model tend to trade at between 2x and 6x revenues. These are relatively cheap multiples for a growing company with a high recurring revenue base which contains many blue chip customers. Money McBags does not yet own KITD because he is still trying to fully understand the company’s competitive advantage, but he is thinking about buying a starter position and will throw down the gauntlet to his loyal readers to do some of their own research here and see if they come up with anything else important.
Oh yeah, a Money McBags longtime reader e-mailed him about a Korean-American bank HAFC which is apparently now trading at around .5x of TBV (even with today’s big run-up) and promises to love you long time. Money McBags knows nothing about HAFC and how real their TBV really is but if it is even 80% correct then there is room to grow here. So you should all do some due diligence.