Posts tagged MRK
The big macro news today was that GDP slowed to 2.4% growth in Q2, that is until it’s revised down next Q to keep up with the administration’s “hold the shock and hope for no awe” strategy. This strategy was further evident in today’s release as GDP from the past 3 fucking years was revised downward because apparently the Commerce Department is still figuring out how to properly use the “solver” function in Excel. The peak to trough decline is now seen to have been a 4.1% decline instead of a 3.7% drop, which officially makes this recession the worst since the 1940s which was so long ago that Abe Vigoda had only been dead for a decade and muff guessing still referred to fashion designers trying to figure out the latest in hand warming trends.
Surprisingly though, and in direct opposition to the downward revision strategy, last quarter’s GDP was revised up to 3.7% from 2.7% which makes today’s number even worse. It also goes against every fucking rule of manipulating data since, you know, the whole point of manipulating data is to use it to your advantage but apparently the new guy at the Commerce Department must have missed the memo while he was busy figuring out how to put a cover sheet on his fucking TPS report.
So GDP was below guesses of 2.6% growth and was mostly hurt by a trade deficit growing wider than the Octomom’s cervix with imports spiking up 28% which is the largest jump in 25 years since the run on french cookies in the mid 1980s, consumer spend slowing to only 1.6% growth after growing 1.9% last Q, and a renaissance of common sense. The one bright spot Money McBags could find was Jasmine Waltz, and the one bright spot he could find in the GDP report was that the equipment and software category grew at an annual rate of 21.9% as businesses need to buy a bunch of shit to do what people used to do. The slower GDP growth comes a day after Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard published an academic paper warning of the potential for the US economy to hit a period of deflation and turn in to Japan from 20 years ago which would be bad for everyone but the bukakke industry.
GDP is now slowing down, the economy has lost 8.4MM jobs, and Christina Hendricks still has not agreed to make a late night Skinamax movie, so any hopes of a speedy, stimulus driven recovery are becoming slimmer than Amy Fisher‘s parents hopes and dreams. Money McBags is sure the Fed will announce something soon to try to kickstart the economy, but based on the fact that they have been in existence for 100ish years and still haven’t figured shit out (largely because economics is a more full of shit field of study than proctology), he’s not holding his breath (though he would gladly hold anything of Hayley Atwell‘s).
In other US macro news, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 67.8 which is the lowest level since November and 10% below the 76 number it registered last month (though to be fair, it registered such a high number last month because it had put the thermometer next to the heater in hopes of being able to stay home from school). As always, Money McBags has no idea what the difference between a 67.8 and a 76 is other than 8.2 so while market seems mildly happy that the 67.8 came in at .8 better than analysts’ guesses, Money McBags is pretty sure an 8 point drop is worse than a .8 outperformance, even if it were measured on some weird logarithmic scale.
Finally in macro news, the Chicago PMI defied all common sense, data, and laws of supply and demand and rose by more than guessed for the month of July. The PMI jumped from 59.1 to 62.3 while economists had guessed it would fall because, well, because we’re in a fucking recession. Interestingly enough, readings above 50 signal expansion so despite GDP slowing down and consistently high rates of foreclosures and unmeployment causing the midwest to be bleaker and more run down than Warsaw in 1945 or Barbara Walter’s vagina, Chicago area manufacturing continues to grow. It is as perplexing as the 9 dimensions needed for string theory to hold or the Lifetime channel.
Internationally, Moody’s cut Iceland’s rating outlook to negative, said they they could cut it to junk, and warned Iceland that they better “check themselves, before they Reykjavík themselves, because fucking with foreign currency loans is bad for yo’ health.” Iceland defended themselves by properly pointing out that Moody’s is a bunch of asshats and by saying they are a long way off from defaulting on any debt payments. When asked what a “long way” was, Economy Minister Gyfli Magnusson simply replied that he’d like to buy a vowel before quickly mushing off on his dogsled.
In the market, MRK’s profits fell 52% due to merger and restructuring charges associated with buying Schering-Plough and redoing the company cafeteria. Without those one time charges the company beat analyst eps guesses by $.03 and earned $.86 on the Q but the stock dropped as the company trimmed their full year guidance due to price cuts on drugs from European governments and slowing sales of vaccines and Singulair. A company spokesman said they would do their best to continue to promote bad and unhealthy behavior in order to boost sales of their products.
In other earnings news MET insured the fuck out of some shit and beat analyst guesses while Amgen also beat guesses despite lower revenue and profits as both investors and osteoporosis sufferers bend over backwards with excitement over their drug Proli. Also in the market Disney sold Miramax for $660MM to better focus on making shitty vapid films for kids to buy shittier vapider toys off of and C paid a $75MM fine for a little something called misleading investors about the amonut of subprime loans they held on their books. C claimed they only had $13B of exposure when they had $50B but Money McBags is sure the $75MM fine will make up for the billions investors lost by believing any of the publicly audited financial statements C released.
In small cap news, TSYS sold off by 17% after their net income fell by 50% in another quarter more confusing than the ending of a Kafka novel. Remember a couple of weeks ago Money McBags told you TSYS would make an interesting short term trade and on this past Tuesday he said:
“TSYS was up 4% plus and remember on 7/9 Money McBags said it was too cheap and would make a nice short term trade and it’s up just under 20% since then so good for you if you picked up some shares but don’t get too greedy as news on the company remains thinner than OJ’s alibi and it has traded down for a year for a reason.”
So hopefully you didn’t get too greedy and took your profits and went home because we were given more reasons for its shitacular performance this year.
That said, on the surface, the quarter wasn’t horrible, as revenue was an alltime high $92MM, though pretty much flat with the first two quarters of the year and gross profit of $33MM was also up a bit sequentially. EBITDA of $15MM was down a bit sequentially and barely up from last year when revenue was $25MM less so they are clearly having margin/expense issues with gross margin dropping from ~45% to ~36% from last year’s Q. Not really what you’d like to see out of a supposedly growing business. Money McBags is a firm believer in not owning businesses with negative operating leverage unless they are in the start-up stage, so that is a huge red flag, especially for a company that has relied on acquisitions for much of their growth.
That said, the biggest problem seems to be that they saw their text message licensing business slow down and lead to fewer sales of pepetual licenses which was what Money McBags thought was a big growth area for this company. People like the fuck out of texting so it was always a bit confusing why this company’s revenue didn’t scale faster with that and why that is now slowing down for them.
Money McBags hasn’t had time to listen to their call yet as he has been busy trying to solve the Riemann hyopthesis (he thinks the answer is zero) and looking for more pictures of Sofia Vergara, but he’s sure the call would have been as confusing and unilluminating as ever as this management team has overpromised and underdelivered more than an M. Night Shyamalan film. That said, he’s not sure if they are still guiding to $80MM-$85MM in EBITDA as they are only at ~$30MM half way through the year with one of their growth segments slowing and margins getting squeezed like Ines Sainz‘ ass in an airplane seat.
The company currently has an EV ~$280MM so it’s pretty cheap if you think that they can double their EBITDA in the second half of the year but as Money McBags needs a fucking forensic accountant, a strategy consultant, the Amazing Kreskin, and a fuckload of luck to understand their press release and the different parts of their business, he’s going to stay the fuck away.
Hopefully you all made a nice short term profit and perhaps their call explained a lot, as this company seems way too fucking cheap for what they claim to do. That said, the market isn’t usually this wrong when selling something off over this long of a period of time, so Money McBags will remain happily uninvested. That said, if anyone can clearly and concisely explain their business in two sentences or fewer, Money McBags would be interested to understand.
5/4/10 Midafternoon Report: Monty Python to rewrite script as somebody expects the Spanish Inquisition
Timberrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. The market is trading down as if Europe is going to go bankrupt like John Edward’s morals or like investors think it will give them AIDS (which means Magic Johnson is happily buying today since he can’t be infected again). The news continues to be fears that even with austerity measures and a bailout, Greece is going to be more fucked than Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn or Houston after the Houston 620. As a result, the dollar is at its one year high against the euro, though to be fair, part of that high is because 90% of dollars have traces of cocaine on them. Adding fear to Greece’s impending doom is worry that the debt contagion is spreading to the other crappy European countries about which no one cares (you hear that Liechtenstein with your alps, tax haven, and policy of neutrality?). Spain is once again worrying the markets as Spanish banks are proving to be weaker than the force carried by W and Z bosons or Tiger Wood’s “sexual addiction” excuse. Apparently two banks in Northern Spain were supposed to merge but that is now some sort of power struggle to see who gets to be in charge of the crappy loans which sounds a bit like Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty arguing over who gets the marketing rights to Ishtar. Along with bank issues, the country’s current unemployment rate is over 20% and considering they have like a 15 hour work week, that is fucking shocking. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Gonzalez Ramirez Guerrero Zapatero is shocked by the speculation that his country may be facing worse fiscal problems and claimed his country has “strong solvency” and the possibilty of needing a bailout is “complete madness” before he asked reporters if they’d like to buy an unfinished church and promised he’d make them a deal, even throwing in a Shake Weight for free. The market is scared today with Europe’s debt crisis pulling a Coleman Silk and spooking investors but we were due for some consolidation so as long as you hold names you are comfortable with, don’t panic.
In US macro news, pending home sales rose 5.3% which beat guesses and reached a 5 month high. As always, this increase was driven by tax breaks for new home buyers and cardboard boxes now being included in reported home sales numbers. Also, factory orders jumped 1.3% in March and were up 3.1% when excluding transportation orders which is the biggest surge in 5 years since the great home redecoration bubble of 2005. The US macro news continues to be encouraging but we still need to see unemployment decline until we will start feeling giddier than Amanda Carrier‘s bowflex.
In stock news, everything is down so this could be a buying opportunity for real companies. Unfortunately, SIRI isn’t one of them despite putting up a quarter where they actually earned a $.01 per share profit. SIRI’s business model is more flawed than Amy Winehouse’s face or supply side economics. With the prevalence of iPods, podcasts, internet radio, and Brooklyn Decker (not clear what Brooklyn Decker has to do with this, but she is hot), there is absolutely no reason to pay for radio unless you are a fan of the great Howard Stern and when Stern retires at the end of the year, Sirius will be deader than Larry Craig’s political career. Money McBags would rather be subject to 24 hours of Celine Dion’s music while watching re-runs of Friends and having his anus waxed than go long SIRI. In other news, MRK and PFE both had good quarters as untemployed people still need to stay medicated to stave off depression, anxiety attacks, and the stench from Paris Hilton‘s vagina.
In small cap news, Money McBags is getting absolutely obliterated like Alf Landon in the 1936 election (perhaps he shouldn’t have eaten all of those cats) or Carmella Bing in Sodom 4. CRUS is getting pounded, though it has run up so much that momentum investors are likely just taking profits. This is true of most of Money McBags’ names but he is holding steady as he believes in their stories and they are not overvalued (except for maybe VMW which is a bit overvalued, but whatever). Yesterday Money McBags told all of you to watch NTRI’s Q last night and they are up 20%+ after putting up moderately better numbers than the street was expecting yet giving what Money McBags thinks is pretty good guidance. For the Q, NTRI earned $.15 per share on revenue of $159MM of revenue but they had $8MM of potential one-time marketing expenses so absent those, they would have earned closer to $.28 per share. While revenue was basically flat with last year, new customers were up 11% and new customer revenue was up 14% due to a mix shift back to more expensive products. New customers basically drive this business as they help with reactivation as recency of dropping out plays a big role in getting people to rejoin plus the weak new customer additions from the past two quarters have hurt their regular program revenues. The bad news was that their Walmart/Walgreen’s/Sam’s club retail promotions bombed worse than Michael Richards on Showtime at the Apollo. The roll out of those programs cost them $3MM in marketing expense which won’t be repeated again and was part of the $8MM excess marketing spend. Of course that other $5MM came from higher ad rates so it’s not clear how much of those are really temporary vs. a shift in demand for ads and thus persistently higher rates. The company guided to $1.02-$1.12 eps for the year and $.33-$.36 eps for next Q with moderate topline growth so they are banking on marketing spend going back down to ~29% of sales while their gross margin and op ex improvements maintaining. They are trading at ~20x that with their 20% run up today and are still pretty cheap on an EBITDA basis. They earned ~$70MM EBITDA last year but with their guidance they should slightly exceed that so call it $75MM. With $90MM cash and no debt, they now have an EV of $600MM and thus are <9x EV/EBITDA on 2010 earnings. That’s about inline with peers but pretty cheap for their cash flow business model. The stock is still 33% below its high from the beginning of the year which means they have 50% more to go to get back to where the market thought they should be valued if growth was to come back. The point is, strong growth isn’t quite here yet but they are starting to get trickling sequential growth and adding that to operating improvements gives you a stock with the potential that is now reasonably priced for a static environment. But the thing is, we know there are a ton of fat people in this country so programs like this are always going to be in demand until society stops shunning bulimia. NTRI’s diabetic targeted product is continuing to grow and apparently hiring the once delicious Angie Everhart has spiked up sales to their women’s segment. Money McBags is going to let the shorts cover today but may be buying tomorrow when this thing settles. There is plenty of room to move up while downside seems limited, that said, the stock is near fairly valued if you think their weight loss products will only have moderate growth.