It seems like yesterday that to much pomp and circumstance, Groupon came public. We can only hope that anyone who bought into the public offering sold long ago, because the company has just decided to TVIX the muppets:
- GROUPON CUTS FORECAST - BBG
- GROUPON REFUND RESERVE ACCRUAL INCREASED - BBG
But most importantly:
- GROUPON SAYS MATERIAL WEAKNESS IN INTERNAL CONTROLS - BBG
We are fairly confident that the stock will continue imploding after hours until such time as confidence in the stock market returns.
AIG just conducted a two-fold master class of i) how to confuse Wall Street of having "superb" earnings, and ii) how to avoid paying any corporate taxes for years to come. Because as part of the company's just announced massive $19.8 billion profit, a whopping $17.8 billion was nothing short of the oldest tax accounting gimmick in the book - the release of a valuation allowance (i.e., deferred tax liability vs deferred tax asset conversion). In other words, apples to apples, the real Net Income attributable to shareholders was not $19.8 billion but realistically $2 billion, which would compare to last year's $11.2 billion if only it was not for a $13.5 billion gain on divested business posted in Q4 2011, when the company again was fudging numbers like a drunken sailor. Anyway, we are confident even the algos will figure it out eventually. But the real slap in the face coming from this bailed out company is that as a result of this accounting change, AIG will essentially not pay any taxes for years to come, most likely until its next insolvency.
UPDATE: EURUSD back over 1.32 and TSYs +2bps on Greek loan plan news.
Credit (and vol) continue to lead the way as smart deriskers as ES (the e-mini S&P 500 futures contract) ends down only 0.5% - which sadly is the biggest drop since 12/28. The late day surge in ES, which was not supported by IG or HY credit (and very clearly not HYG - the HY bond ETF - which closed at its lows and saw its biggest single-day loss since Thanksgiving), saw heavier volumes and large average trade size which suggest professionals willing to cover longs or add shorts above in order to get filled. Materials stocks underperformed but the major financials had a tough day as their CDS deteriorated to one-week wides. VIX (and its many derivative ETFs) had a very bumpy ride today. VXX (the vol ETF) rose over 14% (most in 3 months) at one point before it pulled back (coming back to settle perfectly at its VWAP so not too worrisome). After the European close, FX markets largely went sideways with the USD inching higher (EUR weaker) as JPY strength reflected on FX carry pair weakness and held stocks down. Treasuries extended their gains from yesterday's peak of the week yields as 7s to 30s rallied around 6bps leaving the 30Y best performer on the week at around unchanged. Commodities generally tracked lower on USD strength with Oil the exception as WTI pushed back up to $99 into the close (ending the week +1.1% and Copper -1.1%). Gold and Silver ended the week down almost in line with USD's gains at around 0.25-0.5%. Broadly speaking risk has been off since around the European close yesterday and ES and CONTEXT have reconverged on a medium-term basis this afternoon (to around NFP-spike levels) as traders await the potential for event risk emerging from Europe.
Our bullish premise rests on Greece being fixed.
Amazon slides 10% after hours as it reports much weaker revenues of $17.43 billion on expectations of $18.26 billion. EPS are not really comparable but seems to beat EPS of $0.16 on Exp. of $0.38. This may not be apples to apples. More importantly, the company guides Q1 to Operating Loss of $200MM to Income of income of $100MM, on Wall Street Consensus of $268MM, and guides to Q1 revenue of just $120-$13.4 billion on Estimates of $13.4 billion: pretty wide range there... This is merely the latst time that the company has disappointed materially, yet Wall Street keeps giving it the benefit of the doubt, on hopes that the Kindle will finally become an iPad-like device. How much longer? Yet the take home message is that the US consumer, contrary to rumors otherwise, is actually not doing all that well.
GOOG, first on deck, swing, and a miss - Source
- GOOGLE 4Q ADJ. EPS $9.50, EST. $10.50
- GOOGLE 4Q REVENUE $10.58 BILLION, EST. $8.41
- GOOGLE 4Q COST-PER-CLICK DOWN ABOUT 8%
Beat on top line, miss on EPS - Margin Compression?
Next: MSFT - Source
- MICROSOFT 2Q REV. $20.89B, EST. $20.92B
- MICROSOFT 2Q EPS. $0.78, EST. $0.76
- MICROSOFT CORP BING U.S. MARKET SHARE, AT 15.1% UP 300 BPS Y/Y
- More layoffs: Microsoft is revising operating expense guidance downward to $28.5 billion to $28.9 billion for the full year ending June 30, 2012.
Beat on bottom, miss on top
Next: IBM - Source
- IBM 4Q REV. $29.49B, EST. $29.71B
- IBM 4Q OPER EPS: $4.71, EST. 4.62
- Full year 2012 Expectations: GAAP EPS of at least $14.16 and operating (non-GAAP) EPS of at least $14.85
Beat on bottom, miss on top
Next: INTC - Source
- INTEL 4Q REV. $13.89B, EST. $13.72B
- INTEL 4Q EPS 64C, EST. 61C
- INTEL SEES 1Q REV. $12.8B +/- $500M, EST. $12.76B
Beat on top and bottom.
Jerry Yang, who previously quit as YHOO CEO, has just announced his final resignation as Chairman of the company, in what appears to be a (pyrric) victory for Dan Loeb, who made the ouster of Yang his number one goal in life. Well, Yang is now gone, and Loeb can proceed with the value maximing exercise. We have a very distinct feeling Loeb will be rather disappointed with what he discovers. It may be even more difficult for Loeb to remind the general population that Yahoo is not Friendster, and is actually still in existence. Of course, the pain trade is fading all the MSFT for YHOO rumors which will start hitting the tape every day at 9:45am like clockwork. Stock was up as much as 5% after hours. Now fading.
Alcoa was expected to generate $(0.03) in EPS in Q4 and so it did. However, it took it 5.99 billion in top line revenue just to not miss traditionally lowered Wall Street estimates. This compares to the $5.7 billion it was expected to make: so there goes your margin. And when one looks at EPS on a purely operational basis, the Company had a loss from operations of $193 million or $(0.18) EPS which included a $74 million benefit from taxes. But of course who cares: after all Alcoa reported "restructuring and other charges" of a whopping $232 million for the quarter, just to make sure everything is apples to oranges. Otherwise the reported $445 million in EBITDA (on $449 million in consensus) would have been more like $200 million. Even so: EBITDA margin dropped from 13.8% in Q4 2010, and 12.8% in Q3 2011, to a measly 7.4% in Q4 2011. Other notable items: CapEx jumped from $325 million in Q3 to $486 million in Q4, meaning that based on the traditional Free Cash Flow definition of EBITDA-CapEx, that used for bond indenture purposes, Alcoa actually burned cash in Q4. Finally, the company forecasts global aluminum demand and supply deficit (probably does not explain why it has been shuttering smelter capacity all around the world) of 7% in 2012- a big drop from recent years. All in all - not quite the right way to start the new year.
Looking for a reason why the surge of BAC has been abruptly halted after hours? Look no further - as predicted earlier, when we commented on the periodic reincarnation of the always false global refi rumor which served among other things to push BAC higher by almost 10%, the rumor was found to be false... all over again. In other words no refi, no benefit to TBTF, and all of today's gains are based on what Bloomberg noted was a report issued yesterday by a Jaret Seiberg, who until recently was an employee of MF Global, and has since been acquired with his entire Washington Research Group by none other than Guggenheim partners, which just happens to be run by former Bear Stearns exec Alan Scwhartz. From Bloomberg, here is the official denial (which came literally seconds after market close):
- White House Has No Plan for Mass Home Refinancing, Person Says
Incidentally, even if the rumor was true, here is JMP explaining why it would have no real impact on Bank of America
Putting the cherry on top of an ugly day for bulls comes global tech vanguard IBM, which did not use the DVA wildcard and still saw its earnings beat already reduced expectations of $3.22, printing at $3.28... but... it did miss the consensus top line of $26.34 billion by just under $200 milllion, at $26.16 billion. Since this the first time in probably forever that Big Blue has not beat the top line, the stock is certainly not too happy after hours. That this is happening despite the company's boost to its EPS forecast is quite troubling.
Less than an hour ago, Larry Kudlow tweeted the following: "Sources tell me Italy has to restructure bonds.Deposit run on Italian banks.EU will have to mount Tarp rescue.Big stress on interbank loans." Basically, this is the worst possible combination for Europe which means that another bailout is not only imminent but has to happen tomorrow. Incidentally Reuters is reporting of an emergency meeting between Sarkozy and Merkel and Zapatero on "the markets" which can only mean damage control following today's disastrous Trichet performance. Too bad the markets won't buy it any longer absent some actual actions to back up the deeds. Yet what we are more concerned about is whether or not there really is a bank run in Italy which would be the end of the euro. For that we went to the most trustworthy indicator for European "bankrunness" the EURCHF. To our surprise, the pair just plunged nearly 100 pips after hours, after dropping over 200 pips from intraday highs following yesterday's SNB intervention. Will this force the SNB to intervene again? Find out shortly. AS to what Sarkozy has up his sleeve, we will just have to wait and see when the European markets open in about 10 hours.
DJ NYSE Reviewing Possible Bad After-Hours Trades In Many Stocks
PM Eastern Daylight Time May 02, 2011 (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
Were they known as, sales? And in other news, Gold just plunged by $30 for no reason whatsoever. Flash crashes for everyone!
One wonders just what algo told the IWM to not only lift every offer but to do so for a whopping 10% higher than the overall market. Because if you like this market about 50% overpriced, you will love it at 60%. Or was this just Brian Sack telegraphing what the endgoal for the Russell 2000 is before QE2 ends? In other news does anyone even recall what a capital market is like without at least one Chinese fraud being exposed, or at least one synthetic CDO, read ETF, doing some Circque De Soleil acrobatics? We can't wait to hear what the exchanges will use as an excuse for this inverse flash crash.
- GAAP: $2.31, up 17 percent;
- Operating (non-GAAP): $2.41, up 21 percent; Consensus of $2.30
Revenue: $24.6 billion, up 8 percent, up 5 percent adjusting for
currency; Consensus of $24.0 billion
Gross profit margin:
- GAAP: 44.1 percent, up 0.5 points; Below consensus of 44.6%
- Operating (non-GAAP): 44.5 percent, up 0.8 points;
- Cloud revenue 5 times first-quarter 2010 revenue;
Full-year 2011 Operating (non-GAAP) EPS expectations raised to at
least $13.15 from at least $13.00.