Moments ago, Facebook reported Q2 earnings and just like Twitter, it beat across all key financial metrics. So all should be well, and FB stock should be soaring. Alas for FB longs it isn't and at last check the stock was down by $5 or about 5% after hours, because algos were focused on one particular user growth metric: Daily active users (DAUs) - DAUs were 968 million on average for June 2015, an increase of 17% year-over-year. This number was a fraction less than the 970.5 million consensus estimate, and because it brought up nightmare visions of what happened to Twitter stock overnight, which since earnings has plunged to near all time lows, is forcing traders to sell or short, if only now, and ask questions later.
"The modern financial animal is wont to assume that he or she lives in an age of science. The truth is we live in an age of pseudoscience. Far from dealing in science, central bankers, and, to a degree, investment bankers and security analysts, employ magical thinking... For an individual to fix Libor is a crime. For a central bank to suppress European bond yields is an act of financial statesmanship..."
"Hillary Clinton will propose a revamp of capital-gains taxes that would hit some short-term investors with higher rates, part of a package of measures designed to prod companies to put more emphasis on long-term growth," WSJ reports. Interested to know who might be pulling the strings behind the scenes? Read on...
While Amazon is up 17%, the Nasdaq party is being spoiled by the 17% collapse in Biogen following its aggressive guidance cut. As we noted previously, Biogen is the 4th most profitable biotech company and this 'scare' is weighing heavy on Janet Yellen's favorite short industry as the entire Biotech index is sliding.
"If in the short run, to paraphrase Benjamin Graham, equities are a voting machine, then it seems many of these votes are being coerced by interventionists.Central bankers the world over have become obsessed with asset prices, to the extent that the notion of central banks making outright purchases of equities is no longer confined to the lunatic fringe."
The Oldest Trick In The Accounting Book Is Back: How Coke Just "Beat" EPS Despite Sliding Revenues And ProfitSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/22/2015 08:13 -0400
If KO had applied the proper tax rate of 28.7% to its non-GAAP pre tax income of $3.6 billion, the EPS number it would get is not $0.63, but $0.58. Why is this key? Because Wall Street's consensus estimate for KO EPS was $0.60, or right in the middle. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how both Intel and now Coca Kola used the oldest trick in the accounting book to "beat" EPS: by using an unrealistically low tax rate.
Putting it all together, here is the LTM GAAP and non-GAAP EPS, and the resultant P/E ratios for the S&P on a 2015 forward basis (using Deutsche Bank's optimistic growth forecasts for the rest of 2015 which have Q4 2015 GAAP EPS projected to grow 23% from lastt Q4). As of this moment, with the S&P500 at 2130, the S&P 500 is trading at 18.1x forward (non-GAAP) PE based on 2015P EPS of 118, and an unprecedented 20.3x GAAP PE if one uses the far more realistic 105 GAAP EPS.
At this point the EPS accounting fudgery is so ridiculous, even 5-year-olds get it.
Today's market battle will be between those (central banks) "hoping" that a Greek deal over the weekend is finally imminent (which on one hand looks possible after a major backpeddling by Tsipras - who may never have wanted to win the Greferendum in the first place - yesterday in Brussels and today during his speech in the Euro Parliament, but on the other will be a nearly impossible sell to Greece as any deal terms will be far harsher than the deal offered by the Troika 2 weeks ago and will have no debt reduction), and those who finally noticed that the Chinese central planners have effectively lost control.
Investors are losing money, which strikes us as largely inevitable with asset prices where they are and economic growth and profits on a downward trajectory. Losing the least amount of money may be the best source of success this year.
To summarize: the first revenue drop for the S&P in 5 years, a major downward revision in EPS now expecting just 1% increase in 2015 EPS, a 25% cut to GDP forecasts, a machete taken to corporate profits and 10 Yields, and not to mention double digit sales declines for some of the most prominent tech companies in the world. And that, in a nutshell, is the "strong fundamentals" that everyone's been talking about.
An odd occurrence took place this past week in the “Land of Unicorns” aka Silicon Valley. The first of what was once described as the “future of social media” canary’s Twitter™, was suddenly struck by the “Where’s The Money” kingdom aka Wall Street. Suddenly, what was once the dulcet tones for acquiring investment capital “eyeballs to monetize” is now being answered by the investment crowd in a much more sobering tone of “Where’s the monetized money?!”
The current bubbles are so large and fragile that air is already coming out with rates still locked at zero. However, unlike prior bubbles that pricked in response to Fed rate hikes, the current bubble may be the first to burst without a pin. It appears the Fed fears this and will do everything it can to avoid any possible stress. That is why Fed officials will talk about raising rates, but keep coming up with excuses why they can’t. Larry Lindsey will be right that the markets will eventually force the Fed to raise rates even more abruptly if it waits too long to raise them on its own. But he grossly underestimates the magnitude of the rise and the severity of the crisis when that happens. It won’t just be the end of a raging party, but the beginning of the worst economic hangover this nation has yet experienced.
Greek Economy In "Doomsday" Tailspin: 59 Businesses, 613 Jobs Lost Each Day, Suppliers Demand Cash Up FrontSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/10/2015 10:50 -0400
While the Greek government has wasted the past 4 months experiment with game (and hope) theory-based negotiations with the Troika, debating what reforms it should implement, what the budget surplus should be, and how much of a pension and wage haircut the local workforce should undergo just to keep the trickle of European money flowing and "allow" the IMF to repay Greek IMF obligations and the ESM to repay the ECB, the Greek economy has slammed into a brick wall because according to Greece's retailers association, about 59 businesses close down and some 613 jobs are being lost each day.
Just days after JPMorgan revealed it would fire another 5,000 by the end of the year in a "scalpel" headcount reduction, overnight the world's favorite drug money laundering bank HSBC unleashed the "machete" and announced it would cut almost 50,000 workers, or one in five bankers, a move which would shrink the investment bank division by one-third. The reason: the same why US corporations are laying off tens of thousands so they can fund record stock buybacks and enrich their shareholders - to boost profits so that more money can be channeled in the form of dividends.