The market didn't do much today as it tries to come down off its volatility high which was fueled by mass uncertainty, broken technical barriers, and a fuckload of pixie sticks. In macro news, new claims for unemployment were much worse than analyst guesses and also once again tested the (No) Labor Department's ability to do simple math. Claims were up by 12k, bringing total claims to 472k which would make sense if last week claims weren't 456k. You see, once again we're left with an equal sign that has to be more confused than Chastity Bono's bikini waxer because 456k +12k = 472k only in the land of make believe where it rains gum drops, pants are optional, and everyone looks like Diora Baird. Once again the (No) Labor Department (though the parentheses may drop from the No if claims keep up at these levels) revised last week's number upwards by 4k which only gives initial false optimism and then leads people to believe any of these results about as much as they believe in the existence of the Loch Ness monster, vampires, or Abe Vigoda. All one can glean from things is that directionally things remain bad no matter what made up number is given by Hilda Solis' henchmen and henchwomen and that when the number is released next week, this week's 472k new claims will have been revised up to somewhere between 475k and "we're all fucked." With the federal government now paying 73 weeks of unemployment on top of the 26 weeks people already receive from the states, 10MM Americans are being paid to fix up their resumes for the one current job opening in this country which is for a ticket taker at the Regal Cinemas in Topeka, Kansas (and if you're interested, just leave your resume in the box). Job growth remains more stunted than He Ping Ping with a bad case of whiskey dick. In other macro news, the Philly Fed announced today that business activity for manufacturers in the Mid-Atlantic region declined which was most surprising because everyone assumed the Philly Fed had been robbed and burned down like everything else in Philadelphia. The Philly Fed's index of business activity fell to 8.0, from 21.4 in May, and was well below analyst guesses of 21.0 since analysts are clueless and no one in Philly can afford shit. Finally the CPI was out today and was up 2.2% from last year but basically flat with last month which is a good sign for those worried about inflation but a bad sign that the Fed is going to continue to keep rates at a level where the next bubble is only a financially engineered instrument away.
Internationally, the EU says they will release the results of their bank stress tests but will release them only in the ancient and dead language of Yola. Of course the language is irrelevant because Money McBags is 100% sure that the results will show European banks are in better shape than a young Jack LaLanne and he is also 100% sure he won't believe any of those results. It serves Europe, the US, and the whole global financial system no good to be honest about the banking problems in Europe unless we really want to try to fix the problems rather than sweeping them under the rug for another few years as we bask in our own delusions and continue to fight windmills for the love of Dulcinea (though if she looks anything like Elizabeth Canalis, it will certainly be worth it). Also, a Spanish bond offering went off without a hitch as Spain saw strong demand for their 10 and 30 year bonds thanks to raising the premiums by 80bps and 110bps and promising that Nereida Gallardo would personally service all of the debt.
In stock news, AAPL is reaching record highs as they announced they sold more than 600k of their new 4G iPhones in one day (though they failed to disclose that the iPhones were laced with heroin and MSG). Apple's news is also pushing up a Money McBags' favorite small cap name CRUS. Goldman was up despite Credit Suisse cutting their price target on GS from $235 to $225 once again proving that Credit Suisse moves the market about as much as Stephen Hawking moves his trachea. And finally the great Dick "Don't call me Richard" Bove cut his price target on USB from $29.50 to $27 continuing his run of cutting bank price targets to only 40% above their current prices making him as bearish (though still as deluded) as he has ever been.
In small cap news, WGO came out with earnings today and Money McBags told all of you to keep your eyes on it as the company has run way ahead of actually putting up any kind of numbers. Those who have owned the company got in earlier than a NAMBLA member gets in to the dating pool. While Money McBags has hated the stock and still thinks it remains overvalued, he will give them credit for putting up a decent quarter, though not as decent as the headlines would lead you to believe. The good news for the company is that sales grew 165%, they were profitable, had positive ~$8.5MM EBITDA, prices were up 20% for an average of $98k per unit (because they've now infused their motor homes with the scent of Diane Kruger's vagina which I am told smells like talcum powder, fresh rose petals, and rich people), and apparently people will still buy expensive shit that they don't need. Honestly, Money McBags is flummoxed by this one. He understands why people would be dropping $100k for new motor homes when they are on sale for a fuckload less than that at maybe a year old on the used market as much as he understands Naked Lunch or country fucking music (and if it's not clear, that is "not at all"). Now the bad news for the company is that the earnings headline number was 2x what it really was thanks to a tax benefit, the sales growth rate slowed down from last quarter, gross margins are still fuck awful and below 10%, accounts payable jumped, they are trading at a ridonkulous multiple, and the economy still sucks like Nikki Dial on the set of White Men Can't Hump.
Ok, so let's just look at the quarter a little bit. Revenue was ~$135MM, up 165% year over year but up only ~20% sequentially. Alternatively, last year in this sequential Q revenue was up 60% while last Q year over year revenue was up 247%. So sure, it sounds stupid to call 165% growth bad, but contextually sales are slowing down after a big ramp up post stimulus. More importantly, headlines say the company earned $.21 per share but that number is phonier than Jack Nicholson's accent in The Departed or a married woman who says she likes giving hummers. WGO had $.21 in earnings per share thanks to a $2.4MM tax benefit. If we take out the tax benefit, they had $3.4MM in operating earnings for ~$.11-$.12 in EPS. But hey, Money McBags will give them credit for making money, good on them, really, too bad their unrecognized tax benefit is only going to last another couple of quarters. Anyway, Money McBags' big concern is that they can't keep up this pace and have reached a new near equilibrium level and at that new equilibrium level they are still more expensive than bald eagle foie gras (and nowhere near as tasty). The market cap is $357MM after today's run up and they have ~$77MM in cash so an enterpirse value of $280MM. This Q EBITDA was ~$8.5MM so if we annualize that, WGO is trading at ~8x-9x EV/EBITDA. Also, they just earned ~$.115 per share so annualizing that yields ~$.46 eps and they are trading at ~27x that. Obviously those who own the stock think that they are not at run rate earnings levels and can continue to grow even though the economy is stagnating, even though inventories have already been rebuilt, even though input prices are rising for WGO, and even though someone spending $100k on a completely discretionary item in this economy is more confusing than Schrodinger's cat (and newsflash, it wasn't the poison that killed or didn't kill Schrodinger's cat, it was fucking curiousity as he tried to figure out why the fuck he was in a box). Anyway, it could happen, really, sales could somehow keep growing but this industry was in a sector decline BEFORE the recession hit and there is no way one can call this a growth company over the long run. Money McBags would never put more than a market multiple on WGO and thus to justify the current $12.30 price WGO would have to earn $.82 next year to have a more likely 15x multiple and that just doesn't seem reasonable. So look, Money McBags was expecting worse than what WGO has done and it's been a crappy short, but he still thinks the stock is overvalued. Let the short squeeze die down today and monitor this company for another quarter to see if they can replicate this success before making any big calls. Money McBags previous downside price was $7.50 and now it's probably closer to $9 (15x ~$40). WGO was at ~$11 when Money McBags posted his initial short thesis and the market has been flat since then, so it hasn't been a good trade, it happens. If Money McBags were right about everything he'd currently be in the Bahamas about to share a cleveland steamer with Hannah Hilton and not writing this, so it is what it is.