TMT: 3Q Earnings – The Aftermath
SEE LAST PAGE OF THIS REPORT Paul Sagawa / Artur Pylak
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November 20, 2015
TMT: 3Q Earnings – The Aftermath
3Q15 earnings season played out mostly, but not entirely, along the lines that we saw in 2Q and highlighted in our preview note from Oct 13. 1. Linear TV metrics were bad, but perhaps, not as bad as had been feared. Media stocks have rallied, but still must cope with falling ratings, a declining sub base, and ad price pressure. 2. Meanwhile, mobile ads are red hot, driving GOOG, FB and TWTR to upside sales surprises.3. TWTR whiffed on MAUs, the only metric for many investors, but the stock just retraced recent gains. We believe positive catalysts could come soon (http://ssrllc.com/publication/twtr-beyond-maus/). 4. The public cloud has major traction, and AMZN and MSFT are dominant. GOOG could make it a 3 horse race, but traditional data center IT players are getting killed and it will only get worse. 5. AMZN is killing it in e-tail, and traditional merchants are feeling the pain. 6. iPhone promotions hit TMUS on the bottom line, but more “Uncarrier” means more market share. T and S were the big losers. 7. AAPL is talking a big game for FY16, but scary stories from the supply chain have investors appropriately concerned. We picked favorite stocks for earning season – collectively AMZN, MSFT, GOOG, NFLX, TMUS and TWTR are up 4.8%. Our shorts – IBM, VMW, CSCO, HPQ, T, SNI, VIAB, and FOXA – were down an average of 1.3%.
- Media stocks rallied despite troubling trends. Ratings continue to go down, Pay TV is losing subs, and competition for ad dollars is getting more intense. Still, beats from CBS and DIS pulled the group along, despite clear misses at FOXA, TWX, and VIAB. Happy talk from execs won’t mean much if the negative trends continue, and we think they may accelerate into 2016, even with the cyclical benefit of election and Olympic spending. Meanwhile, NFLX skipped a beat on subs, blaming the transition to chip-based credit cards for unintended churn. 4Q brings attractive new programs – Master of None, Jessica Jones and A Very (Bill) Murray Christmas – and a price hike to drive revenues. Longer term, NFLX has long, long runway with potential new monetization levers – international expansion, VOD, live programming, premium tiers, ad-supported services, etc.
- Mobile ads are booming. GOOG grew ad revenues at 14% against an 8% FX headwind, with mobile-centric YouTube leading the way. FB put up another huge quarter, with 40% overall sales growth despite FX. Mobile is up to 78% of total ad revenues from 66% in 2014, a shift that drove 61% growth in ad pricing. TWTR disappointed on MAUs but crushed on sales, with ad revenue up 60%. In 2014, these 3 were responsible for 56% of all mobile ad sales, a percentage that is likely higher in 2015.
- TWTR whiffs again on MAUs. TWTR’s first quarter with @Jack at the helm had a familiar ring – a big beat on ad revenues and non-GAAP earnings, but a cruel disappointment on the registered MAU count. We believe that MAU is a poor metric for TWTR’s actual reach (http://ssrllc.com/publication/twtr-beyond-maus/) but believe that it will reaccelerate MAUs in coming quarters based on product improvements, traffic from the GOOG search deal, and new investment in marketing. Moreover, we believe TWTR can monetize its unlogged-in visitors, along with its intriguing new platforms – Moments, Vine and Periscope. We see Twitter positioned to have a big 2016.
- AMZN and MSFT are pulling away in the public cloud. AMZN’s AWS posted 78% growth and 25% operating margins, earning more revenue than the next four competitors combined. Number 2 MSFT’s Azure grew even faster at 135%, approaching half the size of AWS, and has committed over $15B to building out its cloud footprint. Behind the top two, GOOG has the scale and skill to join the leaders, and recently promoted CEO Sundar Pichai claims to be investing heavily. We believe that the public cloud could become a $1T long run opportunity, dominated by a handful of cost and performance leaders. Moreover, enterprise customers, anticipating a SaaS and public cloud future, are scaling back internal data center investment, slowly starving long time suppliers, like IBM, ORCL, CSCO, HPE, EMC, VMW and others, who are not well positioned for this paradigm shift.
- AMZN raising the heat on retailers. While traditional merchants bemoan weak sales, AMZN’s core business is accelerating, with revenues growing 28% in N. America and 24% internationally (ex FX). Including its 3rd party marketplace, annualized sales through AMZN are more than $230B, making it #2 with a bullet amongst US retailers. Meanwhile, AMZN’s sales growth towers over the other top ten US retailers. Industry behemoth WMT posted flat sales, with its well hyped on-line business slowing to just 10% growth and less than $16B in annualized revenue. We expect AMZN’s investments in faster delivery, broader selection, lower costs, and superior customer service to continue to pay off in rapid share gains for the foreseeable future
- TMUS harvest share from below. Once again, TMUS collected post-paid subs from its rivals, adding more than a million customers. This was more than double VZ’s gains, while both T and S lost customers. Factoring in ARPU declines, TMUS was the only carrier to grow service revenue in the quarter. While TMUS missed EPS expectations in 3Q on an aggressive cycle of promotions, including the iPhone launch, we expect better bottom line leverage in future quarters as the company continues to drive top line growth. In contrast, we are not comfortable with long term growth and profitability expectations for market leaders VZ and T. (http://ssrllc.com/publication/tmus-wireless-aint-what-it-used-to-be/)
- AAPL coming to a moment of truth. Tim Cook says there is lots of room for the iPhone to grow. We are not so sure – our work on the global handset market (http://ssrllc.com/publication/smartphones-mobile-maturity/) suggests the iPhone 6 pulled a LOT of demand forward. GS put AAPL on its conviction list and forecast 43% upside. Other brokers are reporting weak supply chain orders and soft sales. 1QFY16 will settle a lot of bets.
- Pre-earnings picks performed well. On October 13, we listed 6 stocks that we predicted would outperform through earning season. Collectively, AMZN, MSFT, GOOG, NFLX, TMUS and TWTR are up an average of 6.8% since then, 280bp outperformance vs. the S&P500. Our 8 shorts – VMW, IBM, CSCO, T, HPQ, SNI, FOXA and VIAB – were off 1.3%, with declines in the tech names partly offset by gains in the media stocks. Relative to the S&P, these stocks underperformed by 530bp.
Time Keeps on Slippin’ Into the Future
We believe TMT is several years into a generational sea change that is remaking not just technology, telecommunications and media businesses, but also impends disruption for vast swaths of the economy, ranging from retail to consumer finance to transportation. Signs of these changes are growing more apparent with each passing earning season, and 3Q15 was no exception. We had 7 main takeaways from the quarter – 1. Linear TV is unraveling, even if media executives and many investors don’t want to accept it. 2. Digital mobile ads spending is growing VERY fast, but Google, Facebook and Twitter are the only ones really prospering. 3. Twitter has much more going for it than most investors presume. 4. The public cloud will be gigantic, and Amazon and Microsoft are far ahead of the field, with Google a potential third. Meanwhile, traditional data center suppliers are dying. 5. Amazon’s e-tail business is bigger and more profitable than it looks at first glance, and is absolutely killing traditional merchants. 6. TMUS’s 3Q15 EPS miss was a transitory thing – the strategy is working and recent weakness is a buying opportunity. 7. Bulls and bears are fighting over Apple, with this Holiday quarter the big showdown – we’re siding with the Bears.
TV – Spinning the Spin
CBS started out the media earnings season with a healthy upside surprise. Ratings were up, ad revenues grew and Les Moonves was characteristically ebullient. Of course, CBS is alone amongst the broadcast nets to post YoY audience gains, but the tone was set and the whole group rallied (Exhibit 1). By the time Fox, Time Warner and Viacom showed up with nasty misses and tales of weak ad sales and cord cutting, it didn’t matter much. Disney, which had sparked a sector wide sell-off after copping to sub losses at ESPN on the 2Q15 conference call, seemed a bit more optimistic about TV in a 3Q driven by strong theme park and consumer product results. With Star Wars smelling like the biggest movie of all time and just around the corner, CEO Bob Iger probably didn’t have to say much to keep the momentum going.
Exh 1: Broadcast Network Prime Time Ratings
Good feelings aside, the metrics are just not at all promising for linear TV. Even with a flawed methodology that we believe systematically overestimates active viewing, Nielsen shows the total TV audience down YoY for its last four quarterly reports. Fall ratings are poor across the board and well touted new shows are having problems building audiences. Time shifting – and by extension, ad skipping – are becoming ever more prevalent. Though Leichtman Research suggests PayTV systems lost nearly 200,000 subscribers QoQ in 3Q, we believe the losses are greater given accounting changes at DTV and DISH’s inclusion of Sling subs. We estimate sequential 3Q15 sub losses could have been as high as 780,000 subs or a -1.6% decline YoY (Exhibit 2).
Exh 2: US Multichannel Video Customers, Q107-Q315
The “new think” now has coalesced around a gradual, controlled transition of the linear model from traditional Pay TV to streaming bundles, with media companies confident in their ability to maintain their role as primary content brands in the process. However, we have pointed out (http://ssrllc.com/publication/video-media-the-cord-cutting-myth-gets-real/) on several occasions that the TV channel owners are buyers of content rather than true creators, and that their ability to consistently source superior programming vs. new streaming only rivals like Netflix and Amazon is seriously in question. 3Q15 may have been a sigh of relief for media investors, but a jagged return to the pain of 2Q15 seems inevitable.
Meanwhile, Netflix posted a rare slip-up in its 3Q15 earnings. The US subscriber count disappointed vs. expectations, as the company reported that a large number of its customers had seen their service contracts lapse because of difficulties in transitioning to new chip-based credit cards issued by their banks. The disappointment lasted all of a week before shares began trading up again. Assuming that the credit card problem is not a cover for some larger problem, NFLX should get those subs back and then some. It is releasing juicy new content in 4Q, including popular comedian Aziz Ansari’s acclaimed new series “Master of None”, the buzz-worthy “Jessica Jones” from Disney’s hot Marvel Studios, and the star-studded “A Very Murray Christmas” special teaming the iconic Bill Murray with his “Lost in Translation” director Sofia Coppola. Netflix will also get the benefit of a $1/month price hike on these new subscribers, still leaving the service as a real bargain at $9.99.
Mobile Ads – Lonely at the Top
After 2Q15, industry analyst e-Marketer revised up its forecasts for US mobile ads, projecting Google, Facebook and Twitter to collectively control 56% of a market growing at a blistering 50% YoY pace. 3Q15 results may require another revision. Google, which still derives the majority of its ad dollars from the slower growing desktop platform, posted an upside sales and earnings surprise for the quarter. Ad revenues were up 14% YoY against an 8% currency headwind, with mobile search and YouTube significant drivers of that growth. The ongoing strength of YouTube and its TrueView ads, which do not generate payments when users opt out of seeing them, has skewed the “Cost per Click” pricing metric lower while driving total clicks much higher.
Exh 3: Facebook Ad Revenue, 1Q13-3Q15
Facebook grew overall ad sales at a 40% pace, with mobile expanding from 66% to 78% of revenues YoY (Exhibit 3). Unlike Google, Facebook does not offer an opt out option for its autoplay video ads, and while the shift to mobile has reduced the company’s opportunities to serve ads, a 61% YoY rise in ad pricing has more than made up for lower ad volumes. Twitter saw the inverse – its ad volumes were up 165% YoY for 3Q15 while its cost per engagement was down 40%. Like Google, it charges only for the video ads that generate an interaction, a policy that skews counts for ad volumes up and estimates of ad pricing down. Overall Twitter ad revenues were up 60%, again against a stiff FX headwind, with revenues per MAU up 48%.
The other companies behind the top three mobile ad platforms have largely struggled, with Apple’s iAd the only other player with more than 1% of the market that is projected to grow. Yahoo, Pandora and YP all fared poorly in 3Q15 with little reason to expect reversals in fortune. Given that Google, Facebook and Twitter all run successful exchanges for selling ads on other apps and sites, the mobile ad market stands to get more concentrated going forward.
Exh 4: Number of Monthly Active Users by Property
Twitter – Everything but the MAUs
We wrote a comprehensive note on Twitter just a week ago (http://ssrllc.com/publication/twtr-beyond-maus/), so we will just summarize our observations here. Once again, Twitter delivered strong sales and earnings but missed on registered Monthly Active Users, prompting a sell-off of the shares. This monomania for MAUs is the company’s own doing – it emphasized the metric, previously popularized by Facebook, in its IPO roadshow and subsequent investor communications. About a year ago, as MAU counts were obviously decelerating toward a less than impressive asymptote, management pointed out that a majority of the users viewing their service were not registered, were not counted in MAUs and were not being monetized. This is not necessarily surprising – Google also sees many, many unregistered users – but it is an indictment of the previous management that they were so willing to go along with MAUs as the primary usage metric and that there was no concrete plan for monetizing the unregistered visitors (Exhibit 4).
With Twitter content reaching more than a billion people, with Tweets finally showing in Google Searches and yielding new visitors, and with intriguing new products like the curated news service Moments, the hip Vine video platform, and the de facto standard ad hoc videoconference service Periscope, there are a number of big levers that new CEO Jack Dorsey can pull to drive future monetization. Meanwhile, improvements to the service and the app, along with the company’s first real marketing program could help spur the conversion of unregistered visitors to registered MAUs. We see considerable upside in the stock.
Enterprise IT – Cloudy with a Chance of Rain
We expect that SaaS applications and public cloud infrastructure will displace hundreds of billions of dollars of enterprise IT spending over the next decade, becoming the vast majority of IT spending within 20 years. (http://ssrllc.com/publication/saas-applications-subscription-software-is-eating-the-world/) Cost and performance will be the primary drivers – web scale cloud platforms already yield 80-90% lower costs than privately owned and operated enterprise data centers, with significant advantages in scalability, flexibility, security, reliability and other measures of performance (Exhibit 5). Within the cloud infrastructure world, there are enormous economies of scale and experience that have created separation between the leaders and the pretenders. Amazon and Microsoft now dominate, and only Google would seem capable of joining them.
Exh 5: Costs of 100TB of Storage, Internal versus Cloud
Amazon launched its AWS cloud infrastructure services in 2006, and now has nearly a decade of experience running one of the largest and most sophisticated data center operations in the world. Its AWS unit posted 78% growth on 25% operating margins, earning more revenue than the next four competitors combined. The unit, whose sales began being disclosed earlier this year, posted YoY growth of 49% and 81% in the first two quarters. The mid-year acceleration in revenue growth was likely helped by a slowdown in cloud price wars. Amazon didn’t match some of Google’s mid-year price cuts and the company’s ability to sell reserved instances over three year contracts makes revenue streams somewhat more predictable and less exposed to downward pricing pressure. We caveat that price competition will still continue among the big three, just not as frequent given the focus on migrating customers from owned and operated centers to the cloud.
Microsoft debuted its Azure cloud infrastructure product in 2010, but has run a global network of web-scale data centers for over two decades. It has thus far committed $15B to building out its cloud footprint of over 100 data centers and 1 million servers. Though Azure is about half the size of AWS, Microsoft’s platform is growing faster, posting 135% YoY growth for 3Q15. On the earnings call, CEO Satya Nadella lauded Amazon as the only real other hyperscale competitor, but focused some points of differentiation around Azure’s hybrid options and value proposition. Like its rival, Microsoft is very much focusing it investments in a hyper-scale public cloud, but also looking at the edge of the cloud to accommodate business not fully ready to make the leap. The company’s hybrid cloud offerings allow customers to partially dip their feet in the cloud with flexibility around keeping storage on premise, but the application and backends residing in the cloud. Hybrid cloud solutions are likely to drive some near term sales, but given other advantages of hosting such as security in the wake of numerous high profile hacking attacks, longer term most applications will fully move to the cloud. Alone amongst its traditional IT rivals, Microsoft has successfully executed its pivot to the cloud and is well positioned to continue growing in the cloud with its stable of cloud products and relationships with nearly every IT organization in the world.
Behind the top two, Google has the scale and skill to join the leaders, and recently promoted CEO Sundar Pichai claims to be investing heavily. Google has been in the business of scale computing since the early 2000s when it first built its own proprietary data centers and developed revolutionary in-house computing advances such as MapReduce, BigTable, the “Borg,” Chubby, and Dremel, which made massively distributed computing possible (Exhibit 6). These Google technologies have since been published in white papers, seeding the development of open source solutions, and have even been adopted by competitors, but Google still keeps its best stuff for itself and is universally considered the most advanced data center operation on the planet. Although Google really only began selling its cloud services to enterprises in 2013, it has the scale and skills necessary to enable an outstanding cloud offering.
Exh 6: Google’s technologies work in concert to power the world’s most powerful distributed computing platform
Exh 7: Indexed Revenue Growth, AWS versus Traditional IT 1Q14-3Q15
The story will not have such a happy ending for most of the traditional IT technology players (Exhibit 7). Modern cloud data center architecture does not require configured systems, “value added” software layers, or expensive maintenance contracts. Sophisticated cloud operators buy commodity hardware components, engage white box manufacturers to build boards to spec, write their own software and maintain and manage it all in house. While many of the old guard – IBM, HPE, EMC, VMW, CSCO, ORCL, SAP, et al. – are touting their own cloud capabilities, none has the scale and experience born of web scale consumer franchises like Amazon, Microsoft or Google. For these players, the step into the hybrid cloud merely starts their customers on the road to a public cloud future where they have little or no chance of remaining competitive.
IT managers already understand that investment in their internal data center operations will have a limited shelf life and have adjusted their planning accordingly. As such, the deceleration in sales evident for all of these traditional players can only get worse.
E-Commerce – Amazon Puts the Hammer Down
Over the past few years, Amazon has invested billions of dollars in extending its logistics operations closer and closer to its customers, enabling faster deliveries of an ever widening selection of products. This investment is now paying off, making the company a larger threat to its existing merchant rivals and targeting a new set of product areas and the retailers that currently serve them.
In 3Q15, Amazon’s North American e-tail business accelerated to 28% YoY growth, with 24% growth (ex FX) in its international sales. Including sales made by 3rd party Marketplace partners, the gross volumes sold through Amazon.com and the Amazon App are more than $230B on an annualized basis, placing the company at number two on the list of US based retailers and gaining rapidly on Walmart and its $344B in annualized sales. Walmart recently posted its 3Q15 results, a disappointment with essentially no growth. Walmart’s on-line business, where the company has committed billions of dollars of its own to rise to Amazon’s challenge, is fizzling with just 10% growth and $16B in annual revenue.
Other top retailers are also struggling. Macy’s, and Best Buy disappointed on revenues and offered tough guidance, with Macy’s sales off 5% YoY and Best Buy off 2.8%. Target surprised investors with sales that were only down by 0.7%. Costco’s August quarter was considered a triumph after 1.1% sales growth. The comparison with Amazon is stark (Exhibit 8).
Meanwhile, some retail categories have not yet felt the Amazon heat. Top grocer Kroger’s beat earnings for its 2QFY15 ending in July, delivering 5.3% same store sales growth, excluding gasoline sales. Drug stores Walgreens Boots Alliance and CVS posted healthy organic growth on strong pharmacy results. Home improvement leaders Home Depot and Lowes reported better than 4% revenue growth in the third quarter. We wonder, with Amazon’s expanding footprint for same-day delivery, if it is just a matter of time before it begins to seriously siphon business from those areas as well.
This leaves a lot of runway for Amazon, which, despite its success, is well less than 5% of the global retail market. Add in the vast potential for the company to apply its world leading logistics infrastructure toward the huge wholesale and industrial products sector, and we are nowhere near the maturity of its original core business.
Exh 8: Indexed Revenue Growth, Amazon versus Traditional Retail 1Q12-3Q15
T-Mobile – A Market Share Harvest Festival.
T-Mobile is relentless. In 3Q15, it added more than a million post-paid customers, more than doubling Verizon’s gains, while both AT&T and Sprint lost subscribers. T-Mobile ported twice as many customers from AT&T and Sprint as it lost to them, and took 30% more from Verizon. Service revenues grew 10% YoY, while all of its rivals declined, and its Average Revenue per Account (ARPA) rose to an all-time high (Exhibit 9). These gains came without price hikes, as customers opted for higher service levels, a sign that the company’s ongoing “Uncarrier” strategy is working.
Still, TMUS missed overall revenue and EPS expectations in 3Q on an aggressive cycle of promotions, including the iPhone launch, which dialed up SG&A expenses 140bp to 41.6% of service revenue. Equipment revenues were lower than expected, due to a mix shift to the company’s Jump program which recognizes revenue over the term of a lease rather than at time of sale, as traditional equipment installment plans (EIP) do. We expect equipment revenues will trend downward for the next quarter or two before reaching an equilibrium reflecting a balance of lease and installment plan devices. On iPhone, the company indicated a strong quarter and welcomed Apple’s leasing program as new channel to sell phones.
Despite the earnings miss, T-Mobile had its first meaningful quarter of free cash in years and indicated it is on track for its first full year of positive free cash flow since 2012. The company continues to invest in building out its network, reaching a milestone 300M LTE POPs, while its 700MHz Block A spectrum is deployed in 204 markets covering 175M POPs and marketed as “extended range LTE.” Legere also indicated the company will participate in future spectrum auctions.
Exh 9: Wireless Carrier Market Share – Service Revenue, 1Q09-3Q15
Since the earnings release, T-Mobile unveiled its latest “Uncarrier” initiative, which will allow free video streaming on its network at 480p from two dozen services including Netflix, HBO, and Hulu. Video consumption continues to grow at a rapid pace as management disclosed monthly video consumption has grown 145% in the last two years to 1.6 gigabytes per customer, and is set to hit 8.4 gigabytes by 2020. “BingeOn” is yet another move that is difficult for other carriers to follow, with both T and VZ notably facing congestion issues in urban areas. Though not quite HD video quality, the feature could attract more data hungry subs from competing carriers. It also might help increase service revenues since qualified plan tiers start at $65 per month, well above T-Mobile’s current ARPU.
With device promotions now on low, we expect strong results out of T-Mobile over the next couple of quarters. Share gains will continue, driven by the company’s attractive and creative service plans and continued improvements in network coverage and quality. Growth will drive leverage to the bottom line. In contrast, we believe that T-Mobile’s gains will be Verizon and AT&T’s losses, as the leadership duopoly protect ARPU at the expense of subscribers. (http://ssrllc.com/publication/tmus-wireless-aint-what-it-used-to-be/)
Apple – Beyond the Rhetoric
Despite the hyperbolic assertions of the fanboy Apple bloggers, no one is predicting that Apple is going to go bust. Still, legitimate concerns about the company’s ability to sustain more than token top-line growth in an increasingly mature mobile device market weigh heavily on investors. As such, blow out numbers for September’s fiscal 4th quarter were widely anticipated, leaving the stock flat to down in the aftermath as the market waits for news on the Holiday quarter.
Exh 10: Quarterly iPhone Sales, Launch to September 2015
We believe that 2014’s iPhone 6 launch borrowed significant demand forward, evident in sharp increases in the propensity to upgrade seen in Apple’s best markets. (http://ssrllc.com/publication/smartphones-mobile-maturity/) CEO Tim Cook’s assertions that more than 60% of the iPhone installed base remains available to upgrade seem disingenuous given the large population of older models that have sold in the secondary market. Those users may be 20% or more of the iPhone base and they are NOT likely to be considering a brand new $750 iPhone 6S.
At this point, the 5 billion unit mobile phone installed base is barely out growing the world’s adult population, and the rarified premium smartphone market appears saturated. To grow, Apple will need to pull on a limited number of possible levers. It has been churning users from Android, but slowly. Picking up the pace, while demanding a 20-30% price premium from generally satisfied consumers, will be difficult. Inducing users to upgrade their phones more frequently will also be difficult, given that replacement rates are at all-time highs and replacement friendly carrier subsidy programs are being phased out (Exhibit 11). Apple has countered with a comprehensive trade-in program, but risks further cannibalization from the potential influx of recent model used phones to the secondary market. Finally, Apple continues to explore new product areas with the hope that growth in smart watches or the launch of an electric vehicle could generate enough new revenues to move the needle for a $230B revenue company.
Exh 11: Global Phone Replacement Rates, 2011-20
We are skeptical that these levers will be enough to keep Apple revenues from leveling out. We do think there may be a little more room for it to exploit high markups on flash memory and stainless steel watch casings to drive margins a bit higher. Even though we are sympathetic to arguments that Apple shares do not fully reflect the long term cash flow potential of the company, it is rare for a tech company that does not grow sales to see multiple expansion.
How’d We Do?
In our 3Q15 earnings preview on October 13, we called out six stocks as best bets to outperform over the 5-6 weeks of earnings season, and 8 which we felt were most likely to underperform. Our long ideas were Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter and T-Mobile. Since October 13, these stocks are up an average of 6.8%, vs. a 4.0% increase in the S&P 500. Within the group, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Netflix were all strong outperformers, while both Twitter and T-Mobile declined.
On the short side, we chose VMWare, IBM, Cisco, AT&T, HPQ, Scripps, Fox and Viacom. These stocks were down just -1.3%, underperforming the S&P 500 by 529bp. VMWare, which has performed very poorly in the wake of Dell’s offer for EMC, showed the largest decline, followed by IBM and Cisco. HPQ, AT&T and Scrips all rose slightly, but less than the broader market. Viacom and Fox significantly outperformed during earning season, despite both badly missing consensus for both sales and earnings.
Exh 12: SSR L/S Performance, Q315 Earnings Season