First Steps of Income Statement Analysis: A Look at Cheesecake Factory, Inc. (CAKE)

A picture is worth a thousand words — or maybe around $2 bn (which happens to be CAKE’s market cap). Three of Sentieo’s core functions are table extraction, plotting and record management. In this blog post, we demonstrate how analysts use these convenient functions to visualize a company’s financials in minutes.

CAKE, like many other restaurant companies, reports its Income Statement in a non-standard format: there is no all-encompassing COGS. Instead, we see different line items with different cost buckets, such as food costs, labor costs, and occupancy costs. In its earnings release 8-K, CAKE also calculates each of these line items as a percentage of sales.

Using Sentieo’s Time Series Function, we will build a time series containing the major operational line items: food costs, labor costs, and “other” operating expenses.

 

After the extraction, we can review the numbers by document by clicking ”Next’ (always check to see if the numbers are a 6-9-12 month summation, or just the Q4 is a 12-month. See the boxes in the lower left that help the adjustments). From here, one can open the source document, export to Excel, or open in the Plotter charting engine — after checking the numbers. For companies that change formats, you can enter the correct number in the columns on the left field. We do this here for Q1 and Q2 2015 as the numbers appear without a “%” signs.

The corrected numbers for 2015 look like this:

After we have made sure that the numbers look good (all are coming from quarterly columns, all are in the same percentage format), we open the data in Plotter.

Since all numbers are given as a percentage of sales, we can merge the Y-axes from the chart settings.

To get a better idea for the underlying cost trends, we are muting the quarterly numbers for each series, and adding a 4-quarter moving average. We can also customize colors, line format and line thickness.

Here we can see the longer term trends. While food and occupancy costs have stayed relatively steady (as a percent of sales), we can see that labor expenses have been moving up.

 

We are now ready to save, tag, and share the chart with the team.

The chart is now a part of our CAKE Notes, and can be commented on, added to full theses, or to other Notes inside Sentieo’s Notes Records Management System.

 

From here, we are ready to dig in deeper in the corporate documents to see what has been going on. Click here for interactive chart.

See how these, and many other tools on the platform, can make your research process more efficient: request a free trial here.

Introducing Sentieo Capture: Clip and Save Document Content into the Sentieo Notebook

We recently introduced an enhancement to our document markup functionality: Sentieo Capture.

Within documents in Sentieo, you’ve had the ability to highlight, annotate, and tag your colleagues within important passages of text. Oftentimes, you’ve also come across important graphics such as charts or tables that you may have wanted to collect and save.

With Sentieo Capture, you can now:

  • Capture any portion of a document (such as a capex breakout slide from a company’s investor presentation).
  • Mark up the capture with shapes, arrows, and lines of text.
  • Save the captured area as an image (along with the source document) directly into your Notebook.
  • As with highlights, you can also add label(s) and annotations to your captures.


Why Should I Use Sentieo Capture?

While performing a deep dive analysis on a company, investment professionals are likely to face information overload, which can make it challenging to effectively manage all the information being consumed. Ultimately, effectively managing information and data becomes one of the key skills of a successful investment professional:

  • How do you collect information snippets from the documents you are reading, and then create a summary report?
  • How do you record the link (URL) to remember the source of the document along with your information snippet?
  • How do you organize the information you’ve collected so that you can easily retrieve it at a later time?
  • When collaborating with others on your team, how do you efficiently share and update this information?

You have probably used various tools to tackle these questions, including the Windows Snipping Tool, MS Outlook, MS Word, MS OneNote and Evernote. These are all great tools and have their own particular strengths, but they do not solve the a major problem in the investment professionals’ information capture flow: having to source, organize, remember, and be able to retrieve your research.

At Sentieo, we are building features to replace the fragmented information capture workflow to become a one-stop solution for managing, sharing, and retrieving the information you’ve gathered on a company or topic. That way you can come up with a meaningful conclusion using all of the information you’ve gathered, and not just bits and pieces. In this post, we’ll nudge you into trying a slightly different approach when doing your company research in Sentieo.

 

How Do I Use It?

The Capture feature can be triggered via the photograph icon located in the upper-right corner of the document that you are viewing. There is no real setup required other than making sure that you have installed the Sentieo Chrome extension, which you will be prompted to do if it is not already installed.

To enable capture mode, simply click the “Capture” button on the toolbar while viewing any document within Document Search or your Notebook:

 

Begin your capture by selecting the area you would like to capture and clicking and dragging:

A new screen with your captured area will appear, allowing you to:

  1. Name your capture
  2. Mark up your capture with the annotation tools menu
  3. Copy to clipboard, e-mail out, or save the image to your computer
  4. Add a label or annotation to your capture
  5. Save or discard your capture

Where is this information being stored, and what can I do with it?

All of your bookmarks, highlights, annotations (and now captures) are also stored and searchable within your Sentieo Notebook. This also means that your information is available from any computer with Google Chrome and an internet connection.

Like highlights, all of your captures are automatically sent to your Notebook and populated with the source document title and filing date, any relevant company tickers, and any labels and annotations. This automatic tagging makes retrieving your highlights and captures a breeze in the future.

Additionally, you can share selected research with the rest of your team and people outside of Sentieo. You can also view what others have shared with you.

 

We hope that Sentieo Capture saves you more time and keeps your research more organized. Give highlighting and Capture a try; you won’t want to do your Sentieo research without it! Please message us via customer support chat, or email nauman@sentieo.com with any feedback on the functionality that you would like to see added to the new capture feature! Haven’t used Sentieo yet? Get a free trial.

Save Time Analyzing Off-Balance Sheet Commitments with Sentieo

Not all contractual obligations that result in cash outflows are listed in a company’s balance sheet. Looking purely at debt figures leaves an incomplete picture of future funding needs. In this blog post, we will find and visualize these liabilities in several examples across industries. While most analysts are very familiar with common items like operating leases and post-retirement healthcare liabilities, here are a few other items that we found.

We compiled these using the search term “Contractual Obligations” in Sentieo’s Document Search, and then built a Time Series chart using the Sentieo Time Series function to export from the 10-K or 10-Q. Lastly, we displayed the data in Sentieo Plotter.

Netflix: The online streaming hegemon has over $18 billion in future content liabilities. That’s a lot of binge-watching! The number has been growing steadily every quarter. Public chart viewer: http://snt.io/3YEv9pLtK

Nike: The dominant athletic footwear and apparel maker is known for its high-profile athlete endorsements. But these contracts do not come cheap; Nike’s 10-Ks show a growing off-balance sheet liability, now at over $10 billion. Public chart viewer: http://snt.io/aeEv9rCv9

Waste Management: The leader in waste management has over $3 bn (and growing) in environmental-related liabilities around the closure of garbage facilities at the end of their useful lives. Public chart viewer: http://snt.io/rcEv9sR9C

Vulcan Materials is a large supplier of aggregates (like sand and crushed stone) to the construction industry. We plotted the mineral royalties that they expect to owe to the property owners of the sites that they operate. Public chart view link: http://snt.io/fNEv9srx4

Valero, a large oil/petrochemical refiner, has over $30 bn in purchase commitments, mostly crude oil. The numbers have stayed fairly steady over the last 10 years. Public chart viewer: http://snt.io/EgEv9vTXr

Finally, our favorite find: Deckers Outdoor Corporation. This parent company of the UGG brand has purchase commitments for (you guessed it!) over $100 million dollars of sheepskin. This is a new disclosure; only two 10-Ks have it, so we are not showing a bar chart.

Sentieo Guide: Quick Tips For Starting a Hedge Fund

Chances are that you’ve thought about starting your own hedge fund. Perhaps you’ve felt an entrepreneurial pull, have an investment strategy in mind, or know a team of people with a similar goal.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best guides we’ve found online.

 

Resources:

Business Insider

Investment Law Group

Grant Thornton / Stonegate Capital Partners

Hedge Fund Law Blog

Investopedia

Vanity Fair

Mergers and Inquisitions

HFM Global

Hedge Fund Seeders

Hedge Fund Technology

Hedge Fund Law Firms

 

If you’d like to download Sentieo’s full, comprehensive guide that pulls together the best advice from all of these sources —  including legal advice, raising capital, office space, building a team, and more — download the full whitepaper.

Here are the topics that the guide covers:

  • Fund Structure
  • Raising Capital
  • Building a Team
  • Legal Considerations
  • International Considerations
  • Office Space
  • Technology Stack
  • Naming the Hedge Fund

 

“Pumpkin Spice” season starts earlier than ever, and is bigger than ever (at least on the internet)

Do you ever feel like Pumpkin Spice season seems to start earlier and earlier? Well, it’s true. It’s also bigger than ever — at least in Search.

Sentieo’s Mosaic pulled ten years of “pumpkin spice” search data, and we see some clear trends. Pumpkin spice season was typically off to a slow start, building up to a spike around Thanksgiving in late November (and we see the late November spikes on different days as Thanksgiving moves around).

We also see that over the last ten years, the pumpkin spice season has been starting earlier, and search volume in September/October has started to dwarf the previous peak around Thanksgiving. Finally, the pumpkin spice volume peaked in early September this year!

We are also seeing the term “pumpkin spice” appear across corporate communications: press releases, transcripts, and presentations. Using Sentieo’s thematic search, we looked for “pumpkin spice” across all corporate communications. We see a range of pumpkin spice products from Dunkin, Coca-Cola, IHOP, and even a pumpkin spice Baileys coffee liquor from Diageo.

And, of course, the 800-pound pumpkin spice gorilla is Starbucks: the company announced in a tweet that its legendary pumpkin spice latte is back on August 28th. Below, we used Sentieo’s Plotter to look at the frequency of pumpkin or PSL mentions from the Starbucks Twitter account.

Interactive chart

Locating Transaction Comparables in Fairness Opinions with Sentieo

A fairness opinion is a report, usually created by an investment bank, showing that a contemplated strategic transaction (such as a merger) is fair to the shareholders who are represented by the company’s Board of Directors. A fairness opinion will typically contain carefully researched and adjusted trading and transaction comparables.

Fairness opinions are used by buyside and sellside analysts to analyze transaction multiples and trends. They are used by activist investors who might feel that the target is undervalued and look to exercise their appraisal rights in court. In a similar fashion, securities litigation specialists might look at the documents while seeking compensation on behalf of shareholders. Finally, fairness opinions are looked at by corporate M&A/development professionals who monitor their own or adjacent industries.

Fairness opinions are usually rendered after the transaction has been announced, and they are filed with the SEC. However, a merger or an acquisition typically creates a deluge of filings from both parties, making locating this important document time-consuming, as there is no special SEC form for fairness opinions.

Sentieo users save time locating fairness opinions in seconds. Sentieo can also locate fairness opinions for companies that no longer trade. Here we show two examples: the pending deal between ConAgra Brands and Pinnacle Foods, and the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft from a few years ago.

Pending deal between ConAgra Brands and Pinnacle Foods:

Acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft:

 

 

 

How to Analyze Changes to Executive Pay Structures with Advanced Document Search Features

“Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome”  – Charlie Munger

This classic quote from Berkshire Hathaway’s nonagenarian Vice Chairman is something that fundamental investors need to always keep in mind when analyzing companies. Is your CEO paid to grow sales at any cost? Will she amass generational wealth if she sells the company?

Thankfully, these questions can be answered by a careful review of various SEC filings regarding compensation, and, especially, by noting changes compared to prior years. Analyzing pay is not used only by buy-side and sell-side analysts: compensation consultants, and, increasingly, activist shareholders and political groups have been scrutinizing executive pay. Looking for changes in company filings is easy in Sentieo’s document search which allows users to compare filings to any other filing, filed at any time with the SEC.

For example, here we are looking for changes in Colgate Palmolive’s omnibus executive compensation plan that was previously filed five years ago. We have selected the “All Changes” option in Redlining Mode and compare the recent 8-K filing to a custom-selected 8-K filing from five years ago that we located easily in through our Document Search.

 

How Selective Wealth Management Improved Productivity by 50% With An RMS

Challenges Faced Without an RMS (Research Management System):

With a lean team and a rigorous research process, Chris Devlin, founder of Selective Wealth, wanted a solution that would save him time. He wanted to spend less time trying to find information, and more time analyzing his findings to create more alpha-generating ideas.

Before switching to an RMS, Chris saved notes in Word documents within ticker-labeled file folders on his desktop. This involved a lot of time spent copy-pasting and annotating outside of the original documents, and it was also challenging to keep track of different document types and ultimately build a thesis in a reasonable amount of time.

 

What Is an RMS?

An RMS — or research management system — helps investment professionals organize and optimize their research process with features like:

  • document highlighting & annotation
  • team collaboration on shared notes and documents
  • auto-tagged notes, charts, and tables that are searchable by ticker or custom tags defined by you

 

An RMS Makes Idea Organization Easier in 3 Ways

Chris uses the Notebook, Sentieo’s integrated research management system, “from soup to nuts” in these key ways:

  • His document highlights and annotations get auto-tagged to tickers so his team can stay organized
  • He uses a custom thesis template to speed up and standardize thesis writing across the team
  • He saves hours creating and sharing notes with his team inside the RMS, instead of using Word docs and emails.

A Social Media and Sentiment Analysis of Nike (NKE): What Does It Mean for Future Purchase Intent?

Nike’s recent sponsorship of Colin Kaepernick and his campaign of kneeling during the national anthem has thrust the Nike brand back into the spotlight. The is not an unfamiliar position for Nike, and one that it has successfully occupied in the past.

As a brand that skews young and urban, the calculus is clear: Nike can galvanize support for Kaepernick’s cause and burnish its own brand among these key constituencies, while limiting negative brand impact among older audiences that are less important to its business. In other words, Nike is playing to its key customers.

Nike and Trump

As part of playing to that base, Nike’s calculated decision also suggests that it is comfortable potentially antagonizing a generally polarizing President, as President Trump has been a vocal critic of Kaepernick throughout the kneeling debate.                                     

So far, Trump’s Tweets have driven a fairly tepid 58K retweets between them, compared to 652K retweets for the two major Kaepernick Tweets.

With Nike taking a play from President Trump’s playbook, perhaps President Trump sensed that giving the Tweet more publicity would only fuel the campaign’s reach, and has thus refrained from tweeting about the campaign since September 7th.

For Kaepernick and Nike, this has been a watershed campaign, driving massive Twitter mentions that are far eclipsing previous peaks:

Twitter Mentions: Nike vs. Kaepernick

View Interactive Chart: http://snt.io/oKDKeowwV

Nike is a shrewd marketer and we presume that they extensively focus-grouped the campaign’s impact before going live. However, there is no telling what happens once the campaign is in the wild.

Sentiment Analysis of Nike Tweets

We used Sentieo’s proprietary sentiment analysis engine on Nike Tweets and news to analyze sentiment immediately before and after Kaepernick’s initial Tweets, testing our hypothesis that the campaign would be a net positive for Nike’s brand and advertising reach.

The initial Tweet came out on September 3rd with a simple image and message:

The Tweet was followed by a two minute Nike video ad released on September 5th:

We scored the sentiment of a sample of Tweets in the days since the start of the campaign, and found some interesting results:

Before the initial Tweet, Tweets were scarce and sentiment was fairly broadly distributed. Tweet volume spiked and sentiment turned markedly negative in the hours after the initial Kaepernick Tweet, as a multitude of Twitter accounts called the action unpatriotic and called for boycotts on Nike products.

However, two days later, when the ad was released on Thursday Night Football, we saw the Nike marketing machine kick into high gear. It drove a second spike in tweets and increasingly positive sentiment as the audience digested the powerful ad and its message of excellence, commitment, and sacrifice — classic Nike marketing staples.

Positive and Negative Twitter Hashtags

When we surveyed the most popular daily hashtags within Nike Tweets, we found a similar story. Blue hashtags below indicate positive sentiment (led by #JustDoIt most days), while the red hashtags indicate negative sentiment (#BoycottNike and #MAGA – Make America Great Again).

Red hashtags were popular in the early days of the campaign, but were overwhelmed by the blue hashtags after September 5th.

Positive and Negative Sentiment Hashtags

 

Examining Purchase Intent on Twitter

To gauge the impact on consumer purchasing decisions, we also analyzed trends for purchase intent on Twitter, e.g. “I want a pair of,” “Mom bought me some,” etc.

The chart below shows that Nike had an all-time high of purchase intent tweets after 9/3, and positive purchase intent Tweets have outnumbered negative purchase intent Tweets 5:1.

Nike: Postitive vs. Negative Purchase Intent

View Interactive Chart: http://snt.io/gfDKgjsYZ

When including the much broader boycott campaigns, we see more negative intent. However, we believe that purchase intent — positive or negative — is a much more powerful indicator than someone merely retweeting a boycott hashtag.

Nike Positive vs. Negative Purchase Intent, with “boycott” Twitter mentions

View Interactive Chart: http://snt.io/AhDKgzZQh

Collectively, this signals to us that the campaign is working from a marketing perspective. We also think the ROI on spend from this will be very high, given the increased reach through major digital channels.

Kaepernick’s Tweet from 9/3 was liked 900k times and retweeted 366k times. The video ad on 9/5 was viewed 24.9M times on Twitter and over 15M times on YouTube.

Instagram Influencers

There is also a beneficial secondary effect from other celebrity influencers. For example, Lebron James’ Instagram post has generated 1.4M likes and 16.1K comments.

News Articles

We also analyzed Nike news articles, and now believe that the media will portray Nike in an increasingly positive light, further contributing to the virality of the campaign. Sentiment turned quite negative after the initial tweet, but started a gradual recovery after Nike released the video ad.

While some investors are worried about headline risk with Nike’s campaign, we find that the campaign was well thought out, and is likely to increase its mindshare across its core demographic. Influencers and the news media have expanded the reach of Nike’s campaign, and general consumer purchase intent has increased as a result.

Memphis Research Finds A Financial Research Platform It Can Trust

About The Customer:

Memphis Research in Memphis, TN

Using Sentieo Since 2016

Memphis Research offers investment research, portfolio management, and consulting services for the hedge fund industry. Chad Gilliland (President) and Will Frazier (VP/Director) started the firm together in 2011 after working together at a hedge fund for some time.

 

The Challenge

Before Sentieo, the Memphis Research team had tried many financial research platforms, including Capital IQ and Bloomberg. All had fallen short of their expectations in a number of ways. They had un-intuitive user interfaces, limited mobile access, and were overpriced — to name a few shortcomings.

 

The Solution and Results

The team came across Sentieo and started a free trial. They immediately saw their fundamental research process improve:

“We feel like the Sentieo team understands what we do better than other platforms do. You are analysts and you think the way that we do. You know how to design the interface, and what you put into the product is not just random. You’ve included the pertinent details that an investment analyst wants to see. It makes a huge difference that the platform is truly built for analysts, by analysts.”

 

Document Search, Redlining, Watchlist Alerts, and News Stream

The Memphis team likes to run very specific keyword searches using Sentieo’s Document Search. They are able to narrow their searches down by document type, down to the document section (ie. “Risk Factors”). One popular use case for them is searching for disingenuous language and other signifiers within call transcripts.

The team also uses the Document Search redlining tool, which allows them to hone in on new document language or accounting numbers that have changed across quarters or over years.

Will and Chad also “follow” tickers in Sentieo by creating Watchlists of the companies they want to track. This allows them to receive immediate updates to their email inbox whenever new filings or financial statements come out for those companies. This is especially helpful to them during earnings season, when time is of the essence.

The team also keeps up with companies using the Sentieo News Stream, which is a feed of the latest social media tweets and articles about the companies they track.

 

 

 

An Equity Data Terminal They Can Trust

Will spends most of his time in the Sentieo Equity Data Terminal. He really loves the EDT’s company summary page, which lists a company’s consensus estimates, valuation and price target, major holders, and much more:

“In the EDT, I can quickly understand the nuts and bolts of a company. I have more confidence doing my research in Sentieo because I trust the data more than I trust the numbers in other systems.”

Will also extracts tables from documents into Excel, and compares them over time using Sentieo’s TableX suite of tools.

 

Staying Organized With The Notebook

Chad uses the Notebook (Sentieo’s research management system) to store his own notes and annotations by ticker, and to search through them as needed.

 

Mobile App For Access Anywhere, Anytime

Chad and Will frequently travel to trade shows, and they use the Sentieo mobile and tablet apps to keep working on-the-go. With Sentieo, they are able to quickly pull up financials and estimates at their fingertips, instead of printing and taking physical 10Ks and 10Qs with them. When listening to management calls, they are able to quickly pull up the expectations for a ticker on their mobile, and compare them to what’s being discussed on the spot. Chad also heavily uses the Sentieo app for the iPad tablet.

 

Conclusion

Will and Chad explained that Sentieo has revolutionized their fundamental research flow and saved them all the time and frustration they felt when using previous tools:

“We definitely positively endorse Sentieo. It’s an intuitive platform for built for the fundamental equity analyst, and helps us filter out the noise and get down to the fundamentals.”