YUM! Brands’ Q3 Transcript Smart Summary™ — Extracting the Essentials From a Call With Many Moving Parts

This week, we continue to use Sentieo’s transcript Smart Summary™ to highlight selected reporting companies. We apply machine learning and natural language processing to create a more efficient and a more repeatable process. On Tuesday, we highlighted Beyond Meat (Nasdaq:BYND), and on Wednesday, we looked at Merck. (While Keytruda continues to power through, we picked up pricing pressure warnings for 2020.)

In today’s highlight, we are looking YUM! Brands (NYSE:YUM), the parent of global restaurant chains KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. The company reports many metrics about its business: domestic (US) and international unit growth, comparable store (“like for like”) sales growth, and “systemwide” sales growth (reflective of the health of the franchisee system). 

Additionally, the company has a minority investment in order aggregator/delivery company Grubhub, which further complicates the financial reporting, as YUM reports mark-to-market adjustments on top of the operating earnings. 

In this post, we will share our highlights from the Smart Summary™ PDF that we received in our email inbox a few minutes after the original transcript came through. (The Sentieo platform is much larger and more interactive that what you see in this post, so we encourage you to check it out.)

With Smart Summary™, the transcripts are parsed by a ML tool which classifies and scores sentences based on broad classifications, such as Guidance or Legal. (See below). Smart Summary™ runs a layer of NLP processing on top of that, classifying sentiment (positive/negative/neutral), looking for “deflection” statements, and surfacing keywords. 

Looking at the YUM Q3 call Guidance section, we immediately spot the big delta between the GAAP and non-GAAP earnings. We also see the red (negative) outlook for Pizza Hut US, a unit that has been weak for a while. 

As we mentioned earlier, the transcript (as well as the press release) are very KPI-heavy. The convenient sentence extraction and classification helps you get the full picture faster.

We also note a number of negative sentiment questions from the analysts on the call, with the most “negative” analyst question being about system-wide margin pressures. 

The keyword surfacing logically picked up Same Store Sales, Net New Units, and System Sales.  We are highlighting just one of these here; unit growth keeps up, so the sentiment overlay is green. 

Watch our short video walk-through:

To find out more about the Smart Summary™ and all of Sentieo’s other AI-powered features, please get in touch

 

Word On The Street: The Most Popular Transcript Keywords Of 2018, By Sector (An Annual Report By Sentieo)

Every year, thousands of pages of earnings call transcripts are generated and analyzed by equity analysts for signals about how individual companies — and the market — will perform. Our 2018 Word On The Street report demonstrates how Sentieo’s Document Search and Transcript Sentiment tools make that data more accessible to researchers.

How It Works

We used Sentieo’s natural language processing technology to scrape all the earnings transcripts published in the last year. We then processed and cleaned the data to distinguish the keywords in the text. We highlighted the words in each transcript that occurred on the greatest weighted average basis. We also eliminated filler words (like “or”, “and”, etc.) and conducted analytics on the cleaned data, like part-of-speech tagging (picking out nouns and verbs for semantic analysis) and sentiment analysis (quantifying the tone of the text).

Natural language processing powers the Sentieo platform’s document search and transcript sentiment functionality, putting its users at the forefront of financial research technology.

The Most Popular Transcript Keywords Of 2018, By Sector

Our 2018 report spans all sectors – from consumer discretionary to utilities. Here’s a sample page of our report on the Consumer Staples sector. For the full, free report, please download it here.

We want to hear your thoughts on this report, or any of our other whitepapers! Your feedback is welcome at hello@sentieo.com. For a free trial of Sentieo or to learn more, get in touch here.

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Earnings Guide Part 2 : Using Sentieo’s Alternative Data to Predict This Week’s Earnings Announcements

Note: The content of this post references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

With earnings season continuing this week, the Sentieo team has been making their predictions about earnings using alternative data from Sentieo Mosaic. Last earnings season, the team accurately predicted the Netflix, Snapchat, Twitter, Skechers, Grubhub, Trupanion, and Hubspot beats.

Our Methodology: Why Does This Data Predict Earnings?

In the graphs below, we are presenting Quarterly YoY growth in Google Trends, Website Visits (Alexa Panel), and Twitter Mentions. In all cases, we have compared the data against quarterly revenue growth. Alternative datasets like these are offered in the Sentieo platform and can provide an edge in analyzing consumer-facing businesses, as they often have a high correlation with revenue growth and are available ahead of traditional financial metrics for the period. As consumer behavior shifts more and more towards digital, indicators like these have become more predictive of tech and consumer company results. Below each chart is a link to the interactive version of the graph.

Here’s what we’re thinking for Floor & Decor:

 

FND – Floor & Decor Holdings (Call on Thursday, May 3, 2018)

 

Floor & Decor Holdings is a leading specialty retailer in the hard surface flooring market, selling tile, wood, and other accessories at low prices. The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Atlanta.

We used Sentieo Mosaic to analyze alternative data for the brand, plotting it in the chart below. The chart shows that Google Trends (green line) and Alexa Website Visits (red line) have historically correlated with FND’s revenue growth; both datasets caught major revenue growth inflections in early and late 2017. For Q1 2018, Google Trends decelerated, but has leveled off more recently, while Alexa data has moved sideways in the face of an expected revenue deceleration from analyst estimates.

View Interactive Chart: http://snt.io/VW5jpdqoc

 

The Google Trends data below shows that business is growing nicely for FND. The top blue line represents Google Trends data for 2018, and demonstrates that FND is hitting new heights this year.

 

FND is a high multiple stock and has moved up a lot since last earnings, suggesting that the bar is high. FND looks like a likely beat this quarter, but if the company misses estimates, expect the stock to go down.

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crypto interest rates Sentieo

From Crypto to Interest Rates: A Sentiment Analysis of Q1 2018 Earnings Calls

Today we’ve published our second Sentiment Analysis Report, which summarizes last quarter’s top keyword searches and provides detailed sentiment analysis across all industries. We used Sentieo’s brand new Transcript Sentiment Analysis feature to analyze earnings call transcripts and discover which topics companies discussed the most last quarter, versus the same quarter in 2017. (See our previous report here).

We also compared the sentiment of management and analyst sections of transcripts, and graphed these data points so you can easily see trends or discrepancies between the two. We publish these reports every quarter, so you can stay updated on information that could impact your investment decisions this year. Here are some interesting themes that came up in our research:

 

Sentiment Analysis

Management versus investor sentiment is diverging.

Our sentiment analysis on transcripts shows that a decoupling is taking hold between the language from company management and market participants. Management continues to be upbeat during earning calls and presentations, while sell-side analysts and investors are taking a more cautious stance. To learn more, download the full, free report.

 

Keyword Mentions

Two substantial highlights from the various themes we cover in this report are related to cryptocurrency and Trump.

While mentions of crypto have continued to ramp up, two companies in particular had a surge in references: IBM and Overstock.com.

IBM, with its Watson program and early involvement in the emerging fintech scene, is a recurring leader in the category. What’s new is that as concepts are maturing, bigger and more influential ecosystem players are now making moves: IBM recently revealed that it has been meeting with executives from commodities trading platforms, large corporations, and perhaps most importantly, central banks, to explore cryptocurrencies and blockchain in their operating models. (CoinDesk)

Overstock.com also made the headlines as possibly the first $1bn+ listed company dipping into crypto funding with an ICO (Initial Coin Offering). The stock fell sharply year to date (-40%), in part in reaction to the Securities and Exchange Commission starting an investigation on Overstock.com’s subsidiary that did the ICO. (Investopedia)

With this report, we are starting down the path of quantifying linguistic data. This report is a real use case of the exciting new features we recently released, like our Transcript Sentiment Report function, which is part of Sentieo Document Search.

Below is a sneak peek of the report: a sample page about the information technology sector.

To learn more about the companies, industries, and regions where crypto and other themes are being most discussed, download the full report, which covers this sector and many more. To find out more about how to run your own sentiment analysis with Sentieo, sign up here for a free trial.

 

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Search of the Month: Retail Same Store Sales Breakdown

This is the second in our Search of the Month series. Check out the first article here! E-mail us at hello@sentieo.com with powerful searches that you think should be featured.

If you’ve ever tried finding details of revenue growth drivers for companies in the restaurant or retail space, you may have found it difficult. That’s because this information is not broken down in GAAP metrics or other standardized financial reporting, but it tends to be discussed in quarterly earnings calls.

Normally, an analyst would need to listen to the call or dig through the transcript looking for these numbers, but using Sentieo they can find it with a simple search and save it for later use.

There are components to retail sales growth that are typically discussed on earnings calls:

(1) Opening more stores and (2) comparable store sales, which breaks down into:

a. Selling more at existing stores (more transactions)

b. Increased pricing per unit (higher average ticket size)

We opened up DocSearch and entered the following query: transactions NEAR10 OR(increase decrease). This brings up references to increasing or decreasing transaction volume along with synonyms. We used NEAR10 because the word transaction might be before or after the indicator of change and might not be right next to it.

We narrowed down our search to mentions within earnings call transcripts:

Sentieo

Then we also filtered down by sector:

Sentieo

We got some interesting results. We found Floor and Decor Holdings (FND), whose team had their Q4 2017 earnings call a couple weeks ago.

Sentieo

Their call included the following mentions of transaction growth:

Sentieo

The quote above tells the following:

  • Comparable store sales increased 16.2%
  • Comp increase was driven largely by transaction growth (more transactions)
  • Transactions increased for the year
  • Average ticket size increased for the year (Prices increased)

It would have been difficult to have found this information outside of Sentieo, but we found it in seconds, with just a few clicks.

The Habit restaurant chain reported earnings on 2/28, and provided even more detail:

The comparable store sales decline of 1% was broken down into a transaction (traffic) decrease of 3% and an average transaction amount increase of 2%.

Searches like these can help you quickly isolate the important information you need and incorporate it into your research without spending extra time poring through documents.

Advanced User? Try These Queries for More Focused Results

If you’re an advanced Sentieo user, you can make this query even more precise by removing synonyms of increase and decrease that could produce false positives for this search. Normally, you would use quotes (“increase”) to search for exactly those words and exclude synonyms, however, this would also exclude stemming, which is helpful for this case. Stemming allows you to not only search for a specific keyword, but also to find the variations of the stem of the keyword. Using our example above, let’s say we want to search all variations of the word increase, such as increased, increasing, increases, but not improve, higher, or growth. To include these words, we’ll need to put carets in front of the main stem keyword instead of putting quotation marks around it (^^increase). These will turn off synonyms but leave on stemming.

The final search would be: transactions NEAR10 OR(^^increase ^^decrease)

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Is Skechers (SKX) Management Guidance Too Conservative?

Skechers USA (SKX) is a lifestyle and performance footwear brand that was founded in 1992. We looked at Skechers’ recent performance using Sentieo Mosaic to assess how they will perform on their next earnings call on Thursday of this week.

SKX started off with a strong rally in October that included an earnings beat and raised guidance. However, Skechers still hasn’t gotten the deserved love from the market yet.

SKX trades lower than its peers, both in the shoe segment and in the athleisure industry, trading at just 9.5x full-year EV/EBITDA, quite a low multiple compared to its closest peers. The chart below plots 2018 CY EV/EBITDA vs. 2018 CY Revenue Growth, showing that Skechers is not getting the multiple it deserves based on revenue growth.

Skechers Revenue Growth vs Multiples

The Street seems to doubt Skechers’ profitability since margins have been a bit volatile in the past. It seems that the market has only started to recognize Skechers’ growth recently, after seeing the better-than-expected operating margins last quarter. Skechers operates in a segment of the footwear market that doesn’t give the company the pricing power and margin stability of a market leader like Nike.

In any case, as the most recent earnings release showed, the Street didn’t properly forecast Skechers’ operating margins. Analysts questioned the company’s ability to deliver necessary operating leverage while the domestic market was showing signs of uncertainty. Operating margins were roughly a 20% beat over analyst estimates, and only part of the better-than-expected EPS was a result of a more favorable tax rate.

The strong rally during the past few months was bolstered by the buzz around Trump’s tax reform and the positive effects that a lower tax rate would potentially have on Skechers’ bottom-line. However, it seems that the market has failed to keep up with the pace of Skechers’ improving fundamentals.

The black line in the chart below shows the YoY revenue growth, with the solid part showing and actuals and the dotted part showing analysts’ expectations. The Sentieo Index (which includes alternative data sets such as Google Trends and Twitter) demonstrates Skechers growth potential (dashed blue line), while Wall Street has very low expectations for revenue in the next few years, forecasting a significant deceleration (again, dotted portion of the black line). Analysts haven’t adjusted their expectations enough, and it’s likely that a big revenue beat is coming both in Q4 and in the following quarters.

Sentieo Index vs Revenue YoY

Wall Street continues to be skeptical about Skechers’ acceleration, despite underestimating Skechers’ revenue growth for four consecutive quarters and getting the margin picture completely wrong. Analysts also don’t seem to understand that Skechers’ management is offering particularly conservative guidance numbers, and has been mentioning better-than-expected results for a while.

In Q2, the management offered the following guidance:

Management Guidance – Q2

Both revenue and EPS were far above those levels, surpassing the higher end of the management’s guidance.

Something similar occurred in Q2, when revenue growth definitely surpassed the upper end of the management’s guidance. In the excerpt below, management highlights that the results were well above their own expectations:

Skechers Transcript – Sales

Perhaps management wants to set expectations low, or perhaps they have actually underestimated the sales acceleration. In any case, it’s probable that they have undervalued the potential growth in Q4 just as they did for the previous two quarters.

With sales guidance for Q4 at $860 to $885 million, the implied Y/Y growth rate would be between 12.5% and 16%, basically just in line with Q3’s growth rate even if we use the higher end of the guidance range.

The Sentieo index tells us something different. Since management has provided its guidance, the index has significantly accelerated, showing a strong confidence in Skechers. The guidance for Q4 was provided just before an inflection point of strong acceleration, shown by the Sentieo index dotted line below:

Sentieo Index and Guidance

 

We’ll be tuning into the earnings call on Thursday to see if Skechers has underestimated their performance again. To continue tracking SKX, and to study other tickers using our alternative dataset tools, sign up for a free trial with Sentieo.

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Dissecting The Latest Netflix Earnings Transcript

The following analysis was prepared using tools offered by Sentieo. Sign up for a free trial.

We let our data scientists loose on NFLX’s latest conference call transcript. High-level takeaway:  NFLX is sounding a more muted tone while the Street is still excited, and the stock is at a high.

Key takeaways:

1.  Management sentiment has fallen two quarters in a row. (blue line below)

 

2.  The spread between Management sentiment and Analyst sentiment has fallen to a recent low, implying that while Management is getting less bullish, analysts are not yet changing their tone.

spread

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Analyzing $NFLX Recent Earnings Beat With Alternative Data

Netflix’s stocked soared over 10% in after-hours trading last Tuesday after the Q2 earnings call in spite of an EPS miss at $0.15/share (vs. $0.16 projected). Since Netflix is still growing rapidly, the stock trades mostly on subscriber growth, rather than earnings. As you can see from the chart below, subscriber growth, especially in International Markets, blew out analyst estimates:

Netflix Subscriber Growth Vs. Estimates

Since subscriber growth is not as easily analyzed by the core public financial data companies are required to release, we used Sentieo to look at alternative datasets like keywords in earnings transcripts, search volume, Twitter mentions, and website traffic to analyze Netflix’s incredible performance

First, we looked at words tied to international markets that were referenced in transcripts using our earnings call Keyword Tracker:

Mentions of keywords in Netflix Earnings Call Transcripts

Notice that Europe, Asia, Korean, and Germany saw their largest number of conference call mentions ever when comparing to previous earnings calls. Reed Hastings continued to speak to success with content creation in Europe and Latin America, but also has his sights set on Asia:

Snippets from the most recent $NFLX Earnings Call

NFLX’s chief of content creation, Ted Sarandos, spoke specifically about Korea and Okja (a Korean-Hollywood collaboration that has been a huge hit for Netflix) both of which were surfaced in the keyword tracker above:
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Equity Analysts

7 Habits Up Front

  1. Be Proactive: Optimize Your Coverage Universe and Expand Your Circle of Influence
  2. Begin With The End In Mind: Don’t Miss the Macro for the Micro or the Structural for the Near-Term
  3. Put First Things First: Maintain A Catalyst Calendar and Do The Work Well Ahead
  4. Think Win-Win: Giving More Than You Take in meeting Sellside, Management, and Industry Contacts
  5. Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood: Take Notes, then Use Visuals Often
  6. Synergize: Synthesize Your Information and Debate It With Your Team
  7. Sharpen The Saw: Research New Techniques

Why Make Effectiveness A Habit?

We at Sentieo care a lot about helping Equity Analysts do their job better. That’s pretty much all we do. It’s not just an efficiency argument, that Equity Analysts are expensive and as a population have limited time to cover a large range of stocks in depth. As former buy-siders ourselves, we know what it’s like to continually grind away at an established process that sometimes, to put it bluntly, just isn’t working. As managers of Equity Analysts, we have also felt the struggle of “quality control” beyond boiling the investment process down to rote form filling and box checking. We surveyed the Sentieo community and from our interactions with hundreds of analysts decided to put together broad takeaways. If it helps just one analyst get more effective, we will have done our job.

although we may never be this good

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