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REIT Replay: Counterpunch

Street Talk Episode 40 - Digital Banks Take a Page Out of 'Mad Men'

Broadband Only Homes Skyrocket In 2018 Validating Top MSOs Connectivity Pivot

Power Forecast Briefing: As retirements accelerate, can renewable energy fill the gap?

2019 Credit Risk Perspectives: Is The Credit Cycle Turning? A Fundamentals View


REIT Replay: Counterpunch

­REITs continued to slide, while the broader markets postedgains Friday, Sept. 30, as New York REIT responded to a pair of activistinvestors who are seeking board appointments.

The MSCI US REIT Index (RMZ) fell 0.64% to 1,195.57, and theSNL US REIT Equity Index shed 0.54% to finish at 320.03. The Dow JonesIndustrial Average, meanwhile, rose 0.91% to close at 18,308.15, while theS&P 500 gained 0.80% to end the day at 2,168.27.

Responding to the recent criticism by activist investors Michael Ashner andSteven Witkoff, co-owners of WW Investors, New York REIT's management in a Friday statement its search process fornew directors and said Ashner and Witkoff's desire to both manage New York REITand serve on its board have complicated the process.

According to the company, Ashner and Witkoff have beenoffered "reasonable terms" by the board, that proposed to includethem on New York REIT's proxy statement to be elected to the board and allowingthem to attend all board meetings and participate as observers before the voteis held.

Shares of New York REIT were down 0.22% to close at $9.15.

A secondary offering of 13.0 million paired shares ofExtended Stay AmericaInc. and its ESH Hospitality Inc. unit by certain affiliates ofBlackstone Group LP, CenterbridgePartners LP and Paulson & Co. Inc. at $14.25 per share, according toa Thursday release. Extended Stay noted that the company and its unit will notreceive any proceeds from the offering, which is expected to close Oct. 4.

Extended Stay shares dropped 2.27% to close at $14.20.

IndependenceRealty Trust Inc. on Thursday announced the of its public offering of 25.0million common shares at $9.00 per share, for $225.0 million in gross proceeds.The company has granted a 30-day option to the underwriters to acquire up to3,750,000 additional shares. Net proceeds are likely to go toward the fullrepayment of the company's $40.0 million senior secured term loan facility,payment of $43.0 million for its management internalization and the repurchase of up to 7,269,719common shares held by RAITFinancial Trust subsidiaries. Any remaining funds will be used torepay outstanding borrowings under the company's $325.0 million senior securedcredit facility. The offering is expected to close Oct. 5.

Independence Realty shares fell 2.60% to end the day at$9.00.

In personnel news, Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp. CFO Christine Battist leftthe company effective Sept. 29. The company tapped Chief Accounting OfficerJulie Ellis to take care of accounting, tax and financial policy matters, whileExecutive Vice President of Finance Griffin Wetmore will be responsible forcapital strategy and execution, as well as the company's treasury and investorrelations functions. Silver Bay said in a Thursday release that Battist's departure didnot come as a result of any dispute or disagreement with the company.

Silver Bay shares declined 2.34%, closing at $17.53.

National RetailProperties Inc. said Thursday that Craig Macnab will as its CEO, effectiveApril 28, 2017, after serving in that role since February 2004. Macnab, whowill also relinquish his board seat and hand over his chairman role to RobertLegler, the board's lead independent director, will be replaced by Presidentand COO Julian Whitehurst as CEO.

National Retail Properties shares declined 0.90% to close at$50.85.

On Friday, Lexington Realty Trust said it sold its three remainingland parcels underneath three hotels in New York City for a gross sales priceof approximately $338.2 million, reflecting a 13.6% GAAP capitalization rateand a 4.6% cash capitalization rate. The company expects to an estimated noncash impairmentcharge of roughly $65.0 million in the third quarter, mainly associated withthe writing off of the deferred rent receivable it recognized under GAAP.

Lexington Realty shares dropped 0.39% to end the day at$10.30.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons extended its contract for aGEO Group Inc.-ownedcorrectional facility in Folkston, Ga., by two years, the company said in aFriday release. The renewedcontract at the D. Ray James Correctional Facility will run throughSept. 30, 2018. The renewal follows an announcement by the U.S. JusticeDepartment, which supervises the Bureau of Prisons, that it would seek to endits use of private prisons.

Shares of GEO Group were up 2.19%, closing at $23.78.

Now featured onS&P Global Market Intelligence

The Week in US Real Estate: Catching heat; getting the greenlight: The Sept. 30 weekly news roundup in the North American realestate space features shareholder activism at two REITs and a hotel M&Adeal winning shareholder approval after a bumpy ride.

Data Dispatch: Timing of Monogram Residential sale talk raiseseyebrows, analysts say: While the multifamily REIT may be anattractive acquisition target for a wide range of potential buyers, reports ofa potential sale are emerging earlier than some observers might have expected.

Data Dispatch:In the Lehigh Valley, an industrial building boom rivaling the InlandEmpire's: Some observers say the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania andNew Jersey is on its way to becoming the next Inland Empire, the west coastindustrial mega-market outside Los Angeles. The extraordinary building boom andrising rents in the market suggest they may be right.

Best of SNL:Real Estate, most read: The 10 mostread real estate articles for the week ending Sept. 30.

Best of SNL:Real Estate, editors' picks: Ourreal estate editors' picks for the best stories of the week ending Sept. 30.

The ShortReport: REITs notch short interest gains in September 1st half:U.S. equity REITs saw average short interest rise 12 basis points during thefirst half of September, reaching 3.28% of outstanding shares.

The ShortReport: 1st half of September sees rise in gaming short interest:Wynn Resorts saw the biggest short-interest gain and was also the most-shortedgaming stock during the first half of September.

The ShortReport: Homebuilder short interest slips in September 1st half: WCICommunities saw the greatest short-interest gain, while LGI Homes was themost-shorted homebuilding stock during the first half of September.

Market prices andindex values are current as of the time of publication and are subject tochange.

 

 

 


Listen: Street Talk Episode 40 - Digital Banks Take a Page Out of 'Mad Men'

Mar. 20 2019 — Some fintech companies are making hay with digital platforms that tout their differences with banks, even though they are often offering virtually the same products. In the episode, we discuss with colleagues Rachel Stone and Kiah Haslett the deposit strategies employed by the likes of Chime, Aspiration and other incumbent players such as Ally Financial, Discover and Capital One. Those efforts conjure up memories of a Don Draper pitch in Mad Men and likely will enjoy continued success.

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Technology, Media & Telecom
Broadband Only Homes Skyrocket In 2018 Validating Top MSOs Connectivity Pivot

Highlights

The segment stood at an estimated 23.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2018, accounting for 24% of all wireline high-speed data homes.

The following post comes from Kagan, a research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

To learn more about our TMT (Technology, Media & Telecommunications) products and/or research, please request a demo.

Mar. 20 2019 — The U.S. broadband-only home segment logged its largest net adds on record in 2018, validating Comcast Corp.'s and Charter Communications Inc.'s moves to make broadband, or connectivity, the keystone of their cable communication businesses.

The size and momentum of the segment also put in perspective the recent high-profile online-video video announcements by the top two cable operators as well as AT&T Inc.'s WarnerMedia shake-up and plans to go toe-to-toe with Netflix in the subscription video-on-demand arena in the next 12 months.

We estimate that wireline broadband households not subscribing to traditional multichannel, or broadband-only homes, rose by nearly 4.3 million in 2018, topping the gains from the previous year by roughly 22%. Overall, the segment stood at an estimated 23.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2018, accounting for 24% of all wireline high-speed data homes.

For perspective, broadband-only homes stood at an estimated 11.3 million a mere four years ago, accounting for 13% of residential cable and telco broadband subscribers.

The once all-powerful, must-have live linear TV model, which individuals and families essentially treated as a utility upon moving into a new residence, increasingly is viewed as too expensive and unwieldy in the era of affordable, nimble internet-based video alternatives. This has resulted in a sizable drop in penetration of occupied households.

As a result, continued legacy cord cutting is baked in and broadband-only homes are expected to continue to rise at a fast clip, with the segment's momentum in the next few years compounded by Comcast's, Charter's and AT&T's ambitious moves into online-video territory.

Note: we revised historical broadband-only home estimates as part of our fourth-quarter 2018, following restatements of historical telco broadband subscriber figures and residential traditional multichannel subscriber adjustments.

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Q4'18 multichannel video losses propel full-year drop to edge of 4 million

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Q4'18 multiproduct analysis sheds more light on video's fall from grace

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Watch: Power Forecast Briefing: As retirements accelerate, can renewable energy fill the gap?

Mar. 19 2019 — Steve Piper shares the outlook for U.S. power markets, discussing capacity retirements and whether continued development of wind and solar power plants may mitigate the generation shortfall.

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Credit Analysis
2019 Credit Risk Perspectives: Is The Credit Cycle Turning? A Fundamentals View

Mar. 15 2019 — On November 20, 2018, a joint event hosted by S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Ratings took place in London, focusing on credit risk and 2019 perspectives.

Pascal Hartwig, Credit Product Specialist, and I provided a review of the latest trends observed across non-financial corporate firms through the lens of S&P Global Market Intelligence’s statistical models.1 In particular, Pascal focused on the outputs produced by a statistical model that uses market information to estimate credit risk of public companies; if you want to know more, you can visit here.

I focused on an analysis of how different Brexit scenarios may impact the credit risk of European Union (EU) private companies that are included on S&P Capital IQ platform.

Before, this, I looked at the evolution of their credit risk profile from 2013 to 2017, as shown in Figure 1. Scores were generated via Credit Analytics’ PD Model Fundamentals Private, a statistical model that uses company financials and other socio-economic factors to estimate the PD of private companies globally. Credit scores are mapped to PD values, which are based on/derived from S&P Global Ratings Observed Default Rates.

Figure 1: EU private company scores generated by PD Model Fundamentals Private, between 2013 and 2017.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence.2 As of October 2018.

For any given year, the distribution of credit scores of EU private companies is concentrated below the ‘a’ level, due to the large number of small revenue and unrated firms on the S&P Capital IQ platform. An overall improvement of the risk profile is visible, with the score distribution moving leftwards between 2013 and 2017. A similar picture is visible when comparing companies by country or industry sector,3 confirming that there were no clear signs of a turning point in the credit cycle of private companies in any EU country or industry sector. However, this view is backward looking and does not take into account the potential effects of an imminent and major political and economic event in the (short) history of the EU: Brexit.

To this purpose, S&P Global Market Intelligence has developed a statistical model: the Credit Analytics Macro-scenario model enables users to study how potential future macroeconomic scenarios may affect the evolution of the credit risk profile of EU private companies. This model was developed by looking at the historical evolution of S&P Global Ratings’ rated companies under different macroeconomic conditions, and can be applied to smaller companies after the PD is mapped to a S&P Global Market Intelligence credit score.

“Soft Brexit” (Figure 2): This scenario is based on the baseline forecast made by economists at S&P Global Ratings and is characterized by a gentle slow-down of economic growth, a progressive monetary policy tightening, and low yet volatile stock-market growth.4

Figure 2: “Soft Brexit” macro scenario.5

Source: S&P Global Ratings Economists. As of October 2018.

Applying the Macro-scenario model, we analyze the evolution of the credit risk profile of EU companies over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020, by industry sector and by country:

  • Sector Analysis (Figure 3):
    • The median credit risk score within specific industry sectors (Aerospace & Defense, Pharmaceuticals, Telecoms, Utilities, and Real Estate) shows a good degree of resilience, rising by less than half a notch by 2020 and remaining comfortably below the ‘b+’ threshold.
    • The median credit score of the Retail and Consumer Products sectors, however, is severely impacted, breaching the high risk threshold (here defined at the ‘b-’ level).
    • The remaining industry sectors show various dynamics, but essentially remain within the intermediate risk band (here defined between the ‘b+’ and the ‘b-’ level).

Figure 3: “Soft Brexit” impact on the median credit risk level of EU private companies, by industry.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

  • Country Analysis (Figure 4):
    • Although the median credit risk score may not change significantly in certain countries, the associated default rates need to be adjusted for the impact of the credit cycle.6 The “spider-web plot” shows the median PD values for private companies within EU countries, adjusted for the credit cycle. Here we include only countries with a minimum number of private companies within the Credit Analytics pre-scored database, to ensure a robust statistical analysis.
    • Countries are ordered by increasing level of median PD, moving clock-wise from Netherlands to Greece.
    • Under a soft Brexit scenario, the PD of UK private companies increases between 2018 and 2020, but still remains below the yellow threshold (corresponding to a ‘b+’ level).
    • Interestingly, Italian private companies suffer more than their Spanish peers, albeit starting from a slightly lower PD level in 2017.

Figure 4: “Soft Brexit” impact on the median credit risk level of EU private companies, by country.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

“Hard Brexit” (Figure 5): This scenario is extracted from the 2018 Stress-Testing exercise of the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the Bank of England.7 Under this scenario, both the EU and UK may go into a recession similar to the 2008 global crisis. Arguably, this may seem a harsh scenario for the whole of the EU, but a recent report by the Bank of England warned that a disorderly Brexit may trigger a UK crisis worse than 2008.8

Figure 5: “Hard Brexit” macro scenario.9

Sources:”2018 EU-wide stress test – methodological note” (European Banking Authority, November 2017) and “Stress Testing the UK Banking system: 2018 guidance for participating banks and building societies“ (Bank of England, March 2018).

Also in this case, we apply the Macro-scenario model to analyze the evolution of the credit risk profile of EU companies over the same three-year period, by industry sector and by country:

  • Sector Analysis (Figure 6):
    • Despite all industry sectors being severely impacted, the Pharmaceuticals and Utilities sectors remain below the ‘b+’ level (yellow threshold).
    • Conversely, the Airlines and Energy sectors join Retail and Consumer Products in the “danger zone” above the ‘b-’ level (red threshold).
    • The remaining industry sectors will either move into or remain within the intermediate risk band (here defined between the ‘b+’ and the ‘b-’ level).

Figure 6: “Hard Brexit” impact on the median credit risk level of EU private companies, by industry.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

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  • Country Analysis (Figure 7):
    • Under a hard Brexit scenario, the PD of UK private companies increases between 2017 and 2020, entering the intermediate risk band and suffering even more than its Irish peers.
    • Notably, by 2020 the French private sector may suffer more than the Italian private sector, reaching the attention threshold (here shown as a red circle, and corresponding to a ‘b-’ level).
    • While it is hard to do an exact like-for-like comparison, it is worth noting that our conclusions are broadly aligned with the findings from the 48 banks participating in the 2018 stress-testing exercise, as recently published by the EBA:10 the major share of 2018-2020 new credit risk losses in the stressed scenario will concentrate among counterparties in the UK, Italy, France, Spain, and Germany (leaving aside the usual suspects, such as Greece, Portugal, etc.).

Figure 7: “Hard Brexit” impact on the median credit risk level of EU private companies, by country.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

In conclusion: In Europe, the private companies’ credit risk landscape does not yet signal a distinct turning point, however Brexit may act as a pivot point and a catalyst for a credit cycle inversion, with an intensity that will be dependent on the Brexit type of landing (i.e., soft versus hard).

1 S&P Global Ratings does not contribute to or participate in the creation of credit scores generated by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
2 Lowercase nomenclature is used to differentiate S&P Global Market Intelligence credit scores from the credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings.
3 Not shown here.
4 Measured via Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth, Long-term / Short-term (L/S) European Central Bank Interest Rate Spread, and FTSE100 or STOXX50 stock market growth, respectively.
5 Macroeconomic forecast for 2018-2020 (end of year) by economists at S&P Global Ratings; the baseline case assumes the UK and the EU will reach a Brexit deal (e.g. a “soft Brexit”).
6 When the credit cycle deteriorates (improves), default rates are expected to increase (decrease).
7 Source: “2018 EU-wide stress test – methodological note” (EBA, November 2017) and “Stress Testing the UK Banking system: 2018 guidance for participating banks and building societies”. (Bank of England, March 2018).
8 Source: “EU withdrawal scenarios and monetary and financial stability – A response to the House of Commons Treasury Committee”. (Bank of England, November 2018).
9 As a hard Brexit scenario, we adopt the stressed scenario included in the 2018 stress testing exercise and defined by the EBA and the Bank of England.
10 See, for example, Figure 18 in “2018 EU-Wide Stress Test Result” (EBA November 2018), found at:https://eba.europa.eu/documents/10180/2419200/2018-EU-wide-stress-test-Results.pdf

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2019 Credit Risk Perspectives: Is The Credit Cycle Turning? A Market-Driven View

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