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Motivational Quotes: Connecting With Your Inner Child

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Our Outlook for the Credit Markets
By Dave Sekera, CFA
December 27, 2013 7:00 AM
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Fixed-income markets struggled in 2013 as rising interest rates led to losses
Returns in 2014 will be constrained by tight credit spreads and rising interest rates
Financials outperform in 2013 and may lead the way again in early 2014
Credit risk outlook appears benign in short term, but risks remain
Strongest upgrade/downgrade ratio since third-quarter 2011
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Fixed-Income Markets Struggled in 2013 as Rising Interest Rates Led to Losses While rising interest rates have taken their toll on the fixed-income markets this year, we opined last quarter that investors were poised to recapture some losses suffered earlier in the year. Since then, the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index has recaptured 155 basis points of its losses and is down only 1.44% year to date through Dec. 16. Among other fixed-income classes, our US Treasury Index has declined 2.37%, the US Agency Index has decreased 0.80%, and our Mortgage Bond Index has lost 0.59% thus far in 2013. The only indexes that have registered gains this year have been our short-term indexes, as the Federal Reserve has continued to hold short-term interest rates near historic lows.timberland outlet online
Losses in our corporate bond index have been driven by an increase in long-term interest rates and only partially offset by a slight tightening in corporate credit spreads. In May, when the 10-year Treasury was below 2%, we said that as we got closer to the Fed beginning to taper its asset purchase program, interest rates would begin to normalize and rise toward historical spreads over inflation and inflation expectations. Since the beginning of the year, the yield of the 10-year Treasury has risen 109 basis points to 2.85%, and we think it has further to rise.timberland outlet online
Based on three of the metrics we watch (the spread between current inflation and interest rates, inflation expectations, and the steepness of the Treasury curve) we think the normalized yield on the 10-year Treasury should be closer to around 4%. While the path the Fed takes to reduce and then finally conclude its asset purchase program is highly uncertain, we expect that long-term rates will rise and return to normalized levels by the time the Fed is close to ending its asset purchases.timberland outlet store Returns in 2014 Will Be Constrained by Tight Credit Spreads and Rising Interest Rates
In our base scenario, the corporate bond market will probably struggle to return much above break-even in 2014. With interest rates poised to rise further and credit spreads at their tightest levels since the end of the 2008-09 credit crisis, we expect rising rates to largely offset the yield corporate bonds currently offer. Even with the increase in interest rates this year, the average yield of the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index is 3.15%, not much higher than the lows it hit earlier this year. Based on the current yield and the impact of rolling down the curve, anything greater than a 75-basis-point of increase in interest rates would result in losses again in 2014 (excluding any change in credit spreads).
In our opinion, the most likely upside scenario is that corporate bonds produce low-single-digit returns. In this case, we assume that interest rates remain in a narrow trading range and that corporate credit spreads tighten slightly. In order to generate higher returns than low single digits, one would have to assume that interest rates decline back toward their historic lows and/or credit spreads tighten toward their precredit crisis historic lows. However, such an outcome seems highly unlikely to us unless the U.S. were to lapse into a recession.
In the fall of 2012, we changed our recommendation on corporate bonds to a neutral (or market weight) view from overweight as we thought credit spreads were fairly valued based on our outlook for credit risk. Over the past year, the average credit spread in the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index has traded in a relatively narrow range between +126 and +167 basis points, with an average of +141. In our Market Outlook fourth-quarter 2013, we highlighted our expectation that corporate credit spreads would be pushed toward the bottom of the trading range by the end of the year. As of Dec. 16, the average spread of our index is +126, its lowest level this year, and in fact, the tightest level since before the 2008-09 credit crisis. Although we are back at the tights, it appears that in the short term, the path of least resistance is tighter still. However, from a fundamental viewpoint, we think that the preponderance of credit spread tightening has run its course.
We continue to believe that from a fundamental, long-term perspective, corporate credit spreads are fairly valued in this trading range. Across our coverage universe, our credit analysts generally have a balanced view that corporate credit risk will either remain stable or improve slightly, but that the tightening in credit spreads on those names will likely be offset by an increase in idiosyncratic risk (debt-funded mergers and acquisitions, increased shareholder activism, etc.).
However, this paradigm could rapidly change if interest rates were to spike higher as the Federal Reserve reduces its asset purchase program. In that case, we would expect a repeat of last summer’s chain of events in May and June, when the 10-year Treasury yield rose about 100 basis points. Corporate credit spreads quickly widened out as portfolio managers looked to sell long-term bonds to reduce duration and dodge the brunt of losses from rising yields. Over those two months, the average spread in the Morningstar Corporate Bond index widened 30 basis points, peaking at +167, its widest level for the year.
Looking further back, since the beginning of 2000, the average credit spread within our index is +174, and the median is +156. Currently, credit spreads are 50 basis points wider than the lowest levels reached before the 2008-09 credit crisis. While credit spreads may continue to compress, we don’t anticipate returning to anywhere near those pre-credit-crisis lows. At that time, credit spreads were lower than they should have been because of an overabundance of structured credit vehicles which were created to slice and dice credit risk into numerous tranches, artificially pushing credit spreads too low. Once the credit crisis emerged, investors found that many of these vehicles did not perform as advertised. While there have been some reports that a few investors are beginning to re-evaluate investing in CDOs, we doubt that these structures will re-emerge any time soon in any kind of meaningful size.
Over the long term, we expect interest rates to normalize toward historical metrics. Three of the metrics we watch include the spread between current inflation and interest rates, inflation expectations, and the steepness of the Treasury curve. Historically, the yield on 10-year Treasury bond has averaged 200 to 250 basis points over a rolling three-month inflation rate. Even with inflation at the unusually low rate of 1.2%, the yield on the 10-year Treasury could increase to 3.20%-3.70% to reach historical norms.
While we expect interest rates to normalize at higher levels as asset purchases decline, we are not overly concerned that the rise in interest rates will overshoot too much above historical averages. Currently, the spread between the 2-year and 10-year Treasury bond is nearing its widest levels. Since the 2-year bond is highly correlated to short-term interest rates and the Federal Reserve is planning on keeping the Federal Funds rate near zero until sometime late in 2015, the yield of the 2-year Treasury bond should be well anchored. Based on where this spread has historically peaked, the 10-year yield could increase another 50 basis points over the 2-year before beginning to breach its prior ceiling. With the Fed pledging to keep short-term rates near zero until late 2015, we think the 2/10s curve can widen even further and create an even steeper yield curve than we have seen historically.
After peaking in November 2012--a few months after the most recent quantitative easing program had been launched--market implied inflation expectations have been generally declining. With inflation expectations, based on the five-year/five-year forward break-even measure, near the middle of their historical range it should also moderate any rise in rates. However, after the Fed surprised the market with its decision to leave the existing asset purchase program in place in September, the decline in inflation expectations appears to have bottomed out and could begin to rise again. Financials Outperform in 2013 and May Lead the Way Again in Early 2014
The financial sector handily outperformed industrials and utilities in 2013. Year to date, the option-adjusted spread for the financial sector has tightened 33 basis points compared with the industrials sector, which has tightened only 5 basis points, and the utilities sector, which tightened 13 basis points.
2013 was the first year since the 2008-09 credit crisis in which the financial sector has traded tighter than industrials. Currently, the spread between the sectors is 12 basis points, whereas before the credit crisis, the average spread differential was 40 basis points and had traded as wide as 112 basis points. While we don’t expect the spread differential to return back to the historical wides, we do think that the financial sector will outperform in a low-volatility world where idiosyncratic risk is of greater concern than systemic risk. Within the financial sector, credit quality continues to improve as loan losses abate and capital levels rise. We believe the risk of shareholder friendly actions in the financial sector is lower than the industrial sector as regulators are unlikely to alleviate capital restrictions imposed upon banks any time soon.
The media sector was the worst-performing sector in 2013, widening out 14 basis points. The widening was predominantly because of the buyout of Virgin Media, rumored buyout of Time Warner Cable (TWC) (rating: BBB-, wide moat), as well as the impact from Viacom (VIAB) (rating: BBB+, narrow moat), which substantially raised its debt leverage target in order to fund share buybacks. Credit Risk Outlook Appears Benign in Short Term, but Risks Remain While risks to the corporate bond market appear benign, there are several downside threats lurking. With credit spreads already at lower than average levels and interest rates near historic lows, portfolio managers will need to be especially nimble in 2014 to outperform. In 2014, successful portfolio managers will need to carefully time when to reach for yield to capture additional carry to outperform their index, but will also need to keep one finger above the sell button to reduce risk when events warrant lower credit risk exposure. While volatility is currently very low, when markets correct to the downside, they rarely correct in a gradual fashion but rather in a step function.
As interest rates normalize, we think there is a significant probability that rates may rapidly rise in a replay of last May and June, when the 10-year Treasury rose 100 basis points and credit spreads widened 30 basis points as portfolio managers sold long-term corporate bonds to reduce duration and dodge the brunt of losses from rising yields.
Throughout 2013, we have highlighted that idiosyncratic risk leading to downgrades and issuer-specific credit spread widening was the greatest threat to corporate bond investors. Considering that Robert Johnson, our Director of Economic Analysis, expects gross domestic product growth in 2014 between 2.0 to 2.5%, we don’t foresee a material increase in defaults or cash flow compression resulting from a recession, which could push spreads wider. As such, we expect idiosyncratic credit risk to once again be the greatest determinant of differentiated portfolio returns. However, we don’t believe that idiosyncratic risk will be any greater in 2014 than in 2013. As interest rates rise, debt-funded share buybacks become less attractive. In addition, with the increase in equity valuations, elevated enterprise valuation to EBITDA multiples are limiting the prospects for M&A activity and leverage buyouts. For example, Time Warner Cable, one of the biggest sufferers at the hands of idiosyncratic risk during 2013, may actually survive as an independent firm as its enterprise value has reached a multiple of EBITDA not seen since 2007. The firm’s growth prospects are much smaller today than six years ago. If the rumor-driven froth in TWC’s equity valuation ends up scaring off all would-be suitors, TWC bonds would likely dramatically outperform the broader corporate market. Still, strategic mergers and acquisitions and break-ups/spin-offs will likely comprise most issuer-specific risk in 2014. Europe: While the economic contraction and systemic banking fears in Europe appear to have been put to rest, if the situation in Italy or Spain deteriorate again, it may lead to another bout of the systemic sovereign/banking crisis we experienced in 2012. In this event, the contagion would probably spread to the financial sector in the U.S. as credit counterparty risk rises. While European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has assuaged the markets for now with his pledge to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro, the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program has not been stress-tested. In addition, German objections to the program could render it ineffective if it were called upon to provide financial assistance to a sovereign borrower that has lost access to the public debt markets. In such a situation, we would expect credit spreads to widen back to the top of the recent trading range, with spreads in the financial sector widening further and faster than the nonfinancial sectors.
The rate of GDP growth in the euro area faltered in the third quarter as real GDP only rose by a meager 0.1%, as compared to the 0.3% growth reported in the second quarter. The second-quarter GDP growth was the first time the euro area had reported positive GDP growth since the third quarter of 2011. Germany’s GDP growth rate fell to 0.3% in the third quarter of 2013 from 0.7% in the prior quarter, and France stumbled to a 0.1% decline for the quarter after having grown 0.5% in the second quarter. Offsetting some of the weakness in the larger economies, several of the southern, peripheral economies showed improvement. Spanish GDP grew by 0.1%--its first positive report since the second quarter of 2011. Italy continued to struggle as its GDP was revised to flat for the third quarter from an earlier estimate of a 0.1% decline, but the rate of decline has now decreased sequentially for the past three quarters.
In order to support economic growth and assuage deflationary fears, the ECB, in a surprise decision, cut its main short-term rate by 25 basis points on Nov. 7. The European Commission cut its forecast for 2014 GDP to 1.1% growth in the eurozone, marking the second forecast reduction the EC has made this year (it cut is forecast in May to 1.2% from 1.4%). The EC also increased its unemployment estimate to 12.2% next year from 12.1%. Because of stagnant economic growth, S&P cut its credit rating for France by one notch to AA. S&P stated that lower economic growth is constraining the country's ability to shore up its credit quality. If the eurozone is unable to sustain positive economic growth, we are concerned that this downgrade may be the beginning of a reassessment of the credit quality of other European countries as well. Peripheral European sovereign bonds have performed extremely well this year. Since the beginning of 2013, the spread between Spanish and German bonds has tightened 169 basis points to a current spread of +226. The spread on Italian bonds over German bonds has also tightened substantially, having declined 97 basis points to +221.
While investors are betting that the economies of those two countries have bottomed, the banking systems of both have remained under pressure as nonperforming loans continue to grow. Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP) (rating: BB-, no moat) reported that in the third quarter, gross nonperforming loans grew to 15.9% of total loans compared with 12.7% in the year-ago period. UniCredit (UCG) (rating: BBB-, narrow moat) reported that its nonperforming loans grew to 14% compared with 12% last year. In Spain, doubtful loans have grown every month since the end of 2012, while at the same time, the total amount of loans outstanding has steadily decreased. At the end of August, doubtful loans were 12.1% of total loans outstanding compared with 10.5% last year. While doubtful loans are growing in the country’s banking system, the credit quality of the country continues to deteriorate as well. The Bank of Spain has reported that debt/GDP has continued to climb, reaching 93.4%. The country expects debt to increase next year as well, taking the country’s debt/GDP ratio up to 100%.China: China served up a double helping of happy headlines in the fourth quarter of 2013—a sequential uptick in GDP growth for the third quarter and a broadly reformist policy road map, adopted at the third plenum. Heading into 2014, sentiment surrounding the world’s second-largest economy has taken on a decidedly more bullish tone. We’d suggest more caution is warranted. A look under the hood of the robust GDP growth figure reveals that infrastructure and real estate supplied much of the horsepower, hardly indicating a transition to the consumer-oriented growth Beijing is hoping to engineer. Meanwhile, total credit expanded at twice the pace of nominal GDP, increasing the fragility of China’s financial system. Swollen debt burdens at state-owned enterprises and local governments will make it difficult to meet some of the policy objectives laid out in the post-plenum decision, slowing the pace of much-needed reforms. If infrastructure growth were to drop precipitously, we would expect global commodity prices to decline substantially and the Chinese banking system to contract considerably. In this scenario, we would expect the Basic Materials sector to suffer the most. While very little of the U.S. economy depends directly on exports to China, credit spreads would probably widen because of the impact from lower global GDP growth. Strongest Upgrade/Downgrade Ratio Since Third-Quarter 2011
While the pace of our rating changes declined to the slowest rate since the third quarter of 2011, ratings upgrades significantly outpaced downgrades during the fourth quarter. For every downgrade this past quarter, there were 1.5 upgrades. Upgrades were driven by a combination of changes among our assessment of business risk as well as declining debt leverage. For example, our Business Risk score improved for Basf (BAS) (rating: A, narrow moat) and for E.I. du Pont de Nemours (DD) (rating: A-, narrow moat), leading to credit rating upgrades for both issuers. We upgraded Basf’s economic moat to narrow based on the firm’s cost advantages and intangible assets. E.I. du Pont Nemours is planning to spin off its performance chemicals business. We view this transaction as a further step in transitioning DuPont to a more focused specialty chemical company and believe that separating from the performance chemicals business improves overall business risk by lowering the cyclicality of company operations.
Our other upgrades were mainly driven by deleveraging. Since making a large, debt-funded acquisition in 2010, Merck KGaA (MKGAY) (rating: A, narrow moat) has steadily reduced its debt such that leverage has declined to 1.2 times from 2 times. Endo Health Solutions (ENDP) (rating: BB, narrow moat) has announced that it is using equity to fund an acquisition, which will help the firm diversify its product portfolio, and since the combined entity will be domiciled in Ireland, the firm will substantially reduce the firm’s ongoing tax rate. We upgraded USG (USG) (rating: B+, narrow moat) two notches because of the recent conversion to equity of $325 million of its $400 million 10% convertible bonds outstanding, in conjunction with a sharp improvement in USG's financial metrics subsequent to 2011 and our expectation of continued growth. Lastly, we upgraded Cummins (CMI) (rating A-, narrow moat) as our financial estimates were revised higher, leading to lower forecast debt leverage.
Our downgrades were driven by idiosyncratic problems. We downgraded Packaging Corporation of America (PKG) (rating: BBB, no moat) after the firm announced it was making a large debt-funded acquisition that we estimate will increase debt leverage to about 3 times from less than 1 times. While traffic declines in the casual dining sector has been widespread, the volatility of sales trends at Darden's core brands relative to industry peers remains troubling and suggests a continuation of ineffective promotional strategies that plagued results for much of fiscal 2013. As a result, we expect operating margins will range between 7%-8% over the medium term and lease-adjusted leverage will remain above 3 times as compared to the mid-2 times level it has been over the past few years.
We downgraded Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) (rating: A-, narrow moat) because of the looming marketing exclusivity loss on its largest drug, Copaxone (which accounts for 20% of its sales and nearly half of the firm's operating profits), in 2014. In addition to our concerns about the firm’s ability to offset the impact from Copaxone, in a surprise move, the CEO resigned because of differences in strategic vision with the board. Finally, we downgraded our credit rating for retail pharmacy Walgreen (WAG) (rating: BBB-, no moat) to BBB- from BBB to reflect its ongoing investment activities and relatively high lease-adjusted leverage. In early 2013, Walgreen planned an investment in AmerisourceBergen, which came on top of its 2012 investment in Alliance Boots. We believe both of those investments are being made in response to Walgreen's weakening competitive position, and we recently cut our moat rating to none from narrow on the firm. In 2012, Walgreen purchased a 45% stake in Alliance Boots, a European health and beauty retailer and international drug wholesaler. Walgreen retains the option to purchase the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots by 2015. Also, Walgreen plans to take up to a 23% ownership stake in drug distributor AmerisourceBergen by 2017. With those recent and planned investment activities, we estimate Walgreen's lease-adjusted debt/EBITDAR will remain above 3 times through 2017. Energy Fourth-Quarter Credit Rating Commentary
In the energy sector, during the fourth quarter we launched credit ratings on two companies and placed one company under review because of a large acquisition. In the exploration and production subsector, we initiated Halcon Resources (HK) (no moat) with a B- issuer credit rating. Our rating reflects Halcon's lack of an economic moat and its debt-fueled expansion, which resulted in substantial debt levels and very weak credit metrics, partially offset by the firm's rapid growth in production and EBITDA. Halcon remains a speculative credit as the firm seeks to delineate resources on its acquired acreage. In the midstream subsector, we initiated Cheniere Energy Partners (CQP) (wide moat) with a B+ issuer credit rating. Our rating is supported by the significant funding already secured to finance construction of the Sabine Pass liquefaction facility in Louisiana offset by the significant amount of debt amassed to fund the construction, the risk of construction delays, and the counterparty risk of Cheniere's customers. As operations at Cheniere's liquefied natural gas facility are scheduled to begin in late 2016, Cheniere near-term outlook will be driven by the firm hitting construction milestones. Also in the midstream subsector, we placed our BB- issuer credit rating of Regency Energy Partners (RGP) (no moat) under review after the company announced a merger agreement pursuant to which Regency will acquire midstream company PVR Partners for approximately $5.6 billion. Sector Updates and Top Bond Picks Basic Materials
Major chemical conglomerates continue to reallocate their asset portfolios to specialty chemicals and away from commodity chemicals. Recently, Dow Chemical (DOW) (rating: BBB, no moat) gave more details on plans to carve out a portion of its commodity chemicals business, specifically, assets in the chlorine value chain. Additionally, E.I. du Pont de Nemours has announced that it will separate its performance chemical segment from the rest of the company in a tax-free spin-off to shareholders. We expect large chemical companies to keep trimming commodity products from their portfolios. In general, we think this is a sound strategy assuming the company receives a fair price.
Uncertainty continues to surround the agricultural input markets as Russian Uralkali's late-July decision to leave the cartel-like Belarusian Potash Company and pursue a volume-over-price strategy has continued to roil markets. Producer profits have suffered from a lack of buyer interest in potash, as dealers and large purchasing countries hold out for lower expected prices. Price pressure has also affected nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer markets. In nitrogen, high urea imports from China have pressured prices, and in phosphate, major buyers have taken a step back from purchasing. Over the longer run, we think demand will normalize, probably as soon as next year. That said, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty regarding the path of future potash prices.
Supported by solid Chinese demand growth, prices for iron ore, the mining industry's biggest moneymaker, traded in the $130s for much of the fourth quarter. Through November, Chinese steel production was up 7.8% from last year, underpinned by renewed strong growth in infrastructure and real estate. Benchmark-grade iron ore has averaged $135 per metric ton year to date, slightly higher than our original forecast of $133. Looking ahead to the first quarter, the potential for cold weather, constraints at Chinese mines, and seasonally wet conditions in Brazil and Australia are reasons for tightness. However, with inventories of iron ore at Chinese ports up significantly from this time last year, we see iron ore prices on a downward trajectory as new supply hits the market. We expect prices to average $115 for 2014 before hitting our long-term price expectation of $96 in 2015. For the Big Three producers, BHP, Rio Tinto, and Vale (VALE) (rating: BBB+, narrow moat), we expect profits to remain robust. We continue to recommend avoiding high-cost producer Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) (rating: BB+, no moat) as we see these trends putting continued pressure on its bonds.Contributed by Dale Burrow Consumer Cyclical
For the coming quarter, we are closely watching acquisition activity, along with our usual issues of debt-funded share repurchases and dividends. We remain concerned that firms will impair their credit qualities in an attempt to grow revenue or return cash to shareholders. Gannett (GCI) (rating: BB/UR, narrow moat), R.R. Donnelley (RRD) (rating: BB, no moat), Advance Auto Parts (AAP) (rating: BBB-, no moat), and Hanesbrands (HBI) (rating: BBB-, no moat) have all leveraged up over the past quarter to fund acquisitions. VF Corp.'s (VFC) (rating: A, narrow moat) leverage has recently returned to pre-Timberland acquisition levels, but management has hinted that its leverage may rise again for a debt-funded acquisition. We are also concerned that Costco (COST) (rating: AA-, narrow moat) may be considering capital structure changes. We were left dismayed by management's response to a question on getting "more aggressive" on share repurchases given the low leverage level. The firm's response was that the board discusses this quarterly and to "stay tuned" for the next quarterly update. With lease-adjusted leverage around 1.6 times, we believe the firm has roughly $2 billion of additional debt capacity within its current AA- credit rating. This would bring leverage to just over 2 times. Any more debt taken on to reward shareholders in excess of this estimated amount could have a negative impact on our credit rating.
With these worries, we applaud those companies that continually reiterate their commitments to their credit qualities. In a recent earnings call, AutoZone (AZO) (rating: BBB, narrow moat) specifically highlighted its commitment to a BBB credit rating and intends to hold lease-adjusted leverage in the mid-2 times range toward this goal. Disney (DIS) (rating: A+, wide moat) plans to accelerate its share-repurchase activity but will not sacrifice its credit rating. Target (TGT) (rating: A, no moat) has reported sluggish results and pulled back on share repurchases, calling out its commitment to the strong A credit rating as being a driving force behind the level of share repurchases. Ralph Lauren (RL) (rating: A, narrow moat) recently highlighted its commitment to the current credit rating and stated that capital spending priorities within the constraints of the rating are investing in the business and returning excess cash to shareholders.Contributed by Joscelyn MacKay Consumer Defensive
For the sector, in 2014 we expect sales growth to only marginally exceed nominal GDP growth rates and operating income growth to range in the mid- to high single digits. With organic growth opportunities sluggish and cash balances building, management teams are increasingly feeling the pressure to deploy capital and we expect companies will continue to pursue strategic mergers and acquisitions. However, we expect that most transactions will be centered on smaller, strategic acquisitions rather than large, transformational or private equity sponsored deals. Firms will likely continue putting excess cash to use by building out their distribution platforms at home and abroad, and pursuing smaller, bolt-on transactions.
We expect that heightened competitive pressures will persist throughout the household and personal-care space in 2014. Value-conscious consumers are continually increasing their shopping across multiple competitors in many different channels, no doubt a function of minimal customer switching costs--a phenomenon that is evident around the world. As consumers seek out lower price channels, either through the Internet or from discount stores, traditional retailers are becoming more aggressive on price to fight for market share. As such, the traditional retail channel is pressuring consumer products companies to share in the margin contraction by providing additional marketing support and price cuts, or by investing in new product innovation to drive sales.
In such an environment, we believe it is increasingly important to invest in those firms with demonstrable wide economic moats that have the wherewithal and strong brands to fend off this pressure from the traditional retail channel. One such example is Clorox (CLX) (rating: A-, wide moat), whose bonds we recommend as an overweight. Partially due to our assessment that the firm has a wide economic moat, we rate Clorox one notch higher than both of the rating agencies. Clorox operates with market-leading brands and a relative cost advantage, which in combination allow the firm to sustain leading market share and generate solid returns and excess cash flow. Clorox's brand strength is undeniable, as nearly 90% of its portfolio holds the number-one or -two spot in the aisle. Further, Clorox ensures that its strong competitive position remains intact by investing significant resources behind its brands and this spending is yielding market share gains.
Currently, Clorox’s 3.05% senior notes due in 2022 yield 3.85%, representing a +117-basis-point spread over the nearest Treasury. While the notes are not cheap enough to warrant a place on our Best Ideas list, we think the bonds are cheap compared with other A- rated bonds within the consumer defensive sector such as Kellogg’s (K) (rating: A-, narrow moat) 3.125% senior notes due in 2022, which trade at +108. Clorox’s notes are also cheap compared with the average A- rated credit spread within the Industrials segment of the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index, which is +104.Contributed by Dave Sekera, CFA Energy
In our fourth-quarter outlook, we focused on two near-term issues; natural gas price volatility and crude price differentials in the U.S. We continue focus on these key themes and also highlight building concerns in the offshore drilling market.
The outlook for natural gas prices remains promising although the recent run-up in spot prices following an early season blast of cold air across the country leaves little room for further gains. Natural gas storage level of 3,533 billion cubic feet as of Dec. 6 is over 7% below the 2012 level at this time and 3% lower than the five-year average level. Offsetting this positive data point, natural gas production volumes have remained stubbornly high and are on an upward trajectory. While we have a positive view of industrial and power generation demand in the long term, these sources of incremental demand will not grow fast enough to offset production gains in the near term. As a result, unless the country experiences unseasonably cold temperatures, the recent rally in natural gas prices will be short lived. Cimarex Energy (XEC) (rating: BBB–, narrow moat) and Chesapeake Energy (CHK) (rating: B+, narrow moat) should benefit from the recent move higher in spot prices.
In the refining sector, credit spreads regained some of their third quarter widening as the price differential between West Texas Intermediate and Brent crudes, which is a key determinant of refining profitability, expanded to more than $13 per barrel. While a $13 differential is roughly in line with our long-term estimate and will lead to sustainable profitability for U.S. refiners, the differential remains volatile. As such, despite tightening in the fourth quarter, we believe that spreads on refiners' debt fail to fully reflect the fundamental improvement in domestic refining. We project that the WTI/Brent differential will begin to stabilize in 2014, leading to further spread tightening in the first quarter.
Offshore drillers reported solid third-quarter earnings which lead to spread tightening across the sector in the fourth quarter. With spreads now roughly 10 to 15 basis points wide of the tight levels reached in early 2013, we recommend investors exercise caution as the long-term outlook for day rates is less certain than it was at the start of the year. We note growing concern in the market about a potential oversupply of deep-water rigs toward the end of 2014, given the large number of newbuild deliveries. We are also tracking an increase in rig mobilizations, which will lower utilization levels and day rates, as rigs move to regions where demand is greatest.Contributed by David Schivell Financials
Third-quarter 2013 saw continued improvement in credit costs and asset quality across U.S. banks. For instance, according to FDIC data (FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile, Third Quarter 2012), net charge-offs have improved nearly 50% from third-quarter 2012 levels to represent 0.6% of total loans and leases, the lowest level since third-quarter 2007. Similarly, provisions for loan losses were 60.4% lower than the year-earlier period, representing the smallest quarterly loss provision reported by the industry since the third quarter of 1999. Lower provisions have been a significant contributor to earnings year to date in 2013. Similarly, asset quality, as measured by noncurrent assets plus other real estate owned to assets, improved to an annualized rate of 1.75% from a peak of 3.37% reached in 2009. Finally, capital is at modern-era highs of 11.38% for all FDIC-insured institutions from 9.62% in 2008. We expect the combination of modest economic growth in the first quarter of 2014, tight lending standards, and continuing regulatory scrutiny to maintain these trends beneficial to bank profitability. However, the rate of improvement during 2014 is likely to slow, limiting their impact on the bottom line. Finally, we see the risk of shareholder-friendly releveraging in financial issuers as less than in nonfinancial issuers because of capital restrictions imposed on banks by regulators.
In November, Moody’s resolved its negative watch on the eight G-SIFI banks by downgrading the senior holding company ratings of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon, State Street, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley due to removing all U.S. government support included in the ratings. Moody’s believes that the US bank resolution tools, supported by the Dodd-Frank Act Title II OLA/SPE, have improved. Under this framework, regulators would impose losses on bank holding company creditors to recapitalize and preserve the operations of the bank’s operating subsidiaries. This position emphasized our long-held belief that bank-level (operating company) subordinate debt is structurally senior to holding company senior debt and as a result, should trade at least on top of senior holding company debt. Although this class of debt is difficult to find, we continue to recommend the Regions Bank 7.50% subordinated note due in May 2018, which trade approximately 35 basis points wide of the 2% Regions Financial (RF) (rating: BBB, no moat) holding company senior notes due in 2018. We also like the bank-level JPM Chase & Co. 6.00% subordinated note due in July, 2017, which trades approximately 30 basis points wide of JPMorgan (JPM) (rating: A, narrow moat) 2% due in 2017 indicated at +103 to the nearest Treasury. Similarly, we believe the PNC Bank NA 2.95% subordinated debt due in 2023, which trades approximately 20 basis points wide of the PNC Financial Services Group 3.3% senior holding company debt due in 2023 indicated at +110 to the nearest Treasury, is attractive. Despite the high coupons, we like the Suntrust Bank subordinated 7.25% note due in March 2018, which trades approximately 20 basis points wide of the SunTrust Banks (STI) (rating: BBB, no moat), which are indicated at +115 to the nearest Treasury. In time, we believe that regulators could apply the OLA/SPE framework to regional banks, in which case, investors should continue to emphasize bank-level debt over holding company debt.Contributed by Chris Baker Health Care
In early 2014, the Affordable Care Act will usher in major changes to the U.S. health-care system. This reform effort aims to expand coverage to the uninsured (increasing volume) while also bending the health-care cost curve (pressuring prices), creating an overall neutral effect in the long-run for most industry players. However, we see some downside risks at health-care service providers and managed-care organizations. For service providers, being on the front lines of the expected ACA pricing pressure may cause some profitability hiccups, especially in the near term. Since most of the service providers we cover are highly leveraged, we believe bond investors should remain cautious with firms like HCA (HCA) (rating: B+, no moat) and Kindred Healthcare (KND) (rating: B-, no moat) in early 2014. Also, the ACA will negatively affect managed-care profitability primarily through standardization initiatives, minimum medical loss ratios, and less-profitable Medicare Advantage contracts. In an industry where profitability looks set to contract, we believe bond investors should focus on the most profitable and most advantaged managed-care organizations, which are UnitedHealth (UNH) (rating: A-, narrow moat) and WellPoint (rating: BBB+, narrow moat), as they will likely have more room for error in this changing landscape.
While more immune to the ACA than service providers and managed-care organizations, other health-care niches are dealing with slow growth outlooks because of unrelated fundamental factors, such as a steep patent cliff in pharmaceuticals. During this weak growth period, we believe management teams have incentive to boost growth through debt-funded acquisitions or to appease shareholders through higher dividends and share repurchases. In the large pharmaceutical niche, we recognize AstraZeneca (AZN) (rating: AA-, wide moat), Eli Lilly (LLY) (rating: AA, wide moat), and Pfizer (PFE) (rating: AA, wide moat) as having the weakest fundamental outlooks in the industry and, therefore, the most incentive to pursue such activities, which could cut into their credit profiles going forward. On our Bonds to Avoid list, Mylan MYL (rating: BB+, narrow moat) also has incentive to pursue activities that could hurt its credit metrics, in our opinion.
Contributed by Julie Stralow, CFA Industrials
After a solid November, we expect strong December auto sales in the U.S. and expect this momentum to flow into 2014 in part because of cheap credit available to consumers combined with ongoing pent-up demand. Our constructive thesis on the auto sector continues to play out and we have seen more names rise to investment grade from junk. Most recently, Best Idea Delphi (DLPH) (rating: BBB, narrow moat) got raised a notch to BBB- by S&P. This follows TRW Automotive’s (TRW) (rating: BBB-, no moat) upgrade by S&P in a similar manner in September. We had generally maintained overweight views on TRW ahead of its most recent 10-year offering, which priced aggressively. Additionally, former Best Idea Ford (F) (rating: BBB-, no moat) continues to rally sharply after its September upgrade to investment grade by S&P to levels arguably better than a BBB, and we moved to market weight. We see better value elsewhere and added BorgWarner (BWA) (rating: A-, narrow moat) and AutoNation (AN) (rating: BBB-, narrow moat) to our Best Ideas. We expect generally favorable domestic trends to support AutoNation’s leading dealer network, and global growth and emerging regulatory environment to support BorgWarner. We’ve highlighted bonds maturing in under seven years for these names, which could reduce downside risk either from tight sector spreads backing up or higher overall interest rates.

We continue to expect the homebuilding industry to move higher off the extreme lows realized during the long, drawn-out downturn. Starts remain below 1 million units--far short of the normalized range of 1.5 million--as higher mortgage rates have caused a pause in order growth. We expect more fits and starts in the near term as we approach the important spring selling season with the prospects of tapering and higher rates on the horizon. Indeed, on Toll Brothers’ (TOL) (rating: BBB-, no moat) recent earnings call management highlighted that the industry has been “flat” since Aug. 1. The success of the spring selling season, which begins the week before the Super Bowl, will provide a better indicator for the health of the new-home market. We expect the recent pause will prove to be just that and not housing recession round two, given recovering household formations, a gradual strengthening of the economy, and historically still-supportive housing affordability. We remain overweight Toll, which leveraged up to make a $1.6 billion cash acquisition of Shapell Industries but is now focused on debt reduction. We continue to view Toll’s land position and focus on the luxury market as favorable relative to the current industry dynamics.
The aerospace and defense subsectors should continue to move in opposite directions as strong commercial order activity supports the former while mandated budget cuts hinder the latter. Costly fuel and the renewed financial strength of underlying airline customers has driven the backlog at Boeing (BA) (rating: A, narrow moat) and EADS (rating: A-, narrow moat) to record levels, which will flow through to free cash flow. That said, we view both as fairly valued. Our defense credits face ongoing cuts from sequestration and look likely to post top-line declines in the 5% area in 2014. These companies have done a fantastic job managing margins to minimize the impact. However, increasing share repurchases and dividends are resulting in softer credit metrics. We see the best value in BAE Systems (BAESY) (rating: BBB+, narrow moat), whose 144a yankee bonds provide a nice premium to the peer group. We are also monitoring Textron (TXT) (rating: BBB-, narrow moat), which is a prospective buyer of Beechcraft. Depending on this deal and the financial structure, we believe Textron could represent an interesting investment opportunity that could play out during the quarter.Contributed by Rick Tauber, CFA, CPA Technology and Telecommunications
Spreads have generally tightened across both the telecom and technology sectors over the past quarter. Of note, Verizon’s (VZ) (rating: BBB, narrow moat) mammoth debt offering has continued to trade well, with its 5.15% notes due in 2023 tightening another 20 basis points to +146 to the nearest Treasury, or 80 basis points tighter than where they were offered last September. AT&T (T) (rating: A-, narrow moat) has followed Verizon tighter, but not to the same degree, as investors apparently remain concerned with the prospect of a European acquisition. We don’t share this concern. AT&T continues to maintain that its interest in Europe is primarily based on valuations. We believe the fact that AT&T hasn't moved on a transaction in Europe, more than a year after initially indicating its interest, demonstrates that management is taking a disciplined approach to any investment. More broadly, AT&T has consistently reiterated that maintaining an A- rating is a priority for the firm. We believe AT&T bonds are attractive, including its 2.625% notes due in 2022, which trade at +132 basis points to the nearest Treasury.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) (rating: BBB+, narrow moat), which is on our Investment Grade Best Ideas list, has tightened more over the past three months than any other technology firm we cover. While the PC and printing segments remain a drag on HP’s results, the rate of decline in these businesses moderated during the firm’s fiscal fourth quarter (ended October). In addition, the enterprise group posted revenue growth for the first time in several quarters, with strength across industry standard servers, networking, and storage. More importantly, HP wrapped up the fiscal year with another quarter of solid cash generation and debt reduction. We expect HP to continue to modestly trim debt over the next year while looking to improve its competitive position in key enterprise segments. The firm has reached its goal of pushing net operating company debt to zero, providing some flexibility to begin seeking strategic acquisitions during 2014. While certainly not as attractive as a quarter ago, we believe the firm’s bonds still have room to tighten another 20 basis points or so.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) (rating: BBB-, wide moat) has been the biggest exception to the general tightening trend across the tech and telecom group as M&A rumors around the firm have heated up recently. Heavily leveraged Charter Communications (CHTR) (not rated) is apparently readying an offer for TWC, which would almost certainly drag TWC into high-yield territory. TWC bonds now trade as if a move to high yield is a foregone conclusion. The firm’s 4.0% notes due in 2021 yield 5.4%, or a spread of +305 basis points to the nearest Treasury. CCO Holdings, Charter’s primary subsidiary, has 5.25% notes due in 2022 that carry a yield-to-worst of about 6.3%, a spread of about +367 basis points. The CCO notes have nearly a full turn of structurally senior and/or secured debt in front of them, while the TWC notes contain provisions that sharply restrict the amount of secured debt that TWC can issue. While we believe there are legitimate reasons for Charter to pursue TWC, we also believe that current equity valuations make it challenging to put a deal together. As such, the TWC bonds present a compelling risk/reward proposition.Contributed by Michael Hodel, CFA Utilities/Power
Two U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations continue to cloud the sector's near- to medium-term landscape. Coal plant retirements and increased capital investment are two likely outcomes from final versions of the EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the air toxics rule, or MATS (finalized in December 2011). In 2013, the EPA updated stringent emission limits affecting new coal- and oil-fired power plants, effectively killing any economic incentive to build new coal plants in the U.S. While CSAPR was fully vacated in 2012 and the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit) denied the EPA's petition for a rehearing in January 2013, the U.S. solicitor general in March 2013 petitioned the Supreme Court to review the D.C. Circuit's decision. In June 2013, the Supreme Court granted the U.S. petition to review the Circuit Court's decision, and in September 2013, the U.S. filed its opening merits brief. The solicitor general's request specifically addresses whether the court of appeals lacked jurisdiction, whether states are excused from adopting state implementation plans, and whether the EPA interpreted the statutory term "contribute significantly" correctly regarding air pollution contributions from upwind states. We believe these two rules are likely to raise costs for consumers and place increased rate pressure on regulated utilities. Additionally, we believe President Barack Obama will provide continued support for carbon emission and renewable energy regulations as outlined in, “The President’s Climate Action Plan.”
Despite environmental compliance risks, we continue to view fully regulated utilities as a defensive safe haven for investors skittish about ongoing domestic and Eurozone induced market volatility. As economic and geopolitical uncertainties begin to fade in 2014, we expect moderate spread contraction, particularly down the credit quality spectrum. However, given historically tight parent company spreads on higher-quality utilities facing lackluster growth, we continue to urge bond investors to approach investment-grade utilities with caution. We advise utility investors to focus on shorter- to medium-term durations, as any Treasury rate increase in 2014 could quickly erode spread outperformance, given historically tight trading levels. Moreover, we believe investors seeking yield should tread lightly when considering opportunities within diversified utilities. We believe elevated downgrade risks exist, given continued weakness at unregulated genco subsidiaries, and specifically highlight FirstEnergy (FE) (rating BBB-, narrow moat) as a possible source of concern in the new year.
We expect high-quality, fully regulated utility issuers to maintain their elevated pace of debt market issuance into the first-quarter 2014, taking advantage of low rates to refinance or prefinance maintenance, environmental, and rate base growth capital investments. However, the timing of debt-funded environmental capital expenditures will remain highly dependent on the severity of ongoing regulatory rulings, implementation timelines, and energy-efficiency initiatives. Finally, we believe utilities are eager to secure financing ahead of expected Federal Reserve monetary policy changes in 2014.
Unregulated independent power producers continue to face high uncertainty in 2014. Power prices will remain severely strained as long as natural gas prices remain low. Excess natural gas supply and an unseasonably warm 2013-14 winter could push gas prices, currently hovering around the $4.41/mmBtu mark, back down to 2012's historical lows ($1.91/mmBtu). While we maintain our $5.40/mcf midcycle gas price estimate going into 2014, we recognize that independent power producers' margins will continue to experience pressure over the near to medium term. On the other hand, we note moderately declining natural gas storage levels, totaling 3,533 billion cubic feet (as of Dec. 6, 2013), are now 3% below their five-year average of 3,642 billion cubic feet (and down 7% year over year). Moreover, we believe coal prices will generally remain under pressure in 2014 as myriad environmental regulations stymie coal demand.
We continue to expect stand-alone and embedded merchant power producers (within diversified utilities) to experience elevated liquidity constraints, particularly power producers that own uncontrolled coal plants as well as those that have substantial leverage. Specifically, we believe Energy Future Holdings (formerly TXU Corp.) will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, likely by the first-quarter 2014 due to an insolvency opinion, creating one of the largest bankruptcies in U.S. history (about $47 billion of debt). We also believe Ameren's (AEE) (rating: BBB-, narrow moat) sale of its merchant Energy Resources Generating Company to Dynegy reflects the changing utility landscape (that is, reduced diversified utility operators) despite our belief that select coal generation should garner much higher asset values in the future (dollar per kW).
While we expect company-level M&A activity to moderate in 2014, we anticipate robust renewables deal activity to fuel the ongoing creation and expansion of industry-wide Yieldco structures. Given high demand-for long-term contracted renewable assets (via PPAs), we highlight independent power producer NRG Energy’s (NRG) (rating: BB-, no moat) fourth-quarter 2013 proposed acquisition of Edison International’s (EIX) (rating: UR+/BBB-, narrow moat) merchant subsidiary, Edison Mission Energy, out of bankruptcy for $2.6 billion (expected first-quarter 2014 close). Moreover, we expect continued renewables deal activity to fuel the growth of TransAlta Renewables and to support the development of NextEra Energy’s (NEE) (rating: BBB+, narrow moat) anticipated Yieldco structure in 2014.Contributed by Joseph DeSapri Our Top Bond Picks
We pick bonds on a relative-value basis. Typically, this means comparing a bond's spread with spreads on bonds that involve comparable credit risk and duration. Following is a sample of a few issues from our monthly Best Ideas publication for institutions.
When selecting from bonds of different maturities from a single issuer, we weigh a variety of factors, including liquidity, our moat rating (we're willing to buy longer-dated bonds from a firm with sustainable competitive advantages), and our year-by-year forecast of the firm's cash flows in comparison with the yield pickup along the curve.
Top Bond Picks
Data as of Dec. 13, 2013. Price, yield, and spread are provided by Advantage Data.
SABMiller (SAB) (rating: A, wide moat)
Maturity: 2035
Coupon: 5.88%
Price: $109.63
Yield: 5.13%
Spread to Treasuries: 146
SABMiller issued several benchmark-size bonds in January 2012 to finance the acquisition of Foster's Group. While leverage did increase appreciably to finance this acquisition, we believe the firm will continue to repay debt and return to pre-acquisition leverage by 2015. We previously opined that the existing trading levels for SABMiller were cheap for the rating and relative to its competitors in the beverage sector, such as Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD) (rating: A-, wide moat). Anheuser-Busch's 2.625% senior notes due in 2023 are indicated at +90, whereas SAB's 3.75% senior notes due in 2022 are trading at +115 and SAB's 4.95% senior notes due in 2042 are indicated at +115. As leverage at SAB declines, we think the notes will continue to tighten toward Anheuser-Busch InBev's levels. SAB's 2035s look particularly attractive as they trade significantly wider than the on-the-run bonds.
BorgWarner (BWA) (rating: A-, narrow moat)
Maturity: 2020
Coupon: 4.63%
Price: $104.75
Yield: 3.82%
Spread to Treasuries: 165
Our credit rating on BorgWarner is one to two notches higher than the rating agencies in part because of our narrow economic moat assessment. The firm has maintained modest gross leverage of about 1 times over the years and has a highly impressive record even through the recent downturns of maintaining positive free cash flow and earnings. We believe the firm is well positioned to take advantage of global auto regulations around fuel economies and emissions, which should result in steady growth over our forecast horizon. We see good value in the notes listed above, which are indicated well wide of supplier Johnson Controls’ (JCI) (rating: BBB+, narrow moat) 3.75% senior notes due in 2021 at +138 over the nearest Treasury, which we view as fair.
Express Scripts (ESRX) (rating: A-, wide moat)
Maturity: 2022
Coupon: 3.90%
Price: $100.25
Yield: 3.86%
Spread to Treasuries: 131
Express Scripts has met its deleveraging goal of 2 times net debt/EBITDA within 18 months of the Medco acquisition, which closed in April 2012. As of September, the firm’s net debt/EBITDA stood at 1.9 times on a trailing 12-month basis by our estimates. While we do not expect Express Scripts to actively deleverage further, especially given its large share-repurchase program, we see upgrade potential in the agencies’ ratings even if the firm sustains its current debt leverage, which would be a spread-tightening catalyst, in our opinion. On a lease-adjusted basis, Express Scripts’ debt leverage just dropped below key peer CVS Caremark’s leverage. However, CVS Caremark’s 2023s have been launched at 125 basis points over Treasuries, creating an attractive relative value opportunity for Express Scripts bond investors in our opinion. We believe Express Scripts notes should trade inside CVS’ notes, and we see significant spread tightening potential (about 30 basis points) in Express Scripts’ notes if they were to trade at our fair value of +115 basis points over the nearest Treasury.
Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM) (rating: A+, wide moat)
Maturity: 2023
Coupon: 3.38%
Price: $91.38
Yield: 4.53%
Spread to Treasuries: 176
We believe Maxim is a stronger company than it may appear at first glance. The firm has a strong position in the high-performance analog semiconductor business. Analog chip design expertise is not easy to come by, so firms that have spent years developing proprietary designs and retaining experienced engineers have an advantage over new entrants. These designs do not rapidly evolve or require cutting-edge production techniques, which enables strong profitability. Maxim has entered more competitive markets in recent years, including the consumer electronics market. The firm has built a strong relationship with Samsung, which has introduced customer concentration risk and more volatile results. However, we believe the underlying high-performance analog business provides a stable base of business that the consumer market sometimes masks. Maxim’s 10-year notes trade at a spread more appropriate for a BBB rated issuer. We believe these notes should trade at least in line with Broadcom (BRCM) (rating: A, narrow moat) and Analog Devices (ADI) (rating: A+, wide moat), whose 10-year notes trade at +121 and +118 basis points to the nearest Treasury, respectively. We’d also note that Texas Instruments (TXN) (rating: A+, narrow moat) 10-year notes trade far tighter at +83 basis points to the nearest Treasury. While Texas Instruments is much larger than Maxim, it also carries more leverage.
AutoNation (AN) (rating: BBB-, narrow moat)
Maturity: 2020
Coupon: 5.50%
Price: $107.25
Yield: 4.15%
Spread to Treasuries: 217
AutoNation is the premier auto dealer in our coverage group and the only one rated investment grade. The company’s recent record third-quarter earnings included revenue growth of nearly 14%. Management maintains a disciplined capital-allocation strategy with a priority of investing in the business and then returning cash to shareholders, while also keeping credit metrics solid. The company has maintained rent-adjusted leverage in the low-3 times area, where we expect it to stay. We believe investors are well compensated for the credit risks and highlight other auto comps such as TRW, whose 2021 maturity bonds trade at a spread of about +205 basis points over the nearest Treasury or Ford Motor Credit, whose intermediate-term bonds trade in the +150 area. AutoNation's 2018 bonds are indicated in the +200 area, and we see the 5.50% notes trading toward that level in the next year or so as they approach a five-year maturity.
Dave Sekera, CFA, has a position in the following securities mentioned above: HK JPM ESRX
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tiffany and co Tiffany & Company ( TIF ) posted impressive second-quarter fiscal 2014 results. The company delivered earnings of 96 cents a share, way ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 86 cents and higher than the prior-year quarter’s 83 cents. Results benefited from higher sales and improved gross margin.cheap tiffany & co jewelry Tiffany & Co - Earnings Surprise | FindTheBest  tiffany jewelry outlet Shares of this jewelry retailer rose roughly 3% on the index in the pre-market trading session.tiffany jewelry Tiffany posted net sales of $992.9 million during the quarter, up 7% from the prior-year quarter, driven by healthy performance primarily across the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions. Moreover, total revenue came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $990 million. In constant currencies, net sales jumped 7%, whereas comparable-store sales (comps) climbed 3%.tiffany and co By geographic segments, sales in the Americas grew 9% to $484 million, while comps rose by 8%; sales in the Asia-Pacific region climbed 14% to $237 million whereas comps increased 7%; sales in Japan declined 13% to $119 million and comps fell 15%; and sales in Europe jumped 8% to $120 million but comps dropped 2%. Other region sales surged 28% to $33 million whereas comps grew 2%.tiffany outlet online In constant currencies, sales in the Americas rose 10%, while comps grew by 8% during the quarter; sales in the Asia-Pacific region grew 13%, whereas comps rose 7%; sales in Japan fell 10%, while comps also decreased by 13%; and sales in Europe inched up 1%, whereas comps fell 8%. Gross profit for the quarter increased 11.8% to $595.2 million, while gross margin expanded 240 basis points to 59.9% due to lower product cost and increase in prices. Operating income jumped 17.9% to $208.5 million, while operating margin increased 190 basis points to 21%. The margin improvement was driven by higher gross margin. Store Update Tiffany opened 1 outlet in the Americas in Aventura, FL during the quarter. The company in fiscal 2014 plans to open 10 stores — four in the Americas, two in Asia-Pacific, two in Japan, and one each in Europe and Russia, and shut down 3 stores—one each in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and the U.A.E. As of Jul 31, 2014, the company operated 293 stores (122 in the Americas, 72 in Asia-Pacific, 55 in Japan, 38 in Europe and 5 in the U.A.E. and 1 in Russia). Other Financial Details Tiffany ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments of $398.4 million, and total short-term and long-term debt of $1,025.5 million, reflecting 35% of shareholders equity. Capital expenditures of $91 million were incurred in the first-half of fiscal 2014. Management projected capital expenditure of $270 million and expects to generate free cash flow of at least $400 million in fiscal 2014. Tiffany bought back shares worth $9 million in the quarter. In Mar 2014, the company’s board of directors had authorized a share repurchase program of $300 million, which is slated to expire on Mar 2017. As of Jul 31, the company had $284 million at its disposal under share repurchase authorization. Guidance Following healthy results, Tiffany raised its earnings expectations. The company now projects fiscal 2014 earnings between $4.20 and $4.30 per share against $4.15 and $4.25 expected earlier. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2014 is $4.28 per share, which could witness an upward revision in the coming days. Tiffany now project total net sales growth in a high single-digit percentage for fiscal 2014. Zacks Rank Tiffany currently sports a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked retail stocks include Citi Trends, Inc. ( CTRN ) and Signet Jewelers Ltd. ( SIG ) sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), as well as Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ( ANF ) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Read the Full Research Report on ANF Read the Full Research Report on TIF Read the Full Research Report on SIG Read the Full Research Report on CTRN Zacks Investment Research
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Nothing can outshine the grandeur of vintage objects. They have their own timeless value etched deep in the past. No wonder people get drawn to these things the moment they see them and feel like buying them instinctively. One such antique item is a watch designed years ago. Owning one is about a great deal of passion and understanding. There simply isn’t a shortcut for this. Working on it with zest and devotion for almost 24 years is Germany-born Dubai-based Tariq Malik, known as one of the most renowned antique watch collectors in the Middle East today. His journey as a watch collector pretty much began when he had his first proper watch. That’s when he realized and nurtured his passion for vintage watches. “It was in 1997 when I bought this beautiful piece — a Rolex Oyster Precision of 1961 in stainless steel with a silver dial and manual winding from a fellow dealer and collector who had bought it from Vietnam,” he says. Here, he had to play a persuasive role to get hold of it from him. It wasn’t easy. “This man wanted to keep it for himself. I liked it so much that he sold it to me without much ado but under two conditions that I had to agree with him on. Firstly, I should keep it for myself and don’t ever think of selling it and secondly, if I ever change my mind and sell it he has the right to buy it back,” says Malik. “I paid around DHS 2000 at the time. It’s worth more than six times today. It’s my favorite watch and it’s the one I wear most and will never sell it.” Family link He comes from a family that has been digging into the F&B business for more than 25 years. He was caught by the Swatch collecting bug when he was 15. And in the early 1990s, he bought his first Swatch for 125 German Deutsche Mark and was able to sell it for double the amount after a few weeks. “For a few years, I was constantly buying and selling Swatch watches and in so doing developing my interest for watches. After the Swatch bubble, what was left was a community or just a hungry bunch of watch enthusiasts who rather preferred to join the high-end watches market,” he says. “I for myself went the vintage track. I attended watch shows, auctions and networking events. Through it all, I consistently kept educating myself. In a way, it was more like an addiction for which I developed a never-ending passion.” In between it, he had a stopover allowing him to think about why not make his passion a part of commerce. This business-driven idea led Malik to open a store where he could put his watch collection on sale for those who are interested in them. “I am a watch guy. Wherever I travel and I love traveling, the first thing I do is go find out vintage watch shops. I love to browse through showcases to find those special pieces.” Being an avid traveler, he visited Dubai once to meet his childhood friend Anas. One day, they both went out looking for watches and started their search in malls as part of their plan. “I was impressed by the luxury watches Dubai has, all those boutiques representing almost all major brands, but at the same time I was surprised and a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a single outlet offering vintage watches,” he says. But for Malik, it was a Eureka moment to try his luck. He realized that Dubai was a great marketplace in every way to be introduced to the world of vintage watches. “That’s how I launched Momentum Dubai in late 2011 — the first vintage watches store in Dubai with my friend Anas who now is my business partner and it fulfilled my desire to host a community of people who love the gleam of watches,” he says. “We researched the market from all angles for seven months, selecting the right inventory, the right boutique environment, and an excellent branding strategy.” It’s not like any ordinary or second hand watch shop. There is something spectacular about this store that you will feel if you drop by. At the end of the day, it’s not only about buying and selling watches where all big brands starting from Rolex, Omega, Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, Cartier, IWC and many more collide together. “When working with vintage watches, you need to make sure you provide the entire eco-system around the watch. We wanted to create a platform where watch enthusiasts find all needful provisions like watch maintenance, servicing and repairing, watch accessories, evaluation and consultation services and more,” he says. Besides, the other most important thing surrounding the vintage watch eco-system is education. “This goes hand in hand with the clients we handle right from the start. So it’s right there when a client asks a question about a watch. We take our time, sit down with them and talk watches. It’s about the story behind a watch, the history and lots of details. Vintage watches mark the personal experiences of their owners where our role is to help in preserving their histories safe and sound,” he says. Another hot spot for vintage watches The Arabs’ growing obsession with vintage watches has caught the attention of the international market in a huge way. And Dubai is at the forefront of this revolution with international events like the GPHG or Christie's watch auctions taking place here every now and then and creating awareness. “I have visited and held quite a few gatherings among watch fans and people just talk about watches. We have seen a significant increase in demand for special pieces which is proof that this market is becoming more and more sophisticated when it comes to watches,” explains Malik. According to him, there are a good number of big collectors out there who used to buy their watches in auctions and trips abroad. But things are changing. “These collectors are slowly finding us and sharing their passion with us,” he says. As this market expands, all high-end watch manufacturers are rushing to make their presence felt in the prestigious local malls. This is partly driven by the curiosity of the local clientele who have become savvier and more sophisticated. Asked how big the Middle East market is, he said, “Overall, the luxury goods market has grown and evolved in Middle East over the last decade. As for the vintage market, this has been growing internationally and I expect it has reached a remarkable size in the Middle East too.” Not only that, Malik wants to see Dubai being counted as a favorite destination for vintage watches. “The vintage watch markets in London, New York, Hong Kong and Geneva have had a tremendous run in the last 20 years and built up collectors’ communities and huge networks of dealers. We are very confident that in a few years Dubai will be on the same map with all the important vintage watch destinations,” he said. Everything depends upon the mood of the market as to which pieces are in high demand. On one hand, it’s the international vintage watch auctions that determine what’s interesting and on the other hand it’s the watch brands. “For the past few years, watch manufacturers have been re-launching heritage models which create a high demand for them as well. People want to wear what’s rare and hard to find,” he says. “The key is to stand out.” Well, Malik’s own favorite pieces that he loves to wear are his first ever Rolex Oyster Precision from 1961, a 1975 Rolex GMT Master Pepsi, a 1978 Rolex Day Date and many more. Nonetheless, he treats all his watches with the same love. Shedding light on the pieces that have been sold the most so far, he said, “I would say Rolex retains the top spot in this category. I am observing the Vintage Rolex collecting craze for a while now since I am collecting myself and the demand is steadily increasing.” There are other brands too whose names are to reckon with. Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre and Panerai have always resonated with watch collectors. These watches, including Rolex are not only bought to show the time but they reflect a lifestyle and say a lot about their wearer while, at the same time, are great investments. “Vintage watches, when chosen from a prestigious brand retain and increase in value. Some collectible pieces even skyrocket in value as proven by international watch auctions. Last but not the least the results achieved for vintage Rolex have exceeded those for Patek Philippe watches and this means something to take in,” he admits. Different tastes Both genders have different preferences when it comes to buying antique watches for themselves. Women prefer something trendy. They are more interested in brands and the aesthetics of a timepiece. The watch has to be rare and hard to find so vintage can be one of the best options whereas men appreciate the mechanics involved behind a watch, the craftsmanship and the value as an investment. They appreciate the iconic status of a watch such as Speedmaster Moonwatch, James Bond Submariner, Paul Newman Daytona, etc. His clientele is quite diverse. “We have watch aficionados in their 50s and 60s with a lot of gravitas and truly impressive collections who look for very specific items, noticeably quite a few UAE nationals among them. We also have younger watch enthusiasts who have just discovered vintage and are about to make their first investments. Increasingly, we have noticed ladies are building up vintage watch collections as well,” he says. Asked whether he has a team in different countries to source these collections, he said, “Yes, I do. We have a small team in Germany that covers the European market but I do travel a lot hunting for special pieces myself, going to see collectors and dealers. Each piece is hand-picked. It’s very exciting to travel for watches. You never know what you are going to find. My business partners and I do travel at least 6-8 times a year to source watches. Apart from that, we have a network of dealers we work with and they are spread around the world.” Things to keep in mind while purchasing There is a vicious side to it all in the market. There are numerous shops selling replicas of vintage watches. Often, the customers become victims of this widespread scam. But you can save yourself from it if you tend to have the right knowledge. It’s always good to check with other collectors and read on reputable brand forums. Dials are being replaced by fakes or being repainted, sometimes even artificially aged. “I have seen quite a few very bad paint jobs, not to speak of misspellings and wrong logos. Well, re-painted dials are a bit trickier but I’ve seen so many in the last 20 years that with experience and a trained eye even those can be unmasked,” he says. The other important part that needs a closer look is of the movement. If the model is meant to have an automatic or manual machine, then you mustn't find anything else in there. Certain movements have been made for certain models. Moreover, it’s necessary to check whether the movement was available in the year the model was made. You also need to find out reference and serial numbers of a watch to make sure the components belong together. You can also dig into the history of the related models. Taking care of vintage watches Like humans, machines also need care. Mechanical watches should be serviced every 3-4 years. The lubrication in the movement can dry out, so it’s necessary to clean and replace it in order to keep all parts lubricated. But keep in mind that the aging hands or dials aren’t replaced. In fact, these aging parts keep the value of the watch alive. Make sure these watches aren’t in contact with magnetic fields as they can cause parts of the movement to move erratically. As for future plans, he certainly has a list of items lined up. “We have just launched the new accessories website, but realistically, we don’t anticipate retail site growth in it until 2015. Eventually, that further expansion might include sites in countries such as Kuwait or the Lebanon — and when we feel the time is right, we will expand our offer and build a footprint in these potentially important markets,” he says. — Email: [email protected] buy omega watches
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What should the Tigers give Derek Jeter as a farewell present?
By Patrick OKennedy
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on Aug 25 2014, 7:00a
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Derek Jeter will likely be making the final trip of his career to Detroit when the Yankees play the Tigers at Comerica Park. What should the Tigers give Jeter as a parting gift?
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watches The Derek Jeter farewell tour continues when the New York Yankees visit Detroit for a three game series beginning on Tuesday at Comerica Park. Wherever Jeter has gone this season, opposing clubs have presented him with parting gifts.
copy watches In Houston, Jeter received a Stetson hat and a pair of pin striped cowboy boots, presented by former team mates, and former Astros Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite. In Anaheim, he was presented with a pinstriped surf board by none other than the big fish out of water himself, Mike Trout. The New York Mets gave Jeter a box of number 2 cupcakes (no, that's not like it sounds). Even the arch-enemy Boston Red Sox got in on the act, presenting the Yankee captain with the number '2' from the Fenway Park scoreboard.
top brand watches A pinstriped guitar from the Cleveland Indians, a bench made of baseball bats from the Chicago White Sox, and various checks made payable to Jeter's charity foundation are among the gifts that have been bestowed on Jeter as he makes his farewell tour around the major leagues for the final time this season.
fake watches So, I got to thinking: What should the Detroit Tigers give to Jeter, a native of Michigan, as a final parting gift?  I have come up with a few ideas, but I'd like to hear what you think.
best replica watches 1. A framed number 2 Tigers jersey, no name on the back, which is of course retired by the Tigers to honor the greatest player to ever wear that number, Charlie Gehringer.This could be presented by long time Tiger shortstop, Alan Trammell, whom Jeter used to watch playing shortstop at Tiger stadium as a kid. If Tram is not available, then maybe Dick Tracewski could fill in for him.
top brand watches 2. A framed replica of the lineup cards for the last games of Jeter's seasons in 2006, 2011, and 2012, when he played the Detroit Tigers. Of course, the Tigers eliminated the Yankees from the playoffs all three seasons, but you're not going to find a lineup card where Jeter's Yankees won a playoff series vs Detroit, so this is the best we can do.The lineup cards will be presented by Jim Leyland.
3. A number 2 baseball jersey from the University of Michigan, which offered Jeter a baseball scholarship that he declined when he was selected by the New York Yankees in the 1992 draft. Jeter did attend Michigan one semester. Bill Freehan would have been Jeter's coach had he decided to get a proper education. Since Freehan has been ailing, maybe his former team mate and fellow catcher, Jim Price could be on hand to tell Jeter all about the 1968 Tigers, which was well before Jeter's time.
4.  A baseball glove made out of leather, which is quite a bit different than the glove made of gold that he's been playing with all these years. This would be presented by former Yankee, Phil Coke, an exact replica of the glove that Coke slammed in the infield at Comerica as the Tigers eliminated the Yankees in four straight games in 2012.

5.  A key to the city of Kalamazoo, where Jeter lived from the age of four years old until he graduated from Kalamazoo high school. This could be presented by Jeter's long time team mate, Joba Chamberlain.
What parting gifts do you think would be appropriate for the Tigers to give Derek Jeter on his final visit to Detroit in his baseball career?
More from Bless You Boys
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Monday Morning Manager: Rookies roughed up but a winning week regardless
Ian Kinsler's plate discipline has been a problem in the second half
Jeers, Cheers, Mickey Tettleton, and the Most Boring Game Ever
Tigers 8, Twins 6: Justin Verlander stops Twins in return as offense gets going with key hits
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Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Robin Wright, director Anton Corbijn, Rachel McAdams
Anton Corbijn was joined by Rachel McAdams and Robin Wright for the NYC premiere at the Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday night.
montblanc New York City's Museum of Modern Art was the setting of celebration on Tuesday night — and while art patrons feted the opening of a new exhibit with cocktails in the courtyard, film fans headed one flight downstairs for the premiere screening of A Most Wanted Man , featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman in his last major role.
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montblanc pens "The quality of the performance keeps surprising you — you know he's good, but you never realize he's that good," director Anton Corbijn told The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet, set just in front of Sol  LeWitt 's colorful wall drawings, at the premiere presented by The Cinema Society and Montblanc. "You see it happen in front of your eyes."
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mont blanc pens outlet Before the screening, the espionage thriller's stars —  Robin Wright , dressed in a beige tank and black pinstriped slacks, and Rachel McAdams , wearing a mixed-pattern Zuhair Murad dress — greeted each other with a long hug in front of photographers. Inside one of the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, Julianna Margulies and husband Keith Lieberthal sat in the same middle row as  Ellen Burstyn ;  Paul Haggis , Grace Coddington , Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan , Isiah Whitlock Jr. ,  Lena Hall ,  Dane DeHaan , Calvin Klein ,  Fern Mallis and Rachel Roy , among others, quickly scooted past reporters to head downstairs.
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"We're very proud to be involved with this film for many reasons — it's great to be releasing a film that's this smart and interesting and provocative in this day and age," said Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen , also on behalf of Lionsgate, while introducing the film. "About the great Philip Seymour Hoffman, I just want to say what [ Rolling Stone's ]  Peter Travers said earlier. ... 'Philip Seymour Hoffman is magnificent.'"
After the screening, guests headed south to Midtown's recently opened rooftop bar, The Skylark, for Grey Goose cocktails, a special Montblanc ink bar and sweeping views of Manhattan — plus  Mick Jagger .
A Most Wanted Man hits theaters July 25.
Email: Ashley.Lee@THR.com
Twitter: @cashleelee

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posted Oct 16th, 2014 5:49 am


ebelebel

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Tiffany Sparkles Brighter as Weak Europe Offset by U.S, Asia Gains
By Anirvan Ghosh
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tiffany and co Tiffany & Co. said second-quarter profit soared as sales were strongest in its largest markets. That offset a weaker Europe. The high-end jewelry retailer’s sales performed extremely well in the Americas and fast-growing Asia-Pacific where it managed to sell more high end items with significantly larger margins.tiffany jewelry outlet
The stock rose 3.1% at the open before paring gains to 1.71%.tiffany and co
Investors see Tiffany’s performance as an indirect indicator that the economy is improving as affluent customers spend more, buoyed by a rising stock market.tiffany & co
View phototiffany rings . tiffany jewelry

Net income rose 16% to $124.1 million, or 96 cents a share, in the three months ended July 31, from $106.8 million, or 83 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said in a statement today. Analysts had expected 85 cents.
Sales might have grown higher in Europe but for the strong pound and euro, which pinched customers. While Tiffany’s total sales rose 8% in the region, gains on constant exchange rate basis is just 1%. Also, same store sales declined 8% in the quarter, reflecting a weak market in continental Europe and the United Kingdom. Europeans and tourists who normally would have bought jewelry in those countries bought it elsewhere to take advantage of lower exchange rates.

Investors said CEO Michael Kowalski’s strategy of increasing sales by adding new designs and changing management seems to be working. Analysts, such as Robert Drbul of Nomura, said in a statement that new collections will drive sales during fall and winter.
Follow @anirvanghosh on StockTwits .
Investment & Company Information Finance Tiffany & Co. Europe
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posted Oct 16th, 2014 5:41 am


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posted Oct 12th, 2014 11:08 pm


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#sddm li a
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#sddm li a:hover
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color: #2875DE;
font: 12px arial}

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Montblanc Meisterstuck Solitaire Gold & Black Rollerball Pen$688.00  $230.00Save: 67% offMontblanc Marlene Dietrich Special Edition Fountain Pen$475.00  $157.00Save: 67% offMontblanc Starwalker Cool Blue Ballpoint Pen$388.00  $130.00Save: 66% off




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Montblanc Meisterstuck Fountain Pen




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Displaying 1 to 18 (of 30 products)
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Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Fountain Pen$803.00  $265.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Carbon & Steel Fountain Pen$898.00  $300.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Carbon & Steel Fountain Pen$808.00  $270.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Ceramics Black Prisma Fountain Pen$868.00  $290.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Ceramics Black Prisma Fountain Pen$1,194.00  $396.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Black & White Fountain Pen$717.00  $239.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Black & White Fountain Pen$686.00  $228.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Signum Fountain Pen$658.00  $220.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Stainless Steel Fountain Pen$656.00  $218.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Stainless Steel Fountain Pen$684.00  $226.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Sterling Silver Fountain Pen$654.00  $216.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Sterling Silver Fountain Pen$715.00  $237.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Hommage a Frederic Chopin Fountain Pen$508.00  $170.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Hommage a W.A. Mozart Fountain Pen$385.00  $127.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Le Grand Fountain Pen$624.00  $206.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Le Grand Platinum Line Fountain Pen$624.00  $206.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Le Grand Traveller Fountain Pen$715.00  $237.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Montblanc Diamond Classique Fountain Pen$716.00  $238.00Save: 67% off


Displaying 1 to 18 (of 30 products)
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New Products For July - Montblanc MeisterstuckMontblanc Meisterstuck Solitaire Silver Barley Fountain Pen$1,256.00  $418.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Platinum Line Hommage a W.A. Mozart Fountain Pen$356.00  $118.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Le Grand Platinum Line Fountain Pen$624.00  $206.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Stainless Steel II Fountain Pen$688.00  $230.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Montblanc Diamond Classique Fountain Pen$716.00  $238.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Platinum Line Classique Fountain Pen$389.00  $131.00Save: 66% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Le Grand Fountain Pen$624.00  $206.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Hommage a W.A. Mozart Fountain Pen$385.00  $127.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Sterling Silver Fountain Pen$718.00  $240.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Platinum-Plated Facet Fountain Pen$1,194.00  $396.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Platinum-Plated Facet Fountain Pen$984.00  $326.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Montblanc Diamond Le Grand Fountain Pen$806.00  $268.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Solitaire Carbon & Steel Fountain Pen$804.00  $266.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Hommage a Frederic Chopin Fountain Pen$508.00  $170.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Solitaire Doue Gold & Black Fountain Pen$717.00  $239.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Le Grand Traveller Fountain Pen$715.00  $237.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Sterling Silver Fountain Pen$923.00  $305.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Stainless Steel II Fountain Pen$623.00  $205.00Save: 67% off













Monthly Specials For JulyMontblanc Meisterstuck Doue Black & White Fountain Pen$686.00  $228.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Stainless Steel Fountain Pen$656.00  $218.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Stainless Steel Fountain Pen$684.00  $226.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Sterling Silver Fountain Pen$654.00  $216.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Sterling Silver Fountain Pen$715.00  $237.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Ceramics Black Prisma Fountain Pen$1,194.00  $396.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Signum Fountain Pen$658.00  $220.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Carbon & Steel Fountain Pen$898.00  $300.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Carbon & Steel Fountain Pen$808.00  $270.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Ceramics Black Prisma Fountain Pen$868.00  $290.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Hommage a W.A. Mozart Fountain Pen$385.00  $127.00Save: 67% off
Montblanc Meisterstuck Doue Black & White Fountain Pen$717.00  $239.00Save: 67% off
























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