Perspectives Blog

Surveying the landscape for M&A

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | March 3, 2014

…ation of others is likely to continue, e.g., Big Pharma’s continuing acquisition of biotech platforms. b. Often acquisitions are done defensively to absorb a potential disruptive threat before it threatens your core business. Nice to own those threats early. c. Valuation is always the question mark with these names. Assessing the value versus potential market opportunities for rapid growers is admittedly an imprecise science. 2. Businesses with s…

Special report – Commodity markets outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | July 21, 2014

…ector level we are positioned in line in base metals, as opposed to oil-based energy where we are as overweight as possible. Although we have a market weighting overall in base metals, we are significantly overweight lead and nickel and underweight copper and aluminium. We believe lead and nickel face challenges in terms of supply and supply disruption. Lead is often mined as a by-product of gold and silver and as there has been a significant dec…

M&A in healthcare – Out with the old, in with the new?

Harlan Sonderling, CFA, Senior Healthcare Analyst | March 31, 2014

Recently the market has been quite optimistic about merger synergy promises. History suggests investors should be diligent about analyzing acquirers’ claims around merger benefits and returns. While attractive acquisitions may lie ahead, it is critical to continue to carefully evaluate acquirers’ strategies and claims. The “old” healthcare M&A In the “old days,” pharmaceutical Company A would announce its acquisition of Company B for stock…

Stairs up, elevator down

Jeffrey Knight, CFA, Global Head of Investment Solutions and Asset Allocation | August 18, 2014

Major asset classes had nice gains through mid-June but have declined as of late. Although we still favor equities, we think it is time to bolster portfolio resilience. We are keeping our eye on Europe as the summer comes to an end. A reputation, it is said, takes a long time to build, but a short time to destroy. One of the most frustrating aspects of investing is the tendency for gains to behave in exactly this way. Investment professionals…

The importance of being transparent

Harlan Sonderling, CFA, Senior Healthcare Analyst | December 2, 2013

Transparency is emerging as a powerful force in improving healthcare outcomes and increasing access to care. The growth of consumer financial responsibility is now estimated at 41% for large corporate plans. Consumer education has never been more important in healthcare than now. President James A. Garfield survived an assassin’s bullet in 1881, only to die several months later of complications from the infection that developed from his doctor…

The coming divide in state credit quality

Ty Schoback, Senior Municipal Analyst | June 3, 2014

We expect an increased divergence in state credit quality in the coming years, compared with what has been seen over the past two decades. While the overall state sector remains robust, we believe notable credit distinctions are beginning to materialize among several weaker states. Investors should be aware of this divergence and seek to be appropriately compensated for investing in states of varied creditworthiness. State tax revenues typical…

Credit alternatives in government-backed debt

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 23, 2014

…eads have been driven in, however, risk premiums paid to investors have reached a historically low level. One way investors may boost yields without taking on undue credit risk is through government agency debt, which fills a niche in the market between high-quality spread product and low-risk Treasury securities. Through explicit or implicit guarantees, timely principal and/or interest on agency debt ultimately may be backed by the U.S. governme…