Perspectives Blog

Predicting new drug sales is more art than science

Harlan Sonderling, CFA, Senior Healthcare Analyst | April 14, 2014

Predicting sales of new medicines is highly inaccurate and subject to significant and often costly errors. While investment analysts can draw on research tools and experience, history suggests new drug forecasting will remain more art than science. Despite the high level of uncertainty and variability in new drug forecasts, the innovative medicine industry is alive and well. Predicting sales of new medicines is highly inaccurate and subject to…

Retail sector outlook – It’s a share game

Mari Shor, Senior Equity Analyst | March 17, 2014

er space have been mixed, and retailers and investors are struggling to sort through the noise to determine underlying demand. To recap 2013, apparel retailers underperformed other sectors within consumer discretionary from a sales and stock perspective given payroll tax headwinds and lack of fashion newness. December and January sales were worse than expected for many companies due in part to disruptive winter storms, though management teams pro…

Apparel retail doldrums

Mari Shor, Senior Equity Analyst | August 11, 2014

Since 2011, consumer spending has been below average overall, and spending on retail apparel has been especially poor. A host of factors, from shifting consumer priorities to poor inventory control have forced apparel retailers to compete on price, and sales and profitability have suffered dramatically. Premier global brands with differentiated product and strong, flexible supply chains are best positioned to manage through this challenging env…

The perils and pitfalls of buying individual municipal bonds

James Dearborn, Head of Municipal Bonds | February 27, 2014

axes and a portion of income may be subject to the federal and/or state alternative minimum tax for certain investors. Federal and state income tax rules will apply to any capital gain distributions and any gains or losses on sales. Diversification does not ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss. Credit ratings typically range from AAA (highest) to D (lowest), and are subject to change.            …

Digital dining: How restaurants are applying technology to drive sales

Daniel Spelman, Equity Analyst | February 24, 2014

…re improving the consumer experience, leading to higher revenue and increased market share for successful brands. With almost one million restaurant locations in the United States and thousands of transactions needed to drive sales, the slightest incremental edge can have an outsized impact on the bottom line. Technology is also being used, particularly by the larger publicly traded concepts, to capitalize on their scale and improve back-end oper…

Thoughts on navigating market volatility in today’s technology markets

Rahul Narang, Senior Portfolio Manager | April 28, 2014

…penetration rates in a fast growing market • Highly predictable annuity business with a strong recurring revenue component • Rising margins and asset turns are a powerful combination • Improvements in balance sheet items: day sales outstanding, inventory turns, deferred revenue, capitalized software • Structural changes within an industry such as consolidation Some current themes we find attractive include: • Businesses exposed to the continued m…

What’s behind the weakness in U.S. housing?

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | March 24, 2014

Existing U.S. home sales have been weak across all regions and this weakness pre-dates this year’s tough winter. Skyrocketing home prices, the surge in interest rates, and meager income growth have hit affordability and dented demand. Housing is no longer the accelerator for economic growth that it was earlier in the cycle. While the jury is out on just how much cold weather has impacted economic activity in recent months, we should keep in mi…