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…

Hanging in

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | September 20, 2013

Recent retail sales data are well below expectations and probably an indication that consumers have become more cautious about spending. Financial conditions matter greatly, and the recent tightening is likely having some impact on housing activity and consumer attitudes. Spending follows wages and it will be difficult for retail spending to gain much traction with the tie to shallow compensation trends. The best one can say about consumer spe…

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…

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.            …

Gimme credit

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | August 22, 2013

Economic data seem largely unchanged from past trends, despite uptick in retail sales. Consumers continued to pare their debt last quarter continuing a nearly five-year trend. Given consumer deleveraging, consumption remains tethered to income gains – and those gains remain sub-par. Last week’s economic data give a very mixed picture of the health of the consumer. While the market seemed to cheer the uptick in spending seen in retail sales rep…

How much and how fast?

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | August 29, 2013

The recent rise in long-term interest rates could negatively impact the housing market, which has been a driver of economic recovery. The effect of higher interest rates will typically show up first in the data for new home sales data, which have dropped sharply. The combination of skyrocketing rates and more expensive and rising prices has likely impacted the marginal buyer’s affordability for a new home. One of the most worrisome aspects of…

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…