Perspectives Blog

Digital dining: How restaurants are applying technology to drive sales

Daniel Spelman, Equity Analyst | February 24, 2014

Restaurants are modernizing dining with consumer-centric tech focus. Large chains are the leaders, investing more and increasing market share. Innovation is boosting efficiency and reducing costs. In a $680 billion industry that is notoriously low margin, competitive and high touch, restaurants are increasingly using technology to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Advancements in digital ordering, loyalty, payments and convenience are i…

Thoughts on navigating market volatility in today’s technology markets

Rahul Narang, Senior Portfolio Manager | April 28, 2014

We are seeing a market rotation from momentum to value on macro factors and internal market dynamics. Keys are to stay diversified, look for businesses with strong moats and that produce solid cash flow and compare to historical valuations. Favored themes are industry consolidation plays, mobile and Internet. In recent weeks there has been a dramatic shift in alpha generation from hyper growth technology stocks to more value-oriented names. We…

Labor markets in the new digital age

Columbia Management, Investment Team | April 14, 2014

…mpetitive advantage. By Marie Schofield, Chief Economist and Toby Nangle, Head of Multi Asset Allocation A theme not touched on so far in our series on income inequality and secular stagnation is the impact of innovation and technology on economic growth and income. Technological progress carries long-term benefits raising standards of living and boosting productivity; however, it also causes short-term dislocations and job loss for those displa…

Second quarter earnings preview

Tom West, Director of Equity Research | June 30, 2014

…sales, while avoiding excess goods that can lead to promotional activity. Positive commentary, backed by actual metrics, will lead to greater confidence in holding healthy profit margins for the remainder of the year. In the technology sector, people will be looking for trends and commentary on enterprise spend to get a handle on the information technology budgets that constitute the revenues of much of the tech sector. An interesting thesis is…

A tepid cyclical lift

Tom West, Director of Equity Research | April 28, 2014

…to accelerate, with the Harvard Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity projecting mid-teens growth following mid/high single digits in 2013. In the tech sector, “enterprise” spending and investment remain challenged. Larger technology vendors are seeing an improving European environment but are still experiencing difficult comparisons in emerging markets and U.S. government. Technology hardware companies are facing headwinds to growth, as enter…

Data breaches — What they mean for retailers, consumers and investors

Stephanie Schneider, Equity Research Analyst | September 15, 2014

…pending budget While investing in security systems can help prevent breaches, retailers are also likely to transition to chip and pin (a more secure technology) from magnetic strips. Most retailers have already included the cost of this overhaul in their capital expenditure budgets or have already updated their POS systems with terminals that include a chip and pin slot….

Second quarter U.S. corporate earnings wrap-up

Tom West, Director of Equity Research | August 18, 2014

Non-cyclical sectors slightly out performed cyclical sectors during the quarter. In technology, the U.S. is improving, Europe is still not strong and developing markets lag. The healthcare sector improved, but it is still a question mark for the second half of the year. As the economic recovery matures, we have seen a fairly consistent pattern in quarterly earnings: estimates come down during the course of the quarter, and then beat the “lower…