Perspectives Blog

Digital dining: How restaurants are applying technology to drive sales

Daniel Spelman, Equity Analyst | February 24, 2014

…locations with the offering, and 50% of guests have used them to pay at the table. For many consumer industries, technology can be friend or foe. A number of publicly traded restaurant companies are spending on digital innovation to drive traffic, average check and market share. While firms such as Olo and Grubhub Seamless are helping independents and smaller chains with their consumer-facing technology, large national brands appear to have a hea…

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

…tend to widen and persist. The benefits to labor come much later—a normal sequence in the evolutionary march of technology. Of course, this usually results in increasing social tensions and political risks if left unaddressed. As technology replaces labor with robotics, it also empowers those with high skills and advanced education who can command a wage premium. At the same time, unskilled and lower-skilled workers are displaced which aggravate…

Profit margin watch

Tom West, Director of Equity Research | October 13, 2014

Corporate profit margins can come under pronounced pressure from various forms of disruption. Firms need to invest in technology and distribution systems to support customer preferences and stay competitive. The key question is whether a company has adequately invested in next generation products, distribution or true advances in productivity. A mainstay of stock market appreciation over the last several years has been the ability of corporati…

A tepid cyclical lift

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

…d/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 enterprises are more hesitant to invest in additional data center and other capacity ahead of the adoption of “private…

Second quarter earnings preview

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

…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 that companies have put projects on hold while they figure out what part of their IT infrastructure might move to…

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…