Tom West has been the head of Equity Research at Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC since the beginning of 2008. Mr. West joined the firm in 2003 as an equity analyst and has been a member of the investment community since 2000.
Prior to joining Columbia Management, Mr. West was a sector analyst in equities and research associate in high yield fixed income, both at Fidelity Investments. Prior to entering the investment business, he worked for 12 years in industry, beginning his career as a design engineer and finishing department manager at Bosch Automotive Systems. He held a variety of posts in the U.S. and Europe, in areas including R&D, engineering and business development.
Mr. West earned a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University and an M.S. in finance from Boston College, where he received the award for the highest economic achievement. In addition, he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
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
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
We believe YTD valuation improvement in stocks is more likely the result of basic supply and demand than an upward revision off corporate prospects. Going into corporate reporting season, we’re focused on whether the cyclical sectors show some signs of increasing activity. For the less cyclical sectors and consumer discretionary industries, we want to see
First quarter earnings results fell a bit short of the annual pace that we proposed at the beginning of the year. Corporate revenues did not track forecasts due to challenging weather, price increases remaining at the low end and subdued cyclical activity and investment spending. We should probably adjust full year estimates down a bit,
Cyclical investment and discretionary spending are on track to deliver earnings growth of 7% in the S&P 500. Strength in some consumer durables appears more of a “wallet share” gain than a general lift due to recovering wages or a release of excess savings. Construction and energy are poised for another year of growth, while
Estimating corporate earnings with bottom-up forecasts, top down forecasts and empirical forecasts will result in a range of outcomes While we believe bottom-up forecasts provide the best estimate, the other two methods can be useful in testing the result We look at top down build-up earnings growth for the S&P 500 and growth expectations by
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