Perspectives Blog

Predicting new drug sales is more art than science

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

…aunch environment. Can the quality of commercial sales predictions improve? Despite analysts’ research tools and experience, history suggests new drug forecasting will remain more art than science. At Columbia Management, our healthcare team’s analysis involves using probability-adjusted therapeutic category and drug class forecasts and responding more quickly than in the past to initial launch data. Our “art” lies in our mix of science and busin…

Steady as she goes

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | April 7, 2014

…o weather, but I would point to payback from the inventory swing. Gains were at or slightly above trend in professional/business services with about half from temporary jobs. Solid gains were seen in retail, construction, and healthcare. Leisure and hospitality was a little light, with restaurant hiring strong—indicative of a pickup in part-time jobs. Public sector continues to be a drag with cuts at both federal and state & local government….

Labor markets in the new digital age

Columbia Management, Investment Team | April 14, 2014

…s. Most at risk are those who perform routine knowledge work and cognitive tasks. This touches on diverse industries such as publishing, wholesale/retail trade, finance and bookkeeping, office and administrative, and law—even healthcare and transportation will not be immune. From pattern recognition software to driverless cars and artificial intelligence, this new industrial revolution is more digital and less mechanical, likely requiring fewer c…

Retail sector outlook – It’s a share game

Mari Shor, Senior Equity Analyst | March 17, 2014

…mers have benefitted to a greater degree from higher tourism-driven spend (both in the U.S. and Europe). As it relates to the lower-income consumers, growth in disposable income is likely to remain under pressure given higher healthcare costs and lower government benefits (including food stamps and unemployment). In the very near term, higher home heating costs will also weigh on discretionary spend. Exhibit 1: Rolling 12-month pairwise return co…

Biotech’s beneficiaries: How outsourcing is improving the sector and spreading the wealth

Aaron Reames, Senior Equity Analyst | February 24, 2014

…st biotech balance sheet, creating derivative investment alternatives. Companies supporting the industry will benefit from the capital raised by drug developers. Specifically, we see opportunities in dedicated specialty labs, healthcare systems, contract research organizations (CROs) and select tool providers such as those offering clinical trial management software. Although the majority of capital raised is dedicated to trial funding, specialty…

Apparel retail doldrums

Mari Shor, Senior Equity Analyst | August 11, 2014

…e has been steady improvement in the unemployment rate and job openings, real wage growth remains muted — less than 1% for the past three years — not enough to offset higher prices for essential goods including food, fuel and healthcare. To this point, Goldman Sachs estimates that essential spending has risen 2%–4% on average over that same three-year period and should continue to rise at a similar rate at least through 2014. For many consumers,…

Signs point to an improving U.S. economy

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | December 9, 2013

…gains in two years. Construction also ticked stronger in both residential and in non-residential. While hiring in service industries moderated, job gains picked up noticeably in transportation (trucking and couriers), and in healthcare (physicians, home care). Professional/business and temp hiring was relatively steady. There were slightly weaker trends in retail (hurt by late Thanksgiving), leisure/hospitality (recreation weak but restaurants s…