Perspectives Blog

What to expect from U.S. midterm elections

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | October 20, 2014

While consensus suggests a slightly better than average chance of a GOP takeover, battle for control of the U.S. Senate is going to be a dramatically close call. When we examine how a GOP win might affect industries such as energy, healthcare and defense, it’s not as black-and-white as some people might think. One of the major issues for both parties to address between now and 2016 is their stance on tax reform, and we see common ground for com…

Profit margin watch

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

…er, upstart competitors that are positioned for these trends. Regulatory fiat: Both the financial sector and the healthcare sector saw disruption in the form of legislation around pricing and offerings. Healthcare has absorbed much of the Affordable Care Act pretty well. Managed care companies have held onto profitability, and some of the providers are benefiting from the growth in utilization. The financial sector was hit with a variety of restr…

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…

Retail sector outlook – It’s a share game

Mari Shor, Senior Equity Analyst | March 17, 2014

We believe that many of the macro and micro headwinds experienced through 2013 will continue into 2014. Low correlations across apparel retailers and manufacturers provide opportunities to generate alpha through stock picking. Faced with structural and cyclical headwinds, apparel retailers will need global brand strength, enhanced technological capabilities and supply chain expertise to gain market share. Recent data points across the consumer…

Labor markets in the new digital age

Columbia Management, Investment Team | April 14, 2014

The downside to technological progress is short-term dislocations and job loss for those displaced by automation. Workers with high skills and advanced education command a wage premium while unskilled and lower-skilled workers are displaced which aggravates income inequality. The winners will be those who have skills complementary to the new emerging technologies and those who discern how best to adapt and gain competitive advantage. By Marie…

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

Aaron Reames, Senior Equity Analyst | February 24, 2014

Conditions favor biotech outperformance of broader markets for at least a few more quarters. Outsourcing offers biotech firms varied advantages, from cost reduction to enhancing credibility. The sector’s success and the outsourcing trend is fueling ancillary businesses, notably specialty REITs, CROs and research tools companies. As biotech indices continue to surpass all-time highs, one must contemplate if there is additional room to run. We c…

Steady as she goes

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

The March labor market report was solid, with the overall private level of employment finally exceeding the pre-recession high. The Household Survey had the unemployment rate holding steady at 6.7%. A recurrent problem is the poor quality of job growth in terms of underemployment/part timers and wage growth. The March labor market report from the BLS can be characterized as solid and showing little weather effects and probably some catch-up fr…