Archive for June, 2014

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Quick Thoughts: Amazon’s Fire Phone May Need a Bit More Kindling

–          The Fire Phone is a bit underwhelming – weak specs, pricey, gimmicky and exclusive to T. AMZN can push it hard, but few users are likely to be moved to replace their iPhones or Androids. –          The upfront price

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APD – A Wise, But Not Long-Term, Compromise

It is evident that APD has struggled to find the right candidate to replace John McGlade as CEO.  The search has taken longer than would have been expected – suggesting that multiple candidates were screened/approached. It is a shame that

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Quick Thoughts – KO, Rumor, Trees and the Forest

The push back that we received when we included KO in our list of consumer staples M&A candidates was fairly intense – but not unexpectedly so – KO isn’t a controversial stock at this point, but rather one that investors

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Early Look at 2015 HIE Rates: Avg. Increase = 10%

11 states have disclosed insurers’ proposed rates for plans to be sold on the health insurance exchanges (HIEs) in 2015. The enrollment-weighted average rate increase thus far is 10.0%. These states’ 2014 HIE beneficiaries represent 14.6% of nationwide 2014 HIE

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Quick Thoughts – Early iBeacon Trials are Encouraging for Apple

Digital wallet-provider LevelUp reports that mobile payments volume increased 22% over 30 days at the 50 merchants where it installed iBeacon. As discussed in our May 30th note, “Apple vs. Banks in Mobile Payments: Update”, the focus of iBeacon is

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ADS, AXP and JPM: The Bank Edge over Online Advertising and Payments Platforms

There is a secular shift in advertising from generic brand advertising on broadcast channels to data-enabled direct marketing on digital channels. Our colleague, Paul Sagawa, reported on the shift in a research note of June 9th titled “The Revolution in

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Quick Thoughts: Priceline buys OpenTable, puts International and Mobile Growth on Steroids

–          PCLN’s cash acquisition of OPEN for $2.6B should deliver clear synergies for expanding OPEN into international markets and bundling mobile services with other PCLN properties –          PCLN has the resources to stimulate growth and could also lever OPEN’s reservation

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Quick Thoughts: JPM – Cyclical Improvement in NIM and FICC will Lever over Flat-to-Down Expenses for a 2015 EPS Beat

JPM’s economic model is to sustain a tangible ROE of 15-16% despite lifting the CET1 ratio (to 10-10.5% from the current 9.6%) by levering higher net interest income over flat-to-down expenses (for a 55% efficiency ratio vs. 59% in 2013);

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And the Winner is…TSN’s Bankers?

In news that appears to put an end to the saga of Hillshire Farms (HSH), TSN has emerged as the “winning” bidder with a $63 per share offer. o   This implies a 15.7x multiple of EV to TTM EBITDA, rarefied

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The Shift from Signature Debit and Prospect for a Bank-Owned PIN Debit Network

The debit business in the US is unsustainable. Durbin-regulated banks are losing money on signature debit as the swipe fee has fallen to 24 cents/transaction (from a pre-Durbin 59 cents) vs. Fed estimates for fraud and processing costs at 30

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