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Quick Thoughts: First Data Announcement Highlights Increasing Integration of Payments and Marketing

Yesterday, First Data (the leading US acquirer with 18% share – see below) announced the addition of support for loyalty marketing to its Clover platform which competes with Square Register, for example. Like Leaf from HPY and Square Register, Clover

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US Payments: A Primer on Merchant Acquiring

Merchant acquiring – the business of providing merchants with authorization for card payments and settling and clearing transactions, often but not always through the branded (including EFT) networks, so that funds are moved from the merchant account to the cardholder

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Index of Generic Drug Acquisition Costs Now Available to Pharmacies Nationwide; Commercial Plan Sponsors Likely to Shift Away from AWP

Medi-Span announced Friday the inclusion of National Average Drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC) data in its point-of-sale pricing products for retail pharmacies; First DataBank made a similar announcement last December. These two providers dominate drug pricing data; accordingly NADAC is now

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The Bull Case for PCSK9 (AMGN, SNY, REGN, PFE): Why Estimates Are Too Low

PCSK9 inhibitors are injectables (biweekly to monthly) that lower LDL (aka ‘bad’) cholesterol by ≥ 50%, on par with max dose statins. AMGN and SNY/REGN are closest to market, followed by PFE Statin-intolerant patients generally are restricted to the use

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DFS: Capital, Opportunity, and Discipline

We estimate DFS has excess capital of $2.5bn (given that its 2015 Tier 1 common ratio is 8.7% under the CCAR severe-stress scenario, after the just-approved capital plan, versus a minimum requirement of 5% of risk-weighted assets that are currently

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Petrochemical-Fest – A Summary of the Texas Gathering

General euphoria over the opportunity presented to the US by the abundance of shale gas – estimates of expected investments in the sector 30-40% higher than they were a year ago. There have been plenty of basic chemical investments announced

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No Free Lunch: A Primer on Interchange and Debit

This note comments on the WMT suit filed yesterday against Visa in the context of the broader impact of interchange on the structure of the card payments industry, particularly in debit. The dynamics are more involved than in many industries

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Quick Thoughts – BAC Capital Tsunami: Expect Stock Buyback of over $10bn in 2015

Last night, the Fed announced its review of bank capital plans for 2014 (March through March), including BAC. BAC was approved to buyback $4bn of stock and raised the dividend to 5 cents/quarter from a token penny. BAC also announced

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March 26, 2014 – Facebook: Dream Until Your Dreams Come True

In its first year of trading, FB struggled to transition to mobile, delivering lackluster growth and failing to get back to its $38 IPO price. However, with its 2Q13, the company demonstrated a new ability to monetize its increasingly mobile

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AXP: Structurally Improving Business Model

The economics of AXP’s business model are improving meaningfully as it overcomes the anti-competitive constraints imposed by V and MA through the exclusionary rules (preventing Amex from distributing its network services through the bank channel) which were struck down by

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