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Natural Gas – Chance of a Price Spike?

Natural gas pricing has come off a bit as we have moved through May, but has been volatile around the weekly inventory figures, moving up again yesterday.  While inventories have begun to be replenished, they remain well below the seasonal

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Quick Thoughts – AXP: Releasing the Distribution Bottleneck will Lift ROE

Our thesis is that in 2016 Amex will raise its ROE target (currently 25% or more) as the Global Network and Merchant Services or GNMS business grows relative to the proprietary issuing business. Presently GNMS, which includes earnings from network

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Quick Thoughts – KSS and WMT

Both KSS ($0.60 versus consensus of $0.63) and WMT ($1.10 versus consensus of $1.15) reported weak EPS results and lackluster comps.  WMT is a name that remains among our least preferred, while KSS is a name that we haven’t commented

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Poor R&D Productivity as a Self-Inflicted Injury: Who’s Missing the Most Toes, and Why

R&D productivity can be measured, and thus managed, far better than is reflected in current practice Using metrics produced with a combination of US patent data and company disclosures, we calculate / identify: economic returns to R&D spending (the relationship

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Quick Thoughts – With Mercury Acquisition and Partnership with MSFT, VNTV Provides Critical Payments Capability to Next-Generation Retailer POS Platforms

The announcement yesterday by VNTV (market cap ~$4bn) of the acquisition of Mercury Payment Systems for $1.65bn solidifies its leadership position in providing “last mile” access to the point-of-sale (POS). This had been potentially threatened by the development of the

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Barclays: The Real Investment Bank Stands Up

Barclay’s investment bank represented ~55% of group equity but, on Thursday, management disclosed the more capital-intensive segments accounted for half of this and generated a mere 10% of investment-bank profits. With these segments consigned to a liquidating “bad bank”, the

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BIG Monkeys & a Looming Intervention: Pharma’s US Pricing Addiction

US real pricing gains for drugs sold in the US are driving nearly all of the traditional large cap pharmaceuticals industry’s growth. Only Roche and JNJ have US sales growth that exceeds the rate of US price growth, i.e. every

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May 8, 2014 – EBAY: Betting Big on the Future of Retail

EBAY: Betting Big on the Future of Retail EBAY intends to be the company that leads the way to the future of retail, seeing itself as far more than an e-commerce marketplace and an e-wallet payments solution. These present day

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Co-Pay Cards & the Stalling of Drug Rebate Growth Part II – The HIE ‘Test Case’

Drug benefits on the health insurance exchanges (HIEs) are far less generous than under employer-sponsored insurance (ESI); in many cases HIE beneficiaries will not fill prescriptions without generous support from manufacturers’ co-pay card programs If manufacturers allow their co-pay cards

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Quick Thoughts – Barclays: Smaller but More Profitable, and Worth Comfortably More than TBV

The 42% revenue decline in FICC to GBP1.23mm in 2014Q1, reported yesterday, is a poor showing on both an absolute and relative-to-peers basis (even allowing for Barclays tilt to rates vs. better-performing credit, the currency headwind from stronger sterling, and

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