iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility
Wall Street’s View of AT&T on May 13
Out of 36 recommendations by Wall Street analysts on AT&T’s stock, half were “buy” recommendations and ~44.4% were “hold” recommendations. The remaining ~5.6% of the analysts recommended a “sell.”
Another Way to Hedge Against Volatility
Historically the min vol index has generally out-performed the S&P 500 in months when volatility was rising.
Verizon Set to Launch Over-the-Top Service Soon
Verizon is leveraging its acquisitions of AOL, upLynk, OnCue, and EdgeCast for its new over-the-top service.
Verizon Best of Top 4 US Wireless Carriers in Network Performance
Verizon commanded the best customer retention rate among the top four carriers in the US in 2Q15.
What Does AT&T Expect for Video Customer Growth in 2016?
During the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet, & Telecom Conference, John J. Stephens talked about AT&T’s domestic video component after the DIRECTV merger.
Which Businesses Are Expected to Drive VFC’s Sales Growth?
DTC channel sales’ contribution to VFC’s revenue pie is rising. It represents sales made online and through the company’s owned retail stores.
Mondelēz’s Cheese and Grocery Business: A Performance Analysis
Mondelēz’s cheese and grocery category is the smallest consumer segment for the company. It earned 8.8% of total company sales in 2014.
Stryker: Analysts’ Recommendations before Its 3Q17 Earnings
Stryker (SYK), the second-largest orthopedic device developer, is set to announce its 3Q17 earnings results on October 26, 2017.
Verizon’s Focus on Broadband through Wireline
Verizon is managing the secular challenges of the pay-TV space by focusing on its broadband offering in FiOS.
Why UnitedHealth Group Plans to Reduce Its Public Exchange Exposure
Given the high-risk profile of individual exchange enrollments, UnitedHealth Group has decided to offer plans only on a few public exchanges in 2017.
Clorox’s Household Segment Saw a Rise in Operating Income in Fiscal 2Q16
Clorox’s Household segment delivered flat volume growth and 1% sales growth in fiscal 2Q16, so the company’s sales outpaced volume during the quarter.
Why Equity Markets Continue to Remain Unaffected by the FOMC
The US equity markets (SPY) haven’t seen any major impacts from the Fed’s policies in the recent past.
Minimum volatility funds help reduce your portfolio’s gutter balls
Minimum volatility indexes seek to minimize the effects of the occasional gutter ball, allowing investors to focus more on their long-term investment objectives – the pins at the end of the alley.
Will VF Corporation’s Vans Brand Spur Higher Growth in 3Q15?
VF Corporation saw sales of $2.5 billion in 2Q15, up 4.7% year-over-year. Its performance was boosted by top brands The North Face, Timberland, and Vans.
Why minimum volatility funds have outperformed the S&P 500
So if a min vol strategy tends to outperform the broader equity markets when volatility is on the rise, yet underperform when volatility abates, wouldn’t it just be a wash? Not so fast.
Innovative Research in Vaccines May Boost Pfizer’s Revenues
Wall Street analysts have projected that Prevnar revenues will fall year-over-year by about 2.8%, from $6.2 billion in 2015 to $6.0 billion in 2016.
How the BD-Bard Deal Will Create Shareholder Value
The BD-Bard acquisition is expected to create significant shareholder value since the two companies are believed to be a highly strategic fit.
Why Walmart Is Investing More in Competitive Pricing
In order to mitigate the impact of these higher costs, Walmart is investing considerably in pricing via its everyday low prices and everyday low costs loop.
Xeljanz ER Is Driving Growth for Pfizer This Year
On July 28, 2016, Pfizer announced positive results from the Phase 3 trial testing efficacy of Xeljanz as therapy for patients suffering with moderate to severely active ulcerative colitis (or UC).
USMV: A Passive Smart Beta Fund with Active Management
The iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (USMV) tries to mimic the performance of the MSCI USA Minimum Volatility Index. It includes US stocks with low volatility.
What Analysts Recommend for BDX before Its 3Q17 Results
Becton Dickinson (BDX) plans to release its fiscal 3Q17 results on August 3. In a survey of 15 firms, ~66.7% of the analysts rated BDX as a “buy,” and 33.3% rated it as a “hold.”
Wireless is Verizon’s Core Focus Area
Wireless is the key segment of Verizon’s business. It generated revenue and EBITDA of ~$22.6 billion and ~$9.9 billion, respectively, in 2Q15.
Mondelēz’s Looks for Cost Savings through Plant Modernization
A big part of Mondelēz’s cost transformation plan hinges on improving manufacturing facilities and practices. It has closed, sold, or upgraded 78 plants since 2012.
C.R. Bard’s Vascular Segment Flowing Well despite Tougher Comps
C.R. Bard (BCR) reported ~$931.5 million in total revenues in 2Q16. Of that, ~$255.3 million was contributed by the company’s Vascular business segment.
Are minimum volatility funds like bowling with bumpers?
“Minimum volatility” is often misunderstood as an investment that’s only useful during volatile markets, but there’s more to the story.
Jeffrey Gundlach: Buy Mortgage REITs, Short Utilities
Gundlach thinks that investors should short low volatility equity funds. People invest in them thinking that they’re safe, but they aren’t.
Why Target Is Focusing on Its Signature Categories to Drive Sales
Target has identified four signature categories it’s concentrating on to provide higher store and web traffic and sales: Baby, Style, Wellness, and Kids.
Target’s Strengths and Weaknesses Are Balanced
Target’s business model has been tested over several economic cycles. Even during the recession in 2008–2009, it managed to raise its dividend per share.
How minimum volatility funds perform during high volatility
When the equity markets were dropping, the min vol index acted as a cushion in these volatile markets, providing stronger relative performance.
Will Varian Medical Systems’ Sales Decline Again in 1Q18?
According to Wall Street analysts’ estimates, Varian Medical Systems (VAR) will report revenues of $636.8 million in 1Q18, a YoY decline of 16.6%.
A Look at Baxter International’s Capital Allocation Strategy
Overview After its spin-off of Baxalta in July 2015, Baxter International (BAX) restructured its operations, transforming into a leaner, more efficient organization with a focus on core capabilities. Following the spin-off, the company targeted a steady net-debt-to-EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) ratio of ~2x. Currently, the ratio stands at ~1x. As discussed in the […]
How Might BSX’s Delayed LOTUS Edge Impact Its Performance?
According to Boston Scientific, the delay will have no material impact on the company’s fiscal 4Q17 and 2017 results.
What’s Driving BD’s Operating Margin Expansion
Overview BD (BDX) has registered strong operating margin expansion in recent years. Its margin improved by 100 basis points in fiscal 2015 and 200 basis points in fiscal 2016. In fiscal 2017, BD’s margin expanded by ~180 basis points. In 4Q17, BD’s operating margin grew ~14.6% YoY (year-over-year), limited by 700 basis points due to the divestiture of BD’s […]
Gauging Baxter’s Claris Acquisition Contribution to Its 3Q17 Sales
Baxter released its 3Q17 quarterly results on October 25, 2017, and reported a contribution of ~$27 million from the Claris acquisition.
How Intuitive Surgical Reported Such High Margins in 3Q17
Intuitive Surgical reported a gross profit margin of ~71.8% (of total sales) for 3Q17. This margin was lower, however, than the 73.1% it reported in 3Q16.
Betting against Volatility: Worth the Risk?
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) measures the volatility in the US stock market as represented by the S&P 500 Index (SPY) (SPX-Index).
What’s BD’s Latest News in the Diabetes Management Market?
On September 19, 2017, Becton, Dickinson, and Company (BDX), or BD, introduced a new pen needle for its pen injection devices.
What Analysts Recommend for Intuitive Surgical
According to the latest rating recommendations in a Reuters survey comprised of 18 brokerage companies, 61.0% of the firms gave ISRG a “buy” rating, and 33.0% rated it a “hold.”
Management Changes at Baxter International: What You Should Know
Baxter International (BAX) has been going through a cost transformation and reorganization process for some time. The initiative includes some leadership and management changes.
Becton Dickinson’s Bard Acquisition: On Track, Gaining Momentum
Becton Dickinson (BDX) is set to complete another large acquisition of C.R. Bard (BCR) worth $24.0 billion in the fall of 2017.
Why the US Government Has Been Shut Down Before
A failure to raise the debt ceiling will likely result in a US government shutdown and a default by the US, which would be catastrophic for the global economy and financial markets (VTI) (USMV).
Varian Medical Systems: Better Aligned, More Focused
Varian Medical Systems and Varex On Jan 30, 2017, Varian Medical Systems (VAR) completed the spin-off of its Imaging Components business, which is now a standalone company named Varex Imaging (VREX). That day, Varian stock fell more than 12%. Varian distributed 0.4 Varex shares per Varian share to shareholders as of January 20, 2017. The distribution […]
International Monetary Fund Downgrades US Growth Forecast
US growth forecast In its July 23 update to its WEO (World Economic Outlook) report, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) downgraded its US growth forecast. Growth for 2017 has been revised to 2.1% from 2.3%, and to 2.1% from 2.5% in 2018. The IMF’s reasons for the downgrade included lackluster growth in the first quarter and […]
Stryker Won the Patent Case against Zimmer Biomet Holdings
On July 12, 2017, a US district court judge increased the penalties to be paid by Zimmer Biomet Holdings to Stryker related to its patent infringement case.
How Intuitive Surgical Is Returning Value to Its Shareholders
As of March 31, 2017, Intuitive Surgical has cash, cash equivalents, and investments of about $ 3.1 billion.
Why Fed’s Yellen Feels Gradual Rate Hikes Are Warranted
The tone of Yellen’s responses before the committee confirmed that the Fed is set to stay its course on monetary tightening, leading to policy normalization.
Which BD Product Launches Will Drive the Most Growth?
Becton, Dickinson, and Company (BDX), or BD, reported ~$2.97 billion in revenues in 2Q17.
Can Zimmer Biomet Have Consistent Operating Margin Expansion?
For fiscal 1Q17, Zimmer Biomet Holdings (ZBH) reported 75.2% gross margins, representing a fall of about 50 basis points compared to the prior year.
The S&P 500 Is above 2,400: Will Traders Continue to Buy?
US markets (ITOT) have continued to rise since the US election and have remained in positive territory in the last six months.
Boston Scientific Completes Its Acquisition of Symetis
On May 17, 2017, Boston Scientific (BSX) announced the completion of its acquisition of Symetis, which it announced on March 30, 2017.
Why Charles Evans Thinks It’s Important to Reach Inflation Goals
Charles L. Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said it’s extremely important that the Fed reach its inflation (VTIP) goal.
Your May FOMC Meeting Update
The FOMC has stuck to the script written by markets (SPY) and left interest rates unchanged at its May meeting.
Your Update on the FOMC March Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the FOMC meeting on March 14 and 15 were reported on April 5 and revealed the tone of the conversation among members to be hawkish.
How the Economy and Markets Could React to Tax Reforms
The US Fed has gradually increased interest rates without spooking the fixed income markets and continues to project future hikes.
A Look at BDX’s Recent Product Launches
BDX’s R&D investments totaled ~$828 million in fiscal 2016, which represents an annual growth of ~31%.
The State of Manufacturing According to PMIs
Markit’s “flash” reading of the US manufacturing PMI, released on November 23, put the index at 53.9 in November, as compared to 53.4 in October.
Exploring SYK’s MAKO Robot Performance and Future Expectations
Stryker (SYK) has identified its need to differentiate its offerings in the competitive orthopedics market, which has undergone business model changes.
BD’s Diversified Geographic Footprints: What Will Drive Growth?
Becton Dickinson (BDX) has a diversified presence around the world. The company’s sales contribution in 2016 from the United States, however, rose to 55% from around 50% in 2015.
How Should Fund Investors Approach the US Presidential Election and the Fed’s Impending Rate Hike?
If you’ve reached your investment horizon and have seen substantial gains, it would be wise to liquidate or reallocate to more conservative funds.
Analysts Expect Flat Revenue for Baxter in 3Q16
Revenue estimates On October 25, 2016, Baxter International (BAX) will announce its fiscal 3Q16 earnings for the period ending September 30, 2016. Wall Street has estimated Baxter’s 3Q16 revenue to be about $2.55 billion, a marginal decline from last quarter’s revenue of ~$2.58 billion. Investors can gain exposure to Baxter by investing in the iShares Edge […]
Buyback Achievers Strategy Significantly Outperforms Benchmark
Historically, we have seen Buyback does perform very well across all interest rate environments. Looking at the data back to the mid-80s, it does well.
The AlphaDEX® Methodology: The Quintessential Smart Beta Product
So let’s move on to the AlphaDEX suite of products. Walk us through the construction of these products.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Completed the FEI Acquisition
On September 19, 2016, Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) announced the strategic acquisition of FEI Company (FEIC) for $4.2 billion, or for $107.50 per share in cash.
Must-Know Details of Zimmer Biomet’s Clinical Graphics Acquisition
On September 15, 2016, Zimmer Biomet Holdings (ZBH) announced the strategic acquisition of Clinical Graphics.
Medtronic’s HeartWare Acquisition: The Must-Know Details
On August 23, 2016, Medtronic (MDT) completed its acquisition of HeartWare International.
New Product Launches Drive Stryker’s Growth and Profitability
Stryker constantly aims to develop new products and enhance its existing products through internal R&D (research and development).
How Moving Away from the 60/40 Portfolio Improves Returns
High-yield bonds provide higher yields to a portfolio. Minimum volatility stocks provide some cushion when equities fall.
Does Richard Bernstein Think US Stocks Are Fairly Valued?
Richard Bernstein Advisors is bullish on US equities. A major reason that drives its enthusiasm for US stocks is its assessment that the worst of the corporate profits recession is already over.
What Happens to Minimum Volatility Funds When Volatility Spikes?
The potential for a downside protection and upside participation is how minimum volatility strategies have delivered strong risk-adjusted returns over the long term.
How is Medtronic’s Economic Value Strategy Driving its Growth?
Medtronic (MDT) has established three key growth strategies, focusing on therapy innovation, globalization, and economic value.
What Are the Wireless Growth Opportunities for AT&T in Mexico?
AT&T has a strong growth opportunity in Mexico’s wireless market.
Why Do the Defensive Sectors Appear More Expensive?
The defensive sectors appear more expensive than they have been in the past, as well as more expensive than cyclical sectors.
Zimmer Biomet to Strengthen its Spine Business through LDR Acquisition
Zimmer Biomet Holdings (ZBH) will buy LDR Holding (LDRH) for approximately $1 billion to expand in the spine treatment device market.
Growth Strategies Driving Varian Medical Systems’ Revenue
Varian Medical Systems has ventured into the proton therapy business and has a huge product pipeline in this area. The company generated approximately $300 million through its proton therapy business in 2015.
Richard Bernstein Advisors Expects Corporate Profits to Grow 20%
Richard Bernstein Advisors’ earnings forecast for the 12-month period until June 2017 is ~$115. The S&P 500 PE multiple is ~24.
Why Bill Gross Thinks the Era of High Returns Is Over
Bill Gross thinks that the era of double-digit stock returns (SCHB) (USMV) and high single-digit investment-grade bond returns is over.
Delving into C. R. Bard’s Surgical Specialties Business Segment
C. R. Bard’s (BCR) Surgical Specialties segment contributes around 17% of the total revenues of the company.
How Is Cricket Making Up For AT&T’s Postpaid Phone Losses?
AT&T’s prepaid customers in the domestic wireless component increased by a significant ~21.3% year-over-year and reached ~12.2 million by the end of 1Q16.
AT&T’s Wireless Network Capacity and Ability to Meet Future Needs
During the Jefferies Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, AT&T’s Scott Mair talked about how AT&T’s wireless network capacity may be able to meet its future needs.
Innovation Drove Baxter’s Hospital Products Sales in 1Q16
Baxter International (BAX) reported ~$2.4 billion in total revenues in 1Q16. Of that, ~$1.5 billion was contributed by the company’s Hospital Products business.
Why Quest Diagnostics’ Five Point Business Strategy Matters in 2016
If Quest Diagnostics succeeds in implementing its five-point business strategy going forward, it should boost the company’s share price and USMV.
Revenue Growth Initiatives Drove LabCorp’s Performance in 1Q16
In 1Q16, LabCorp (LH) reported strong revenue and earnings growth due to the effective implementation of multiple strategic initiatives. LabCorp is the world’s leading healthcare diagnostics company.
Abbott’s Nutrition Segment Reported Strong Sales Growth in 1Q16
Abbott Laboratories (ABT) reported ~$4.9 billion in total revenues in 1Q16.
Becton Dickinson Stock Fell from Low Revenues, Strong Dollar
On February 3, 2016, Becton Dickinson (or BD) (BDX) released its 1Q16 earnings. After the announcement, BD’s share price fell 2.7% from $145.05 on February 2.
Growth of Abbott’s Nutrition Segment Driven by Sales
Abbott Laboratories (ABT) reported ~$5.2 billion of revenues worldwide in 4Q15. Of that, ~$1.8 billion was generated through the company’s Nutrition segment, which accounts for about 35% of Abbott’s total revenues.
AT&T Completed the DIRECTV Acquisition in 2015
AT&T and DIRECTV merged on July 24, 2015. At the completion of this transaction, the equity value of DIRECTV was ~$47.1 billion and its net debt was ~$15.9 billion.
Verizon on Custom TV and Growth in Fios
Verizon launched the Custom TV offering in April 2015. According to the company, the adoption of this service was significant in both 2Q15 and 3Q15.
Verizon on the Wireline Transaction with Frontier Communications
According to Verizon, a ~$10.5 billion wireline transaction with Frontier Communicatons is expected to be completed by the end of 1Q16.
Understanding Stryker’s Neurotechnology and Spine Segment
Stryker’s Neurotechnology and Spine segment reported an increase of 5% in net sales in 2014, driven by increased demand for neurotechnology products.
How the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program Impacts Carriers
Under the iPhone upgrade program, users are free to choose their telecom provider.
Verizon’s Top Network Performance in Toledo in 2H15
Based on the RootMetrics Metro results for Toledo, Verizon didn’t have to share the first spot in the overall network performance metric with AT&T in 2H15.
Verizon’s 2H15 Call Performance in Cleveland
Earlier, we saw that Verizon got the top-shared spot in the metrics for network speed. Here, we’ll look at the company’s call performance metric.
How Has AT&T’s Next Plan Performed?
According to the company, the penetration of its Next installment plan continued to rise sequentially during 3Q15 among its wireless postpaid smartphone users.
Dynamics of Verizon’s Wireless Data Traffic
During the Wells Fargo Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference on November 10, Verizon’s CFO highlighted some aspects of its wireless data traffic growth.
Can SPLV’s Fund Flow Catch up with USMV’s Flow?
Both USMV and SPLV saw healthy growth in their volumes traded since 2011. Volumes of USMV shares traded per day grew faster than SPLV’s share volumes.
An Overview of USMV’s Low Volatility Holdings
McDonald’s (MCD), AT&T (T), Public Storage (PSA), Paychex (PAYX), and AutoZone (AZO) are USMV’s top five holdings.
How Has Low Volatility ETF USMV Performed in 2015?
USMV follows an equal-weighted index. Therefore, the performance of each of its stocks is significant for its performance.
A Must-Read Structural Analysis of Minimum Volatility ETF USMV
The iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (USMV) is a smart beta ETF that tracks the performance of the MSCI USA Minimum Volatility Index.
Recent Performance of Verizon’s Wireline Enterprise Segment
During the Wells Fargo Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, Verizon’s CFO talked about the recent performance of its wireline enterprise segment.
What Are Home Depot’s Key Drivers in Fiscal 2016?
Home Depot (HD) reported an adjusted EPS (earnings per share) of $1.71 in 2Q16—a rise of 12.5% compared to the same quarter last year.