Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Jeev Trika, Pavan Kumar, Liz McMillan, ManageEngine IT Matters, Lori MacVittie

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Xerox, Siemens, General Electric, 3M and Raven Industries

CHICAGO, March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX-Free Report), Siemens AG (NYSE:SI-Free Report), General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE-Free Report), 3M Co. (NYSE:MMM-Free Report) and Raven Industries Inc. (Nasdaq:RAVN-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Analytics: A Shot in the Arm for Healthcare

Never mind the political push-back against the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, it is steadily proving to be a blessing in disguise for healthcare analytics. Traditionally laggards in implementing information technology (IT) solutions, healthcare companies are now scrambling to incorporate analytics as Obamacare induces a complete rethink of the way the industry operates.

The Roots

Healthcare expenditures per capita in the U.S., presently 2.4 times higher than that of other developed countries, are estimated to increase 67.9% over the next decade. U.S. healthcare spending is billed at over $2.6 trillion annually. More than half of that is reportedly being wasted, primarily due to unnecessary hospitalizations, redundant tests, operational inefficiency and excessive end-of-life care.

Healthcare organizations today are forced by competitive pressures to provide more cost-efficient, patient-centric outcomes. Increasing regulatory oversight places further focus on accountability in the industry. The cost dynamics of the healthcare industry are gradually shifting, driven by rising incidents of chronic illnesses, infectious diseases and increasing life expectancy. These cumulative factors indicate an urgent need for improved perception of underlying trends, thus forging a path to differentiation.

With healthcare dynamics undergoing a massive transformation, the industry seems to be on the brink of a strategic shift in operations. The survival strategy is likely to be a seamless transition to an efficient, data-based system increasingly driven by value rather than volume. Analytics seems to be the silver lining for the daunting challenges facing the healthcare industry.

Healthcare Analytics to the Rescue

In a world of entrenched inefficiencies and suboptimal clinical outcomes, analytics has the power to pivot and transform the healthcare industry. The sheer abundance of data that overwhelms healthcare companies makes a compelling case for integrating advanced analytics to unlock and apply new insights from available information.

At present, descriptive analytics are extensively used as reporting tools. Descriptive analytics encompasses data visualization, standardized reporting and historic trend analysis. Healthcare companies also need to exploit the dimensions of simulation and scenario analysis to capitalize on information insights, cost efficiencies and thereby achieve targeted revenue growth.

Companies like Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX-Free Report) andSiemens AG (NYSE:SI-Free Report) early-on realized that data, predictive analytics and modeling could be a significant part of the answer to spiraling costs and eroding quality of healthcare. Siemens' wide portfolio of performance-driven diagnostics IT solutions provides effective support in diagnosing, monitoring and managing diseases, while its healthcare analytics integrates patient data across the care continuum from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, treatment and aftercare. Xerox, a veteran in text-mining and technology, has been applying healthcare analytics tools for over a decade, winning more that $200 million worth of IT contracts since the ACA was passed.

Industry Developments

Even diversified conglomerates like General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE-Free Report) and 3M Co. (NYSE:MMM-Free Report) are striving to find pockets of strength amid industry upheaval as evidenced by their recent acquisitions.

GE Healthcare recently bought healthcare workforce analytics firm API Healthcare in order to expand its current Hospital Operations Management (HOM) portfolio, which gives hospitals real-time access to operational data. In order to reduce costs and improve productivity, GE Healthcare intends to optimize asset utilization and workforce alignment, as well as eliminate patient flow bottlenecks. With this acquisition, GE Healthcare is likely to trim hospital operations costs with a mix of real-time data, software, powerful analytics and professional services.

In Feb 2014, 3M acquired leading healthcare data analytics and business intelligence provider, Treo Solutions, to facilitate customers' access to better, more comprehensive data across the spectrum of patient care. The acquisition is purported to extend real-time data analytics and payment redesign globally. 3M Healthcare delivers intelligent software and consulting services that are used to compile, classify, and analyze health information. The acquisition is expected to expand its horizons and unlock additional value.

Analytics can thus be used to build multidimensional predictive models, reduce costs, improve outcomes and empower patients. With access to better healthcare facilities, aligning pay with performance and trimming costs, analytics holds the power to put healthcare companies back on a strong growth trajectory.

Double-Edged Sword

However, the wealth of information that bombards healthcare companies both facilitates and complicates the ability to achieve and influence desirable outcomes. The sheer magnitude of data makes it progressively difficult to differentiate between critical data and clutter. The data paradox – a dilemma presented by too much data and too little insight – is an overwhelming obstacle to creating effective analytics strategies.

Other roadblocks for adoption of analytics include qualms about the quality and integrity of data, ownership of the data and a culture that does not encourage information sharing.

The Future

From a traditional base of transaction monitoring using basic reporting tools and spreadsheets, healthcare analytics is steadily progressing toward predictive analytics, which predicts future activities and model scenarios using simulation and forecasting techniques. Predictive analytics has the power to "see the future," and predict patient behavior, thus generating more personalized healthcare.

In healthcare industry, the blend of advanced analytics and the vast ocean of data is an absolute gold mine. Companies like General Electric and 3M have probably just scratched the surface and are likely to reap huge benefits in future.

However, there is more than just a financial incentive as it involves a matter of life and death.

Raven Down to Strong Sell

On March 20, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Raven Industries Inc. (Nasdaq:RAVN-Free Report), manufacturer of industrial goods, to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Why the Downgrade?

Raven has witnessed sharp downward estimate revisions after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter fiscal 2014 results on March 12. The stock also fell around 11% in the trading session after the earnings release.

In the quarter, Raven's earnings declined 23% year over year to 23 cents per share. The reported figure fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 32 cents. Increased raw material costs in the Engineered Films segment, increased investments in research and development (R&D) for Aerostar and lower sales volume in Applied Technology led to the year-over-year decline.

Sales increased 3% year over year to $92.6 million in the quarter but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

For the full year 2014, earnings per share fell 19% year over year to $1.17, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.26. Revenues fell 3% to $395 million from $406 million in the previous fiscal, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

For first-quarter fiscal 2015, Raven expects solid sales growth in Engineered Films from agriculture, along with higher OEM deliveries in Applied Technology. However, contract manufacturing declines and the uncertain agricultural aftermarket will pose challenges.

In the first quarter, Raven expects profits to be flat to slightly down. Thereafter, the company is expected to deliver increased profits in the balance of the year. Nevertheless, delay in contracts, pricing pressure, general market softness and volatile raw-material costs will hurt Raven's earnings.

Following the fourth-quarter earnings announcement, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Raven declined 14% to $1.21 per share for 2015 and 15.9% to $1.32 per share for 2016.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.

Get the full Report on XRX - FREE

Get the full Report on SI - FREE

Get the full Report on GE - FREE

Get the full Report on MMM - FREE

Get the full Report on RAVN - FREE

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
[email protected]
http://www.zacks.com

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...