Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Jeev Trika, Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, John Basso

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
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.