Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Charlotte Spencer-Smith, SmartBear Blog

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, 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. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, 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. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
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 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software 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. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, 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. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, 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. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, 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. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...