The hottest thing on the tech front in 2015? Sure to be virtual reality..... a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment providing sensory experiences, such as touch and taste. New headsets that allow for immersive multimedia, including one from Oculus VR, a company owed by Facebook, are a good bet to hit the consumer market, Other companies making VR headsets or working with virtual reality technology in general include Sony, Samsung, Vuvix and Google. The cost for many of the headsets will be around $300, affordable for most people. Gamers will be the biggest early adopters. They'll marvel at the graphics and superfast gaming speeds. But use will quickly spread to many other sectors., including education, vocational and athletic training, social media and health care.
Sanofi SNY announced the appointment of Olivier Brandicourt as the next CEO, following the board's ousting of previous CEO Chris Viehbacher in late 2014. While the appointment doesn't affect our fair value estimate or wide moat rating, the decision removes a major uncertainty hanging over the company. Brandicourt will officially take the position on April 2, 2015. Brandicourt's extensive industry experience should guide Sanofi well through several new product launches and pricing pressures in the insulin market. Most recently, as the head of healthcare at Bayer, Brandicourt successfully oversaw the launches of several new blockbusters, including Xarelto for atrial fibrillation and Eylea for age-related macular degeneration. Brandicourt's skill in launching succe ssful new products will be needed as Sanofi prepares to launch several potential blockbusters with cholesterol-lowering drug Praluent and long-acting insulin Toujeo expected to enter the market in 2015. Also, Brandicourt brings a strong understanding of pricing pressure as the leader of Pfizer's primary care business from 2009 to 2012, a time of major pricing pressure for cholesterol drug Lipitor and several other drugs. This experience will be critical as Sanofi's top drug, Lantus, is facing heavy pricing pressure from payers. Supported by a French heritage, we expect Brandicourt to successfully navigate the complexities of the French culture and assertive board of directors. For the entire note, click here.
Damien Conover, CFA
Looks like he fully sold his position in MBI!
Does Bruce Berkowitz still have a position in MBI?
Sprint Earns Some Breathing Room
Aggressive uptake of the wireless firm’s lease offer drove some outperformance in the fiscal third quarter.
Feb. 6, 2015 12:30 p.m. ET
Sprint (S: NYSE) By Evercore ($4.82, Feb. 6, 2015)
We are upgrading Sprint to Hold from Sell, and maintaining a price target of $4.50.
Sprint (ticker:S) reported fiscal-third-quarter results with a slight beat on revenue (1.5% above) and a meaningful beat on reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda)...
Disney DIS started fiscal 2015 with another strong quarter, with results coming in ahead of our expectations. The company also announced its Shanghai resort will open in spring 2016. We maintain Disney's wide economic moat rating and its $95 fair value estimate. While we expect Disney to continue to execute and increase the top and bottom lines, we remain sensitive to valuation. The shares currently trade in 3-star territory and at approximately 20 times our fiscal 2015 EPS estimate. We reiterate our view that Disney is a high-quality business, but we'd wait for a larger discount to our fair value estimate before getting excited about investing. First-quarter revenue grew 9% over last year to $13.4 billion, above our estimate of $12.9 billion. The revenue growth at three of four largest segments (media networks, parks and resorts, and consumer products) offset a slight expected decline at studio entertainment as F1Q14 included the oversized impact of Frozen. EBITDA increased 18% to $3.7 billion, well above our $3.2 billion estimate, as margins improved at three of four largest segments (studio entertainment, parks and resorts, and consumer products). EBITDA margin at media networks declined 113 basis points due to the impact of increased sport rights at ESPN. Consolidated adjusted operating income grew 14% year over year to $3.4 billion with a 25.1% margin.
Neil Macker, CFA