Bullseye Brief presents three thematic, actionable investment ideas every other week. My goal is to help identify only those opportunities most worthy of your time… by analyzing data, distilling complexity and sharing insights from a deep network of experts. I love what I do and invite you to join me.
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Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson anchored several business programs at Bloomberg Television over five years, interviewing CEOs, heads of state, and Nobel laureates. His daily video investment blog, Insight and Action was sponsored by a major U.S. lender. Previously he managed global risk assets for ING Furman Selz and Louis Dreyfus, trading oil futures, listed equities and equity options. Adam began his career at Merrill Lynch with a degree in economics at Princeton.


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Tipping the Scale

Back in the Health Biz

  • Second quarter earnings season proves particularly challenging as investors sell even strong performers
  • The S&P 500 Index has risen just 1.4% since 2Q earnings reports began July 11 despite 25% YoY growth
  • One of Bullseye’s best performing longs of all time falls after earnings creating an attractive entry point

Reference points provide context, and tracking multiple companies across sectors helps me formulate a bottoms-up view on markets. This tells me what’s happening in the economy, and sometimes these reference stocks become positions in the portfolio. It’s an approach I learned from an early mentor, who traded in and out of only about 100 stocks over the course of his four decade career. When they dropped he bought them, and when they hit his target he sold them. If they ran too far, he’d sell them short. Sometimes he’d buy the bonds instead… he loved income. Earlier this year I sold one of my all-time best performing longs, which has since dropped 20% on disappointing forward earnings guidance. I think investors have overreacted, and analysts are reiterating BUY ratings. The company is the premier global lifestyle health business, and it’s run by one of the most innovative CEOs in America. I think it’s time to borrow a page from The Master, and look to buy this one back.


August 11, 2018

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Profit Prescription

Pharmacy of the Future

  • U.S. healthcare providers dispense 4.62B prescriptions annually or about 14 per person per year
  • The nation’s two largest pharmacy operators command a combined 40% market share
  • Pharmacies are adding new online telemedicine services to in-store clinics as care consolidates

I was bitten by a dog while on vacation a couple years ago and it wasn’t pretty… it hurt too. Suffice to say I should have gone straight to the hospital, but strangely chose dinner instead. I eventually returned to the hotel, at which point the concierge took a photo and texted it to the doctor on call. Within 2 minutes my cellphone rang and we were discussing options. The doctor told me my wound had been open too long for stitches (you don’t want to “sew in” a potential infection) but he did prescribe antibiotics and pain killers which arrived within the hour. He asked me to text pictures every twelve hours so he could monitor progress, and eventually forwarded a full report to my doctor back home. Incredibly, the whole episode cost less than $100 and saved me untold hours. It’s part of an evolving approach called telemedicine, a tech-enabled solution to streamlining care and shifting the burden for non-urgent services away from costly emergency rooms. The nation’s largest pharmacy business has just announced a partnership with the nation’s largest tele-medicine provider, and the opportunity for upside is significant.


August 11, 2018

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Turbocharged

When Trade Turns

  • NAFTA negotiators signal progress on an agreement which could be signed in September
  • US and EU regulators move forward on a tariff-free framework as they negotiate cross-Atlantic trade
  • Autos and auto part have proven a key sticking point but progress suggests a major breakthrough

Ongoing U.S. trade negotiations with key allies show significant progress. European Commissioner Jean-Claude Junker and President Trump agree to suspend any new punitive actions, focusing instead on eliminating tariffs altogether. U.S. Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer signals a NAFTA agreement could happen within weeks, and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland sounds almost giddy, “I and Canada are very, very keen to get NAFTA done as quickly as possible… we are very, very supportive of moving forward fast and we are in close touch with our Mexican and U.S. counterparts.” After months of sleepless nights worrying about potential trade-related land mines in my portfolio, the prospect of resolution with key trading partners is extremely welcome news… even if China still waits patiently at the altar. Autos and auto parts have garnered the most attention, and while we don’t yet have clarity on specific changes, I’m betting the positive signals from negotiators reflect a breakthrough. If I’m right, and I think we’ll know fairly soon, one auto parts manufacturer stands to benefit significantly.


August 11, 2018

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8.2

As in the number of containers imported into California’s Port of Long Beach falls 8.2% in July.
#China

21

As in the the Turkish 10-yr bond yields 21%, compared to 12% in April before trade tensions erupted.
#ReleaseThePastor

11.21

As in Russian oil production has risen to a record of 11.21Mb/d, making it the world’s largest producer of oil.
#OilOilEverywhere

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“We find the proposed merger strategically and financially compelling, structured in a reasonable manner from a valuation standpoint for Cigna shareholders.”
–Shareholder advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co. recommending Cigna shareholders vote in favor of the proposed acquisition of Express Scripts, despite adamant opposition from investor Carl Icahn.

#SorryCarl

“Deal with Mexico coming along nicely and incoming president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been an absolute gentleman.”
–Mr. Trump tweeting about trade negotiation progress with Mexico.
#MeantToPressureCanada?

“All this going private talk I kind of wish never happened.” 
–Tesla shareholder Ross Gerber of Gerber Kawasaki who thinks the Mr. Musk’s $420 buyout price mentioned in a tweet is too low.

#MayHaveViolatedDisclosureLawsToo