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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Best in Breed #1

Wall Street’s Perennial Winner

  • Only one US bank consistently ranks number one globally for M&A advisory, secondary offerings and IPOs
  • Regulatory rollback, technological innovation and online banking catalyze additional growth opportunities
  • Valuation has fallen to multi-year lows on market related concerns despite strong company fundamentals

Amid the carnage of the past month, several subscribers have asked me a very provocative question: If you could double down on only one stock, what would it be? I admire the mindset… buying quality at a discount… but I also believe in diversification so I’m naming three, all of which I already own. One is a financial. One is a tech stock. One is in healthcare. These three sectors have suffered significantly, and I expect they’ll lead the rebound as selling abates. I’m calling this my “Best in Breed Series” and the moniker is highly appropriate for my first pick, Wall Street’s perennially top-rated investment bank. The company recently beat estimates by more than 15% for a sixth consecutive quarter, yet shares trade at less than nine times earnings for only the second time in nearly eight years. This is what I’m talking about… high quality companies trading at a discount and I’m doubling down. These are the ones to own.


November 02, 2018

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Best in Breed #2

Health Care’s Holy Grail

  • US healthcare expenditures of $10k per person annually equate to 18% of the nation’s GDP
  • Providers are pivoting from fee-for-service models to value-based care which incentives long-term health
  • Increasing use of data-driven solutions gives large providers a distinct cost advantage over smaller peers

Two logical reasons explain why healthcare stocks generally rise over time: Rising population and improved care. This is a powerful combination. The customer base grows 3% every year AND requires more services, for longer… if only every business had it so good. This also explains why healthcare stocks generally fared better in the selloff compared to more cyclical business like banks and semiconductors. One of my favorite healthcare providers is also one of the world’s largest, and its scale creates a distinct advantage over competitors. The more patients it serves, the more data it collects, enabling targeted care at lower cost. Healthcare professionals call this the Holy Grail of Health Care, and it’s very exciting from an investment standpoint because it embeds rising margins over time. Again, what a combo: Strong demographics and an exceptional business plan.


November 02, 2018

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Best in Breed #3

Winning the Software Sprint

  • Cloud-deployed software enables business to mine customer data in real time across entire enterprises
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software represents a potential $120B opportunity by 2021
  • Six CRM providers control nearly half the global market for deployable software and platform services

Tech stocks fell harder than every other sector in October because they’re the high growth companies which legions of 30-something PMs have been buying to generate returns. Mind you, these are bright young things who retreated to business school after the NASDAQ bust in 2000, then earned their stripes as associates during the financial crisis. Meltdown memories are very real for them, and they do NOT want to get caught for a third time in 18 years. I think this is why the selling was so vicious, and why resulting valuations are now so much more attractive. There were also a handful of technology companies which held their ground in October… they fell, but less than most. These are the new stalwarts, the ones to own through thick and thin. Happily I’m already long one of them, and today I reiterate why it’s my third Best in Breed.


November 02, 2018

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6.97

As in the Chinese yuan fell to 6.97 vs the dollar, its weakest ever, but then reversed as the Tweeter-in-Chief suggested a potential breakthrough on trade after a phone call with President Xi.
#GuessWhoWatchesMarkets

26

As in tax refunds next year could jump 26% because withholding tables this year don’t fully reflects changes enacted by tax reform, according to Morgan Stanley.
#YesPlease

53

As in 53% of ETFs have seen outflows over the past 3 months, the most since 2014 (Bianco Research).
#WayTooManyBears

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“Big bank stock valuations have been driven down to recession levels by fear of a slowdown.” 
–Morgan Stanley Head of Bank Research, Betsy Graseck

#AgreedAndItsAbsurd

“We don’t know who is responsible… everyone has their own theories. Doing business with Saudi Arabia is not something I’m ashamed of.”
–BlackRock CEO Larry Fink responding to questions about the firm’s longstanding relationship with the Kingdom, given uncertainty around Jamal Khashoggi’s death. 
#ThreadingTheNeedle 

“We are going through an effort to right-size our business and allocate resources to future growth areas.”
–NBCUniversal spokesperson commenting on 50 layoffs in the advertising department as ad buying becomes increasingly automated.

#JobsForRobots