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Regions Financial
16 января, 16:26

First Horizon (FHN) Stock Slips as Q4 Earnings Lag Estimates

First Horizon National Corporation (FHN) posted earnings per share of 23 cents for the fourth-quarter 2016, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 25 cents.

13 января, 15:00

3 Ways Data Dashboards Can Mislead You

Executives love dashboards, and why wouldn’t they? Single-screen “snapshots” of operational processes, marketing metrics, and key performance indicators (KPIs) can be visually elegant and intuitive. They show just-in-time views of what’s working and what isn’t — no need to wait for weekly or monthly reports from a centralized data center. A quick scan of a dashboard gives frontline managers transparency and, ideally, the opportunity to make rapid adjustments. But dashboards aren’t the magic view some managers treat them as. Although they can convey snapshots of important measures, dashboards are poor at providing the nuance and context that effective data-driven decision making demands. Data analytics typically does a few things: describes existing or past phenomena predicts future events based on past data prescribes a course of action Most dashboards, though, only cover the first — describing what has happened. Moving from description to prediction to action requires knowledge of how the underlying data was generated, a deep understanding of the business context, and exceptional critical thinking skills on the part of the user to understand what the data does (and doesn’t) mean. Dashboards don’t provide any of this. Worse, the allure of the dashboard, that feeling that all the answers are there in real time, can be harmful. The simplicity and elegance can tempt managers to forget about the all-important nuances of data-driven decision making. To get better at creating and using dashboards, think about these three drawbacks to data dashboards. The Importance Trap Every dashboard is built on a set of priorities and assumptions about what’s important. Many times those priorities are defined by IT, a design expert, or a consultant who deploys dashboards and doesn’t know the company that well. Sometimes, the priorities may even be the default measurements provided by the dashboard software. In many of these cases, companies end up with official-looking views into data that doesn’t align with business priorities. For instance, a small-business owner may have a dashboard that shows a moving average of his customers’ inter-purchase times. Is this information worthy of “front-page attention” each day? Probably not. Not only does the metric itself require significantly more information to drive action, but it simply doesn’t align with his goals and business model. It should go without saying that all elements of a dashboard should be relevant and important. If the choice of what information to present in a dashboard is made without the input of those closest to the business context — whether through default software settings or what one person building the dashboard happens to think is important — it is highly unlikely that the dashboard will be maximally useful. The Context Trap Too often, we think of analytics as representing some sort of unbiased and dispassionate truth. We equate “empirical” and “quantitative” with “objective.” This dangerous belief leads managers to track and even act on metrics simply because they appear on a dashboard — and, well, dashboards don’t lie, right? Consider the manager tasked with maximizing sales leads. He helped design a simple view on his dashboard to see how leads are coming in to the company over time. He sees an upward sloping cyclical pattern:   Based on this data, the manager might focus on the period when leads coming in were highest — here, the second-to-last peak — and try to understand the conditions present during that peak period. However, one could reasonably argue that the period of greatest “success” in this graphic is actually the point at which the number of leads most exceeds the expected number of leads, given the history of cyclicality and growth. If we overlay a deviation from expected leads curve, a different picture emerges:   In this example, the most notable time period may be where expected leads peak (where the gray line is at its highest) but actual leads are low. A manager who seeks to understand the conditions for lead generation success may want to focus energy there rather than when leads were, and were expected to be, high. As this example hints at, there are myriad ways to present data. The burden is on the interpreter and user of the dashboard to ensure that the most relevant and useful metric is conveyed. The Causality Trap Perhaps the greatest danger in using dashboards for decision making is in misattributing causality when comparing elements on the dashboard. Comparisons are a dashboard’s bread and butter, such as showing sales by region, financial performance by month, customer inquiries by channel, and so forth. It’s far too easy — and unfortunately common — for managers to interpret the groupings in a dashboard as causative when they may not be. What if you saw a dashboard graphic like the one below, showing a comparison of lung cancer rates between people who carry lighters or matches in their pockets and those who don’t?   Would you conclude from this comparison that carrying lighters and matches causes lung cancer? Probably not. You would instead surmise that people who carry lighters and matches are more likely to smoke, and that smoking causes cancer. In their specific business context, however, managers frequently fall into the trap of concluding that lighters and matches cause cancer. Dashboards lead them to assign causality when they shouldn’t. Consider a large package delivery company that wanted to reduce vehicle accidents. To do so, they offered drivers the option to upgrade their GPS to a system that would help them avoid high-risk traffic areas. After monitoring drivers’ behaviors for a week, a frontline manager checked her dashboard and found, to her surprise, that the accident rate was actually higher with the upgrade than without:   Many managers would look at this graphic and assign causality. Drivers who upgraded their GPS were in more accidents, therefore the GPS upgrade backfired miserably. But the upgrade was actually quite effective. The manager would have seen this by comparing accident rates for drivers that the company categorizes as “accident prone” or “safe”:   For both groups, the upgrade made them safer. So why did the accident rate increase for the entire fleet of drivers while decreasing for each group? Because in this case almost all of the accident-prone drivers chose to use the upgraded device and almost all of the safe drivers kept the old device. Preexisting driver behavior was confused with the effectiveness of the upgrade. Before dashboards, answering the question of whether the upgrade was effective would have required a data-savvy individual, probably someone trained in statistics. This person almost certainly would have asked, “What else, other than the upgrade, might be responsible for the increase in accidents?” The manager’s mistake would have been avoided easily. But when managers rely only on data dashboards, with the hope and expectation that these visual tools will facilitate decision making, serious shortcomings emerge. Without the nuance and context that dashboards don’t reveal, managers can come to some very wrong conclusions.

Выбор редакции
09 января, 22:57

Repeal Of Dodd-Frank Could Be Boon For Small, Regional Financials

These smaller financial institutions could benefit from decreased regulation, higher economic growth and rising interest rates.

09 января, 17:14

Outline of Vanguard Strategic Equity Investor Fund (VSEQX)

Vanguard Strategic Equity Investor Fund (VSEQX) seeks long-term capital growth by investing primarily in the stocks of small and midsize companies

29 декабря 2016, 17:10

Regions (RF) Reflects Mixed Revenue Picture & Cost Control

The recent Fed rate hike and the Trump effect have led banking stocks to rally. Regions Financial Corporation (RF) is one such stock.

28 декабря 2016, 19:01

New alarm bells ring over Internet finance

CHINA’S money markets face a bumpy transition into 2017 after a recent bond default triggered ripples of concern about the booming but largely unregulated online financial sector and the practice of regulation

21 декабря 2016, 19:54

Swap deal extended

CHINA’S central bank extended a currency swap deal with its Icelandic counterpart yesterday. The deal is worth 3.5 billion yuan (US$504 million) and will last for three years, the People’s Bank of China

14 декабря 2016, 18:52

Bankers To Fed: Stop Riding The Asset Bubble And Raise Rates Already

Submitted by Patrick Watson via MauldinEconomics.com, The stakes were high at last September’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Federal Reserve officials had hinted all year that a rate hike was coming. Traders assumed it would come at a quarter-end meeting, coinciding with one of Janet Yellen’s news conferences. If so, it would be the Fed’s last chance until December. After much suspense, the FOMC again sat on their hands. But the September vote to do nothing wasn’t unanimous. Three hawkish committee members dissented—a first in Yellen’s term as Fed chair. What no one outside the Fed knew at the time: Two weeks earlier, the Fed’s Board of Governors had held an unannounced, closed-door meeting with top US bankers, including the heads of Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC), BB&T Corp (BBT), and Northern Trust (NTRS). Echoing the FOMC dissents later that month, the bank CEOs asked the board to normalize rates and stop “riding the asset bubble being generated by the easy-money policies around the globe.” That’s unusually direct language by Fed standards, but the way it stayed hidden ahead of the FOMC meeting is stranger still. It raises serious questions about the Yellen Fed’s commitment to transparency as well as its struggle to reach policy consensus. Federal Reserve Board meeting, June 3, 2016. Photo: Federal Reserve The Forgotten Council The 1913 Federal Reserve Act created a system of regional reserve banks balanced by a politically appointed Board of Governors in Washington. It also mandated a link between the two, called the Federal Advisory Council (FAC). Each of the 12 Fed districts appoints a representative to the council, which then meets with the Board of Governors four times a year. Those meetings have been happening for over a century, yet few people outside the Fed knew about them. For decades, the Fed disclosed very little. In 2013, Bloomberg News used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain official records of Federal Advisory Council meetings. Now you can read them on the Fed’s web site. Note that this was not a voluntary disclosure. If not for FOIA, we would all still be in the dark, as the Fed evidently wants. Even now, the public records omit important details, like who are the group’s officers, attendees of each meeting, votes taken, and future meeting dates. They are still useful, though. I’ve been reading the FAC summaries since 2013 and find them much more informative than the better-known Beige Book reports. The September 7 meeting record was especially interesting. Consider this from a section on persistently low interest rates and their impact on bank profitability. It may be a prudent time to adjust policy thinking to shift the balance from stimulus through lower rates to encouraging investment activity through investment returns. Shifting the policy stance to a normalization posture that steadily moves to higher rates could increase confidence and reestablish the normal relationship among savers and borrowers. If rate normalization happens in a steady and more predictable approach, the economy can incorporate this change in rates and psychology and make investment decisions based on the best allocation of capital to productive sources versus riding the asset bubble being generated by the easy-money policies around the globe. Remember who said this: Top bankers, talking to the Fed’s Board of Governors, two weeks before a key FOMC meeting. The bankers clearly wanted higher rates as soon as possible. The Federal Reserve Act specifically empowers the council to make recommendations to the board, but why say it so forcefully? This is the Fed, where everything is slow, measured, and deliberate. Terms like “asset bubble” and “easy money” aren’t in their normal vocabulary. I asked a former Federal Reserve official, familiar with internal deliberations, what to make of this language. The answer: This is not normal. Whoever said it wanted to make a point. So, it looks like the Federal Advisory Council was trying to shake up the Board of Governors. The council wanted higher rates and said so in plain, unmistakable terms. The board doesn’t have to agree, and it didn’t. All five governors, including Yellen, voted not to raise rates at the September 21 FOMC meeting. Convenient Delay All this stayed unknown to the media or public due to an unusual deviation from Federal Reserve practice. The FAC normally posts records of its meetings a week after they occur. As of September 7, it even said so on its web page. You can see it in this screen shot taken that day. But as we know, this meeting wasn’t typical. Instead of posting the September 7 meeting record a week later (on September 14), the Fed released nothing until September 23. Here’s what the page looked like then. The Fed staff added a line linking to the September 7 record. They also removed the line that had previously said, “Records are typically posted within a week after the FAC meeting.” Through another source, I confirmed that this text disappeared from federalreserve.gov sometime between noon on September 7 and 5:00 PM on September 8—right after the FAC meeting occurred. This suggests someone decided to delay the September 7 record release beyond the “typical” one week. Who made that decision is unclear, but here’s what we know. Instead of the usual one week, the FAC record didn’t appear until 16 days after the September 7 meeting. Someone removed language that would have highlighted this delay on September 7 or September 8. Photo: Getty Images A Fed spokeswoman told me they try to get the FAC records out within a week but don’t always make it. She could not comment on September’s unusual delay or the web site changes. Since the Fed won’t explain, we can only speculate. Combine what we know these with two other facts: The delayed record revealed major disagreement between the FAC members and the Board of Governors on interest rate policy. The delay hid this disagreement from the public until after the FOMC decided not to raise rates. Strange, yes? Here’s the sequence of events again. Sept. 7: FAC meets, asks FOMC to raise interest rates Sept. 8: One-week publication note disappears from FAC web page Sept. 14: FAC meeting record not released on schedule Sept. 21: FOMC announces no change to interest rates Sept. 23: FAC releases FAC meeting record 11 days later than normal By the way, the “within a week” sentence is still missing from the web site now, three months later. That suggests the delay was more than a one-time exception. More mysteries could be hiding in the 20-page September meeting record. I invite you to review the document and contact me with other ideas. A Question for Mrs. Yellen On one level, this is just normal bureaucratic behavior. Government officials don’t like being questioned. Neither do bank CEOs. But this is not simply another alphabet agency. It’s the Federal Reserve, the world’s most important central bank, whose chair has promised greater transparency on matters of public interest. What else are they hiding? Well, if the FAC followed custom, it met on the first Friday of this month, December 2. But as of now, they won’t even confirm a meeting occurred. On December 1, I called the Fed’s Public Affairs Office and asked if the FAC was meeting the next day. The answer, after a brief pause: “It’s not on our public schedule.” Nicely vague. I called again on Monday, December 12, and asked the same question: Has the FAC met this month? Again, they would not confirm whether the FAC had met and advised me to watch the web site.  So, it looks like we won’t know any more until the Fed feels like telling us. Will the FAC record again appear after the FOMC meeting? As I said last week, the Federal Reserve Board has two vacancies that President Trump can fill as soon as he takes office. Maybe they can help Yellen pull back the curtain. Riding the Asset Bubble One more thing… We know the bankers on the Federal Advisory Council saw an “asset bubble” as of September 7. Yet their own stocks have skyrocketed since then. For example, Comerica (CMA) shot up 46.4% and Regions Financial (RF) jumped 44.2% through December 12, including dividends. Most of the others were up 25% or more. If the bank leaders saw an asset bubble even before this rally, what do they call it now? *  *  * Subscribe to Connecting the Dots...and Get a Glimpse of the Future - We live in an era of rapid change… and only those who see and understand the shifting market, economic, and political trends can make wise investment decisions. Macroeconomic forecaster Patrick Watson spots the trends and spells what they mean every week in the free e-letter, Connecting the Dots. Subscribe now for his seasoned insight into the surprising forces driving global markets.

13 декабря 2016, 17:55

Top Ranked Momentum Stocks to Buy for December 13th

Top Ranked Momentum Stocks to Buy for December 13th

13 декабря 2016, 17:30

Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Chimera Investments, Hawaiian Holdings, HomeStreet, Regions Financial and Tailored Brands

Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Chimera Investments, Hawaiian Holdings, HomeStreet, Regions Financial and Tailored Brands

13 декабря 2016, 17:14

Top Ranked Value Stocks to Buy for December 13th

Top Ranked Value Stocks to Buy for December 13th

13 декабря 2016, 01:03

Five Runaway Momentum Stocks on the Move

Five Runaway Momentum Stocks on the Move

10 декабря 2016, 02:16

Bank Stock Roundup: Upbeat Trading Outlook and Likely Rate Hike Bring Optimism, Citigroup in Focus

Over the last five trading days, major banks showed a bullish trend. Heightened expectations of a rate hike this month have boosted investors' optimism.

10 декабря 2016, 01:54

Bank of America & 4 Other Top Ranked Financials to Buy Now

The finance sector seems to be a good bet now- Bank of America Corporation (BAC), Regions Financial Corporation (RF), CNA Financial Corporation (CNA), E*TRADE Financial Corporation (ETFC), Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (VRTS).

09 декабря 2016, 19:14

Top Ranked Momentum Stocks to Buy for December 9th

Top Ranked Momentum Stocks to Buy for December 9th

09 декабря 2016, 16:33

New Strong Buy Stocks for December 9th

New Strong Buy Stocks for December 9th

08 декабря 2016, 17:59

S&P 500 Peaks to an All-time High Courtesy These 5 Stocks

U.S. stocks posted their biggest rally since the presidential election, leading the S&P 500 to an all-time high

08 декабря 2016, 01:34

Wells Fargo’s New Boss Comes Out Swinging

Wells Fargo’s new boss has come out swinging. At the first gathering of big-bank chief executives since the U.S. election, Tim Sloan detailed a laundry list of rules he wants

08 декабря 2016, 01:31

Regions Revises 2016 Outlook, Aims $400M Cost Cut by 2019

Regions Financial Corporation (RF), is likely to witness a rise in revenue in 2016, as inferred from its revised outlook for this year, presented at the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference.

07 декабря 2016, 17:30

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Booz Allen Hamilton Holding, McDonald's, Regions Financial and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Booz Allen Hamilton Holding, McDonald's, Regions Financial and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals