Mar 1, 2013 04:57 UTC

Weak CEO the least of Groupon’s woes

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By Robert Cyran 

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

Groupon’s woes won’t end by firing Chief Executive Andrew Mason. The troubled Internet daily deal firm’s stock rallied around 5 percent after the board sent its witty boss packing. But with overseas operations a mess, coupons in decline and a controversial chairman calling the shots, the company has bigger problems.

Feb 25, 2013 22:03 UTC

$6.6 bln won’t be enough to end Elan’s rash dreams

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By Robert Cyran

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Royalty Pharma’s $6.6 billion indicative offer for Elan probably won’t be enough to end the latter’s ambitious dreams. The biotechnology company has grand M&A plans after selling most of the rights to its blockbuster drug, Tysabri, for $3.25 billion earlier this month. Royalty Pharma may well use that cash more wisely than Elan’s current bosses, but a 4 percent premium won’t seal the deal.

Feb 25, 2013 20:23 UTC

Apple’s halo loses shine in investor fight

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By Richard Beales

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

No one looks too good in Apple’s fight with David Einhorn. The Greenlight Capital founder scored a legal point, but better governance wasn’t his main objective. Apple comes off amateurish. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, despite worthy shareholder-friendly aims, seems careless. The Securities and Exchange Commission also missed a trick.

Feb 22, 2013 21:05 UTC

Citi pay plan raises the bar, just not enough

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By Antony Currie

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Citigroup’s new executive pay plan raises the bar, just not quite far enough. The bank’s board has implemented a compensation scheme with more rigorous targets for Chief Executive Michael Corbat and his lieutenants. One important performance metric, however, keeps expectations too low.

Feb 22, 2013 20:55 UTC

Heinz deal suggests Big Food deserves a fresh look

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By Quentin Webb

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opini0ns expressed are his own.

After the Warren Buffett-backed takeover of Heinz, Big Food merits a fresh look. Makers of meals, sauces and spreads may offer better value than is immediately obvious.

Feb 13, 2013 17:17 UTC

SocGen short of options to solve biggest problem

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By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Societe Generale looks short of options to solve its biggest problem: it doesn’t make enough money. Full-year results on Feb. 13 indicate that the French bank is improving its capital position, and the threats from strict government regulation have receded. But even after the bank restructures its business, it will take time before it solves its fundamental problem – poor return on equity.

Feb 8, 2013 05:24 UTC

Tokyo stocks: this time could really be different

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By Robert Cole

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

Once bitten, twice shy. In fact, investors in Japan have been bitten many times by the seductive notion that the land of the rising sun is emerging from its bear-market night. They would be forgiven for shying away this time.

Feb 6, 2013 07:42 UTC

Dividend reform won’t fix China SOE money-go-round

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By John Foley

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

China’s elaborate money-go-round starts and ends with its cash-hoarding state-owned enterprises. So a plan to make them pay bigger dividends sounds promising. Still, if the goal is to return cash to the people, there is a long way to go.

Feb 4, 2013 09:41 UTC

Weak yen makes Japanese electronics firms giddy

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By Peter Thal Larsen

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Japan’s assault on the yen has produced some clear winners: investors in the country’s beaten-up consumer electronics industry. Shares in Panasonic jumped 17 percent on Feb. 4 after the group reported a less-severe-than-expected quarterly loss. The hope is that stronger exports and recent cost-cutting will transform earnings. But with revenue still shrinking, the recent rally is largely based on hope.

Feb 1, 2013 20:41 UTC

2012 may be as good as it gets for Exxon

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By Christopher Swann

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

2012 may be as good as it gets for Exxon Mobil. America’s largest oil company pumped out a near-record profit and its best earnings per share ever. But Exxon, like Chevron, is spending huge sums – almost $40 billion last year – to find and extract reserves. Holding output steady is tough enough. Unless oil prices jump, Exxon may have peaked.