Breakingviews

Mini-me tech bubble is mere shadow of 2000 excess

May 5, 2014

The run-up may have paused, but dozens of companies are in line to float, hubris is rampant, oddball metrics abound, and revenue-free startups are still worth fortunes. Even nerd culture has become hip. The latest internet boom is as absurd as the last, but it’s far smaller.

Cisco stops descent, stuck in purgatory for now

October 20, 2011

After years of chasing growth - and seeing its stock crumble - Cisco is sensibly focusing on the bottom line. This should buy longstanding Chief Executive John Chambers enough time from investors to retire gracefully in three years.

Oracle needs to read Cisco cautionary tale

December 5, 2011

Empires built on acquisitions can run into problems as they sprawl. That’s doubly so in tech, where obsolescence is a risk. Oracle has used database profits to buy new businesses. So far, so good - but Cisco’s record suggests success will be hard to sustain.

Cisco’s John Chambers falls off the M&A wagon

March 15, 2012

Less than a year ago, the networking giant’s boss, in an unusual mea culpa, forswore big deals and promised discipline. Now, he’s shelling out $5 bln for NDS, a pay TV software firm. But this acquisition might deliver justifiable returns and fit nicely with Cisco’s strategy.

“Go East, young nerd!”

May 18, 2010

It has become a rite of passage for young and ambitious nerds to pack their bags for California. But giants like Cisco, Microsoft and Google have tens of billions of dollars trapped outside the United States.

Rising tide will not lift all stocks

October 16, 2009

Technology stocks have rallied strongly this year. Major tech indices are up more than 70 percent from March. A big reason for this is that investors are betting that company purchases of replacement equipment will drive sales and earnings growth next year. But while some names such as Microsoft, Cisco and Intel may benefit from product upgrades on a scale not seen since the 1990s boom years, this rising tide will not lift all boats.