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Apr 24, 2013

Breakingviews – $50 billion buyback hike one sign of Apple middle age

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Apple’s (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) $50 billion increase in its share buyback program is a sign it is hitting middle age. The company is slowing down a bit. But the $380 billion Apple still has plenty of spring in its step. And its absurd level of financial comfort means it can give much more back to investors.

Apple’s 11 percent revenue growth in the quarter to March from a year earlier was well short of its previous breakneck pace. And the company’s gross margin slipped to 37.5 percent and may fall further – enviable for most companies, but not up to Apple’s innovative best. The company blamed factors ranging from increased sales of lower-margin iPads to changes in service policies in China.

Apr 23, 2013
via Breakingviews

Will Netflix star in “The Easter Island Effect”?

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

Will Netflix have a starring role in “The Easter Island Effect”? The Internet video service seems to be using up resources faster than it can produce them. New series like “House of Cards” lure customers, at a cost. Netflix cash flow remains negative and obligations are rising. It’s starting to evoke the centuries-old Polynesian society that eventually exhausted its means of sustenance.

Apr 22, 2013
via Breakingviews

Mafia and Cyprus may release IPO animal spirits

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By Robert Cyran

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

The mafia and Cyprus could trigger a full release of animal spirits. High debt didn’t deter buyers from this month’s Intelsat and SeaWorld initial public offerings. Now comes Qiwi, a Cyprus-domiciled, Russian payment system warning about the potential effects of organized crime, the island’s bailout, money laundering and a dual-class share structure. It puts investor appetite to the ultimate test.

Apr 18, 2013
via Breakingviews

Hostile drug deal gets too clever for its own good

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

Royalty Pharma is suffering from some self-inflicted wounds in its hostile pursuit of Elan. The finance firm tried to use the drug maker’s $1 billion stock buyback to swoop up the entire company. But it devised a puzzlingly complex tender offer that was too clever for its own good. The scheme ended up replacing a long-term shareholder with other investors far more likely to demand a chunkier premium.

Apr 17, 2013
via Breakingviews

Gunsmith finds cold shoulders on Wall Street

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

 

Financiers typically turn away fees as willingly as dogs give up steaks. But Wall Street banks are leery of financing bids for gun maker Freedom Group for fear of damaging their reputations. Making assault rifles, it turns out, has joined pornography on the list of activities with risks that money can’t hide.

Apr 4, 2013

Breakingviews: Facebook super-app wants to live off Google

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Facebook’s (FB.O: Quote, Profile, Research) new super-app wants to live off Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research). The social network’s Home software, unveiled on Thursday, sits on top of the Android smartphone operating system. That encourages people to use Facebook over rival services. Google built Android, but Mark Zuckerberg’s company plainly likes the idea of grabbing a piece of it.

Apr 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

Facebook super-app wants to live off Google

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

Facebook’s new super-app wants to live off Google. The social network’s Home software, unveiled on Thursday, sits on top of the Android smartphone operating system. That encourages people to use Facebook over rival services. Google built Android, but Mark Zuckerberg’s company plainly likes the idea of grabbing a piece of it.

Apr 4, 2013

Deal prospects make Vodafone look cheap

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own.)

By Quentin Webb and Robert Cyran

LONDON/NEW YORK, April 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Deal
prospects make Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research)(VOD.O: Quote, Profile, Research) look cheap. An optimistic
reading of the underlying valuations suggests M&A could deliver
shareholders in the London-listed mobile giant perhaps 35
percent more value than they have now. That’s an extra 31.5
billion pounds ($47.6 billion). But unlocking this would entail
huge deals and huge headaches to match.

Apr 2, 2013
via Breakingviews

MetroPCS owners can forget a standalone option

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By Robert Cyran and Jeffrey Goldfarb
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

MetroPCS owners should forget about a standalone option. Dissident investors John Paulson and Peter Schoenfeld persuaded two proxy services that the cellphone operator is selling out on the cheap to rival T-Mobile USA and that independence is a better option. While the agitating may bring a sweeter bid, MetroPCS is unlikely to prosper or exist for long on its own.

Apr 1, 2013

Breakingviews-Dell blow-by-blow makes rival bidders’ jobs harder

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own.)

By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales

NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A bidding war
for Dell (DELL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) just became even less likely. The computer
company on Friday laid out, in a novel-length filing, its
reasoning for agreeing to a $24.4 billion buyout by founder
Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. It’s
only the company’s version, but Dell seemingly did what it could
to secure the best offer available.

    • About Robert

      "Robert Cyran, U.S. tech columnist, joined Breakingviews in London in 2003 and moved four years later to New York, where he continues to cover global technology, pharmaceuticals and special situations. Robert began his career at Forbes magazine, where he assisted in the start-up of the international version of the magazine. Before working at Breakingviews he worked as a market researcher and reporter covering the pharmaceutical industry. Robert has a Masters degree in economics from Birmingham University and an undergraduate degree from George Washington University."
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