Robert's Feed
Oct 24, 2012
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Why do investors prefer Amazon to Apple?

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

Why do investors prefer Amazon to Apple? Sure, the gadget maker’s market capitalization is far larger. Yet investors are willing to pay almost nine times as much for the retailer’s estimated earnings. That looks expensive in any case. But it’s also odd, because Amazon perpetually promises more jam tomorrow, while Apple delivers it.

Oct 24, 2012

Breakingviews – Apple takes lower-priced tablet fight to Amazon

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Apple (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is taking the tablet fight to Amazon (AMZN.O: Quote, Profile, Research). The Cupertino tech company’s new iPad mini takes it closer to the price point for the online retailer’s devices. The new hardware rivalry could pressure Amazon into price cuts.

Investors didn’t seem to see it quite that way. They knocked some 3 percent, or about $20 billion, off Apple’s market value despite a slew of product updates and the unveiling of the smaller iPad on Tuesday afternoon. Perhaps at an entry-level $329, Apple’s widely anticipated new product wasn’t seen as competitive enough with Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire HD.

Oct 20, 2012
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Is everything sacred in Canada?

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By Robert Cyran

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

Is everything sacred in Canada? At first it was a hole in the ground. Then it was the stock exchange and a DIY chain. This week, regulators blocked two more big deals, including a $5.2 billion bid for Progress Energy by Petronas of Malaysia. Taken as a whole, these actions signal the market for corporate control in Canada – especially when it comes to foreign buyers – is effectively closed.

Oct 20, 2012
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Internet parasitism powers Barry Diller’s returns

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By Robert Cyran

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

Barry Diller is abandoning Newsweek magazine’s print edition as the media mogul’s web businesses are thriving. But his IAC conglomerate seems to be powered by a risky form of internet parasitism. The $4.6 billion company’s stock rallied some 20 percent this year on a boom in online search largely driven by customers unwittingly downloading IAC toolbars. That’s no way to build a lasting business.

Oct 18, 2012
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Google’s hardware ambitions proving costly

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By Robert Cyran

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

Google’s hardware ambitions are proving surprisingly costly. The search giant paid $12.5 billion for Motorola’s handset business. The division lost another $527 million in the third quarter and the mistaken early release of unexpectedly weak earnings knocked over $20 billion off Google’s market capitalization in afternoon trade. A bigger concern is the risk of long-term management distraction.

Oct 2, 2012

Super-voting stock hardly super in terms of value

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, Oct 2 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Super-voting stock
is hardly super in terms of value. Facebook (FB.O: Quote, Profile, Research), Groupon
(GRPN.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Zynga (ZNGA.O: Quote, Profile, Research) are among the growing number of
companies using multiple classes of shares. Yet their returns
are worse than for simpler ownership structures over most time
periods, new research finds. Investors should consider they’re
often giving up more than just control.

Sep 24, 2012
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iPhone 5 will live up to the hype – in time

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

The iPhone 5 will live up to the hype – in time. Apple sold 5 million of the new handset, or about $3 billion worth, during its three-day debut. That fell short of Wall Street’s whisper number, which was up to twice as high. Yet the latest sales outpaced those of its predecessor and the company couldn’t meet demand. Supply-chain glitches and map-app hysteria won’t derail Apple’s smartphone train.

Sep 20, 2012
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Real estate wave helps an IPO avoid tech wipeout

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

A real estate wave helped an initial public offering avoid a tech wipeout. Newly listed shares of Trulia, an online property listing service, popped by over 40 percent in their debut on Thursday. That defies the dire dot-com market evidenced by the likes of Facebook and Groupon. The U.S. housing recovery is a good story but Trulia is also still hitched to the Web.

Sep 19, 2012
via Breakingviews

Obama may find an exceptional friend in Facebook

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

U.S. President Barack Obama might find an exceptional friend in Facebook. The social network’s second-in-command, Sheryl Sandberg, should be on the short list for a top economic job if he wins a second term in office. Yet she’d potentially give up some $130 million in unvested equity to take the job. Her boss Mark Zuckerberg could bridge the gap. But it may cost Facebook shareholders dearly.

Sep 17, 2012

Motorola: the breakup that keeps on giving

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, Sept 17 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Motorola has
been the corporate breakup that keeps on giving. Splitting in
two early last year resulted in Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) buying its
cellphone operations for a chunky premium. Motorola Solutions
(MSI.N: Quote, Profile, Research), its emergency communications arm, has done even better.
Moreover, the $14 billion company looks poised to buy back a
third of its stock without much strain.

    • 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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