Robert's Feed
Nov 10, 2011
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Green Mountain shows how momentum works both ways

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

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters just showed how momentum works both ways in the stock market. Its shares are the latest to crash down from a nose-bleed trading multiple, after the company grew less than analysts expected. Green Mountain joins former investor darlings Netflix and OpenTable. Each traded well over 50 times estimated earnings this summer and has since lost over half its market capitalization. Fast growth can help paper over valuation or accounting worries, but in time they usually catch up.

Nov 4, 2011
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Groupon makes IPO of scarce shares look cheap

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

Groupon has given its initial public offering investors a deal. The Internet coupon firm’s stock popped as much as 50 percent early on Friday. Short-term excitement was assured by signing up most of Wall Street to peddle 6 percent of its stock. Longer term, keeping a valuation approaching $20 billion will require more tangible things like profit.

Nov 2, 2011
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Uncle Sam has a $1 trln repatriation concern

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

American corporations have some $1.4 trillion stashed offshore. Lawmakers are looking at ways to return this cash at sharply lower tax rates to foster employment, growth and government revenue. Those goals seem ambitious, based on the last time a tax holiday was tried, in 2004. There’s also another snag: much of the money is stuck in Treasuries. The side effects of dumping all that paper are worth factoring into the equation.

Oct 26, 2011
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Hot speech tech firm’s story is too complicated

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

Getting machines to understand speech is a technology hot spot. Nuance Communications is a powerhouse in the field. Analysts even suspect the nearly $8 billion company has licensed technology to Apple for the new iPhone, though neither company will say. But Nuance’s sky-high valuation multiple is a stretch.

Oct 25, 2011
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Netflix’s melting core spells value disaster

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

The Netflix story of triumph has turned quickly into something more like “The China Syndrome.” Like the nuclear disaster depicted in the 1979 film, the company’s core, where profit is concerned, is melting down.

Oct 21, 2011

Groupon’s “first mover advantage” probably isn’t

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Burning piles of cash to swiftly vanquish rivals and grab what business school professors call the “first mover advantage” can work. Just look at Amazon. So, too, Groupon thinks a chunk more capital can solidify its position atop the Internet coupon heap. But this strategy generally only succeeds when it creates costly barriers to entry. Groupon is trying, but there’s not enough evidence yet to justify a valuation of more than $11 billion.

Oct 20, 2011
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Cisco stops descent, stuck in purgatory for now

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

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. But it probably won’t result in big gains for investors, if rival tech valuations are any guide.

For more than a decade, Cisco plowed burgeoning profits from its networking equipment business into lower margin, if faster growing, areas like set-top boxes and consumer electronics. Meanwhile, Cisco’s core markets, such as switches, were under assault.

Oct 19, 2011

Apple’s rare letdown looks more form than function

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Apple’s rare letdown looks more form than function. The company known for perfectly marrying technology with design usually manages the same elan with its finances. Under Steve Jobs, Apple like clockwork blew by expectations. The latest results, without him, missed.

Oct 6, 2011
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Jobs, no ordinary CEO, leaves no ordinary company

By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The views expressed are their own.

Steve Jobs has died at 56. He was no ordinary chief executive, and he leaves no ordinary company. The force behind the iPod, iPhone and iPad not only co-founded and then rescued Apple, building it into the most valuable tech company on the planet, worth some $350 billion. He also changed the way people live. It’s a rare entrepreneur who leaves that legacy — and a company that can thrive without him.

Oct 6, 2011

Breakingviews-Jobs, no ordinary CEO, leaves no ordinary company

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

By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales

NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Steve Jobs has
died at 56. He was no ordinary chief executive, and he leaves
no ordinary company. The force behind the iPod, iPhone and iPad
not only co-founded and then rescued Apple (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research), building
it into the most valuable tech company on the planet, worth
some $350 billion. He also changed the way people live. It’s a
rare entrepreneur who leaves that legacy — and a company that
can thrive without him.