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Oct 20, 2011
via Breakingviews

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
via Breakingviews

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.

Oct 4, 2011
via Breakingviews

iPhone 4S unleashes more creative destruction

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

Apple has an astonishing ability to casually unleash creative destruction. Its latest iPhone, the 4S, offers faster data-processing and downloads, as well as voice-powered software. This may not have lived up to the most feverish expectations of investors: Apple shares fell while the market rallied. But it will do more than enough to create headaches for companies ranging from Research In Motion to American Greetings.

Smartphones started by devouring the personal digital assistant, as any former Palm Pilot aficionado can testify. They terrorized the market for fixed-line phones, which are now in sharp decline. Apple’s newest gadget shows just how hungry smartphone makers, and Apple in particular, are to eat rivals’ lunches.

Oct 3, 2011
via Breakingviews

HP would make lucrative Oracle target

By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Investors unimpressed by Hewlett-Packard’s dysfunctional governance have sold off its shares, leaving the tech company vulnerable to a bid. And Larry Ellison’s acquisitive Oracle is a credible potential suitor. At least financially, a deal would stack up. A Breakingviews analysis suggests that even paying a 40 percent premium, Oracle could reap a hefty return.

Sep 28, 2011

Amazon and Apple’s historic paths collide

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – The recent histories of technology giants Amazon and Apple are colliding. The online retailer’s cheap new Kindle Fire tablet reflects the company’s roots — it’s a tool for the sale of content. Apple, by contrast, used music and movies to hook customers into buying its gadgets. The two currents are now clashing, and survival requires strength in both.

Sep 23, 2011
via Breakingviews

Meg Whitman is unjustifiable choice for HP

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

Hewlett-Packard’s board just can’t get out of its own way. Appointing Meg Whitman to run the company is the latest example why. The former eBay boss only became a director earlier this year. The feckless body has already ousted three previous outsiders, including most recently Leo Apotheker, damaging HP each time along the way. But that’s not the only reason choosing Whitman as CEO is almost completely unjustifiable.

Sep 14, 2011
via Breakingviews

When Frank Quattrone comes calling, buyer beware

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

When Frank Quattrone comes calling, buyers should beware. The latest coup for the former CSFB ace is persuading Google to bid against itself for Motorola Mobility. Since launching Qatalyst Partners, his boutique investment bank, Quattrone has extracted a much higher premium for clients than rival tech bankers. Silicon Valley has now been given fair warning.

Sep 8, 2011

Facebook puts Web 2.0 rivals in appropriate light

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – The latest numbers on Facebook puts the social network’s Web 2.0 rivals in the appropriate light. Initial public offerings this year for tech companies like content factory Demand Media and Internet radio service Pandora Media have shown how profitless growth can gain favor. But Facebook’s fast-growing profit is a stark reminder of exactly what’s missing from Silicon Valley.

    • 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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