Robert's Feed
Aug 26, 2011
via Breakingviews

Demand Media takes cake with galling stock buyback

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

NEW YORK — Investors who think stock buybacks are bad have a new benchmark against which to channel their dislike. Demand Media, a content farm whose public offering in January briefly heralded a new boom in Internet stocks, has seen its shares plunge by half as its business model has been challenged by Google. But rather than dedicate the proceeds of the IPO to fixing the company, its board has decided to use a third of it to repurchase stock.

Aug 25, 2011
via Breakingviews

Now investors can focus on just how good Apple is

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

Few companies are as indelibly linked to an individual as Apple is to Steve Jobs. Not only one of the founders, he led the company from near bankruptcy to become one of the most valuable companies in the world. News on Wednesday of his retirement from running day-to-day operations is a blow — even if it was both inevitable and expected. But investors haven’t yet wrapped their minds around the powerhouse Jobs built.

Aug 19, 2011
via Breakingviews

HP stock sell-off looks like overkill

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

The selloff in Hewlett-Packard shares looks like overkill. The tech giant has seen about a quarter of its market value — or almost $16 billion — vaporized in two days. Shareholders have fled following another profit warning, a pricey deal to buy data search group Autonomy for around $10 billion, and a strategic U-turn. That makes for plenty of warts — but HP now looks too cheap.

Aug 19, 2011

HP says goodbye Compaq, hello IBM

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Hewlett-Packard is saying goodbye Compaq, and hello IBM. The U.S. tech giant may spin off its PC unit and stop making mobile devices running its own operating system. It has also made a surprise offer to buy UK software group Autonomy for a hefty $10 billion. Leaving the cutthroat hardware market for higher margin software can work, as IBM’s success shows. But it won’t be quick or easy.

Aug 16, 2011

HP purchase of patent-rich Palm now looks smarter

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Hewlett-Packard’s(HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) purchase of Palm last year is suddenly looking smarter. Google’s(GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) $12.5 billion deal to buy Motorola Mobility(MMI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) this week, and the frenzied bidding earlier in the year for Nortel’s patents, have revealed the riches in the intellectual property of mobile computing. And HP snatched up one of the most important troves for a price that now looks cheap. Yet cashing in, should HP want to do so, is a challenge.

Aug 15, 2011
via Breakingviews

Google’s $12.5 billion insurance buy may worry partners

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

Google¬†is spending $12.5 billion on insurance for itself — but its partners may not feel at ease. The search giant’s deal to buy smartphone maker Motorola Mobility¬†locks in patents to help protect its rapidly growing Android mobile operating system. But Google’s plans for the hardware business that comes along with the patents will be the key concern for regulators and other current Android handset makers alike.

Aug 12, 2011
via Breakingviews

HTML5 buzz weakens the power of mobile apps

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

Smartphones powered by Apple and Google operate using hundreds of thousands of highly specialized Web programs. That’s what has allowed the two firms to lock up most of the premium cellphone market. Yet a new Web standard, called HTML5, is gaining traction and buzz, not least because its biggest supporters say it will allow a bit of an end-run around these walled gardens.

Aug 10, 2011

Why Apple just might be the first $1 trln company

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Could Apple be worth $1 trillion? It’s conceivable. The $342 billion iPhone and iPad maker became — if only briefly — the most valuable company in the United States when it surpassed Exxon Mobil on Aug. 9. Yet its sales have been surging 80 percent a year, and profit faster. And Apple trades roughly in line with the growing U.S. market — and at less than half the price-to-earnings multiple it fetched in 2006, when revenue growth was much slower.

Aug 9, 2011
via Breakingviews

Why Apple might just be the first $1 trillion company

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

Could Apple be worth $1 trillion? It’s conceivable. The $342 billion iPhone and iPad maker became – if only briefly – the most valuable company in the United States when it surpassed Exxon Mobil on Aug. 9. Yet its sales have been surging 80 percent a year, and profit faster. And Apple trades roughly in line with the growing U.S. market — and at less than half the price-to-earnings multiple it fetched in 2006, when revenue growth was much slower.

Aug 2, 2011
via Breakingviews

Slim pickings for Slim in $6.5 bln Telmex tender

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

NEW YORK — Talk about slim pickings. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s $6.5 billion tender offer for Telmex offers little for shareholders in his America Movil to be happy about. The cellphone carrier is buying out the remainder of the country’s shrinking fixed-line carrier at a premium valuation relative to its own. That looks like a bad exchange. Without a solid explanation, it’s easy to see why investors sliced $4 billion off Movil’s value.

    • 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."
    • Follow Robert