Robert's Feed
Jun 3, 2011

Groupon IPO another bet on profit-free sales

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Here comes another bet on profit-free sales. Groupon, which filed for an initial public offering on Thursday, has revenue with a trajectory that looks like a moon shot — started only in late 2008, the Internet coupon company racked up $645 million in revenue in the first quarter this year, about 15 times what it brought in a year earlier. But profit looks like a submarine voyage so far. The firm’s operating loss was $117 million in the same period. It’s another test of the new dotcom optimism — and metrics.

Jun 1, 2011
via Breakingviews

AT&T risks Faustian regulator bargain in T-Mobile

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

By Robert Cyran

AT&T risks a Faustian bargain in clinching its takeover of T-Mobile USA. American watchdogs deciding whether to green-light the $39 billion deal have ample precedents overseas, where greater market concentration hasn’t noticeably harmed consumers. But heavier regulation seems to have made the difference — that may be a price the U.S. mobile industry bears for AT&T’s deal.

May 27, 2011
via Breakingviews

Virtual Bitcoins are appealing but probably doomed

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

In the currency wars, the nerds are winning. The value of a Bitcoin — a digital currency trading over peer-to-peer networks — has rocketed more than nine-fold in two months to $8.74. The preordained supply and decentralization of Bitcoins have intrigued geeks and paranoid inflationistas alike. But this abstract gold may not survive what looks like a bubble.

May 24, 2011
via Breakingviews

IBM looks set to sustain march on tech rivals

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

NEW YORK — IBM is now the second most valuable tech company, behind only Apple, after surpassing Microsoft’s market capitalization this week. It has been a tortuous reversal of fortune. Big Blue’s pitiful state in the early 1990s forced it to refocus. Flush rivals like Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Microsoft followed different paths, which now have them trying to find their way. That leaves IBM in position to sustain its march on the industry.

May 23, 2011
via Breakingviews

Internet bubble brings back dubious metrics

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

LinkedIn’s 109 percent pop on its stock market debut last week shows investors are hungry for technology-style growth investments. That’s good news for firms hoping to go public, ranging from Russian search engine Yandex to Groupon. But pegging firms by their revenue potential is risky. Profits matter in the end.

May 5, 2011
via Breakingviews

New chairman gives CVS Caremark chance to split

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

The merger that created CVS Caremark never made much sense. Combining the U.S. drugstore chain and pharmacy benefit manager resulted in lost contracts and Federal Trade Commission scrutiny. It has hurt investors too. The fall in first-quarter profit reported on Thursday emphasizes the point. The $50 billion company could be worth $13 billion more carved up. With David Dorman stepping in to be chairman, there’s a chance for the company to reconsider. He oversaw a similar split at Motorola.

May 2, 2011
via Breakingviews

BlackBerry maker starts to feel serious squeeze

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

Research In Motion is starting to feel a serious squeeze. The BlackBerry maker is hemorrhaging market share and just warned product delays are hurting sales. The pressure is showing: its co-CEO recently stormed off a TV interview when asked about security issues. RIM needs to compose itself if a new tablet and operating system are to keep the firm relevant.

Apr 28, 2011
via Breakingviews

J&J may have more on overseas shopping list

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

J&J may have more on its overseas shopping list. The U.S. health giant’s $21.3 billion purchase of Swiss listed, U.S. incorporated Synthes is its largest ever. A big deal seemed like a way for J&J to deploy its $28 billion of cash, largely trapped overseas. But as it turns out it is paying mostly in stock.

Apr 21, 2011

Streaking Apple still looks safe valuation bet

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Apple may be streaking, but the stock still looks a safe valuation bet. The $315 billion tech giant’s sales rose an astounding 83 percent in its second quarter, ending on March 26, from the same period last year. Moreover, Apple’s operating margin increased slightly, meaning profit almost doubled. Yet adjust for cash, and the stock trades at a discount to the market. That seems too cheap.

Apr 18, 2011
via Breakingviews

China’s hot Facebook clone will cool down

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

Renren has reproduced Facebook’s social networking model in China. But it’s leading the way in launching what may be the first big social network IPO anywhere. With more than 100 million users already and China’s 1.3 billion people on tap, investors will probably fill their boots — and only later worry about things like competition from Facebook itself.