Robert's Feed
May 23, 2011
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

Apr 12, 2011
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Cisco takes first small step to focusing on core

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

By Robert Cyran

Cisco’s boss, John Chambers, acknowledged last week the company he has run for 16 years had lost its way. Now he’s putting some money where his mouth is and shutting parts of the over-reached networking group’s shrinking consumer unit. That’s sensible, but more will be needed to simplify Cisco’s sprawl and improve shareholder returns.

Apr 8, 2011
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Google antitrust deal sets stage for bigger fight

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

The U.S. government’s agreement to allow Google to buy Internet travel programmer ITA Software — with a few sensible restrictions — is just the appetizer. The main course in the extended meal shared by Washington and Silicon Valley will be control of the huge markets for broad Internet search and mobile operating systems.

Apr 5, 2011

Cisco chief vows to restore “flawed” company

NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) – Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
chief John Chambers, in a remarkably candid memo to employees,
admitted the one-time technology bellwether and Wall Street
darling has lost its way and will need to change to restore its
credibility.

Chambers, one of Silicon Valley’s most respected corporate
chieftains, confessed in an internal email that the networking
giant had been slow to make decisions, fallen down on execution
and lacked discipline in an aggressive expansion.

Apr 5, 2011

Exclusive: Is Cisco bracing for an activist siege?

– The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own –

By Rob Cox and Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Cisco Systems makes a juicy target for an activist assault — and Chief Executive John Chambers seems to know it. True, as a company with a market value of nearly $100 billion, most uppity investors don’t have the means to build a significant stake in the technology giant. But Cisco’s poor performance, valuable assets, cash pile and years of capital misallocation provide the kindling to spark long-suffering shareholders into an uprising.