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Feb 12, 2015
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Yahoo’s Alibaba spinoff attracts big discount

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By Robert Cyran

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

Yahoo can’t even earn a reward for doing what shareholders wanted. The company’s plan for a tax-free spinoff of its stake in Alibaba looks logical. But a Breakingviews calculator suggests investors are attaching a 34 percent discount to the U.S. tech firm’s Alibaba shares – assuming, that is, Yahoo’s core business is worth something.

Feb 11, 2015
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Drugmakers unlikely candidates for next big short

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By Robert Cyran

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

Drugmakers make unlikely candidates for the next big short. Kyle Bass, a hedge fund manager who bet successfully on a U.S. housing crash, is targeting pharmaceutical companies worth a combined $450 billion in market capitalization. A new method of challenging patents gives him a tool. But it’s not clear how his firm, Hayman Capital, has a leg up on existing, aggressive and experienced generic firms.

Feb 5, 2015
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Pfizer’s generics injection lifts mood for breakup

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By Robert Cyran

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

Pfizer has made more than its share of value-destroying acquisitions. The pharmaceutical giant’s $15 billion purchase of Hospira could reverse that history. The injectable-drug maker’s strength in non-branded medications should boost Pfizer’s own generics unit – and open the way for spinning it off.

Feb 5, 2015
via Breakingviews

Pfizer’s generics injection lifts mood for breakup

Photo

By Robert Cyran

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

Pfizer has made more than its share of value-destroying acquisitions. The pharmaceutical giant’s $15 billion purchase of Hospira could reverse that history. The injectable-drug maker’s strength in non-branded medications should boost Pfizer’s own generics unit – and open the way for spinning it off.

Feb 3, 2015
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Small print debases $41 bln U.S. spectrum sale

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By Robert Cyran

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

The U.S. government has made a windfall. Some $41 billion of bids in its latest radio spectrum sale added up to about twice as much as expected. But the small print is making the auction look flawed. By bidding through entities it doesn’t fully control, the $33 billion Dish Network seems to have secured a 25 percent price discount aimed at small businesses.

Feb 3, 2015
via Breakingviews

Small print debases $41 bln U.S. spectrum sale

Photo

By Robert Cyran

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

The U.S. government has made a windfall. Some $41 billion of bids in its latest radio spectrum sale added up to about twice as much as expected. But the small print is making the auction look flawed. By bidding through entities it doesn’t fully control, the $33 billion Dish Network seems to have secured a 25 percent price discount aimed at small businesses.

Jan 29, 2015
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Facebook investment largesse manageable – for now

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By Robert Cyran

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

Facebook’s investment largesse looks manageable – for now. Boss Mark Zuckerberg has splashed out so much on new projects that his company’s fourth-quarter operating margin fell by a third. But the social network’s top line grew 49 percent, thanks to more users and mobile income. That’s a reasonable dynamic, assuming Zuckerberg is picking the right ventures.

Jan 21, 2015
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SpaceX satellite dream is throwback to 1990s

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By Robert Cyran

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

Elon Musk’s satellite dream is a throwback to the 1990s. Google is investing in SpaceX, one of the overworked billionaire’s companies, which along with its commercial rocket launches is planning a broadband network of 4,000 satellites. The pioneering Teledesic tried something similar around two decades ago but ultimately failed. The question for SpaceX is whether the equation has yet changed enough.

Dec 31, 2014

Breakingviews: IBM turnaround requires atypical activist fix

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – IBM requires an
atypical activist fix. Big Blue’s strategy of cost cuts and
debt-fueled buybacks is no longer working – even though the
company keeps trying. A tarnished balance sheet, lean staffing
and a history of disposals rule out typical activist wheezes.
Encouraging Chair and Chief Executive Ginni Rometty to invest in
IBM’s core businesses could pay off.

For two decades IBM has run the same playbook. It sells
low-margin businesses, slashes expenses, buys some profitable
software companies, and returns a lot of cash to investors. Over
the past four quarters, the $152 billion company has spent more
than $23 billion on dividends and buybacks.

Dec 31, 2014
via Breakingviews

IBM turnaround requires atypical activist fix

Photo

By Robert Cyran

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

IBM requires an atypical activist fix. Big Blue’s strategy of cost cuts and debt-fueled buybacks is no longer working – even though the company keeps trying. A tarnished balance sheet, lean staffing and a history of disposals rule out typical activist wheezes. Encouraging Chair and Chief Executive Ginni Rometty to invest in IBM’s core businesses could pay off.

    • 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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