Robert's Feed
Jan 26, 2014
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Apple’s stubbornness on full show before earnings

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By Robert Cyran

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

Apple’s stubbornness is on show before its quarterly earnings report, expected on Monday. The longevity of the Macintosh computer, 30 years old on Friday, is one sign of Apple’s persistence. Sure, the company occasionally bows to external demands – but rarely admits it. It will add to its product lineup and, as investor Carl Icahn is demanding, it will one day return more cash to shareholders. But outside pressure won’t get any credit.

Jan 14, 2014
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Google raises temperature on “internet of things”

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

Google has turned up the temperature on the so-called “internet of things.” The search giant’s decision to pay $3.2 billion for Nest Labs, a maker of smart thermostats, signals a shift in Silicon Valley’s arc of disruption. Sending data to people on the go looks rather ho-hum next to a future where consumers communicate with, and control, their products remotely.

Jan 6, 2014
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John Malone deploys same old tricks against Sirius

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

John Malone is up to his same old tricks against Sirius XM. Liberty Media, where he serves as chairman, is offering more than $10 billion to squeeze out the satellite radio company’s minority investors. They’d get a derisory 3 pct premium and perhaps better liquidity in return for non-voting Liberty stock with inferior prospects. Sirius shareholders should hit back.

Dec 23, 2013
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Beware old tech seeking fountain of youth

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By Robert Cyran

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

Beware of old tech seeking the fountain of youth. Hardware makers including Cisco, IBM and Hewlett-Packard – with a combined two centuries of life among them – are increasingly falling prey to natural selection in Silicon Valley. They’re devouring smaller, newer firms to keep pace, but weaknesses are getting harder to hide. That could lead to bigger, desperate deals for richly valued business software and big data companies.

Dec 16, 2013
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Silver Lake takes a second juicy bite of Avago

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

Silver Lake is taking a second juicy bite of Avago Technologies. The U.S. private equity firm just about quintupled its money on the initial carve-out of the chip company from HP. Now it’s back, underwriting Avago’s $6.6 billion purchase of rival LSI. The market’s warm embrace of the deal means Silver Lake’s $1 billion convertible loan is already in the money.

Dec 11, 2013
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Fading reform hopes take gun shares with them

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

Fading reform hopes should take the shares of gunmakers with them.

Such a turn of events would reverse an extraordinary run for the industry. The U.S. government collected $6 billion of excise taxes on gun and ammunition purchases in 2012, more than twice the typical amount in the years to 2007. This year is on pace to generate the biggest sum ever. The number of federal background checks, a good indicator of future gun purchases, also should easily exceed 20 million in 2013, a record.

Dec 9, 2013
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Food deal shows how investors eat up synergies

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

Sysco’s acquisition of US Foods shows how investors are eating up synergies. The $3.5 billion purchase, revealed on Monday, received a rapturous reception, with the buyer’s market valuation surging by as much as a quarter – or $5 billion – before giving up some gains. Hefty cost cuts help the merger math.

Dec 2, 2013
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Amazon’s drone promise is yet more jam tomorrow

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By Robert Cyran

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

Amazon is promising yet more jam tomorrow – this time from drone deliveries. Jeff Bezos, the online retailer’s chief executive, expects to be able to use unmanned aircraft to deliver small packages within a few years. It’s a striking vision, but it seems as overly optimistic as investors’ expectations of the company overall. Amazon’s market value has ballooned to $180 billion despite big profits always hovering in the future.

Nov 14, 2013
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Snapchat bid triples Facebook’s desperation

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By Robert Cyran

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

Facebook’s Snapchat bid shows triple the desperation. The social network shelled out $1 billion for no-revenue Instagram a little over a year ago. Now it’s said to be dangling as much as $3 billion to lure in a mobile app that sends self-destructing digital images. Facebook’s apparently escalating need to buy off marauders at its moat suggests its defenses may be scalable.

Nov 7, 2013
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Twitter’s public debut is yin to Facebook’s yang

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

 

Twitter’s public debut is turning out to be the yin to Facebook’s yang. The initial public offering of Mark Zuckerberg’s social network in 2012 was blowout, capitalistic excess. Twitter has carefully managed expectations. But both are a curious mix of cynicism and belief – redistributed among bankers, backers, executives and prospective investors. Still, when it comes to hyped-up IPOs, everyone seems most comfortable reacting to recent history.

    • 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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