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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.

Nov 5, 2013
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M&A gets greedy in cross-border pharma deal

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

Greed is seeping into the art of M&A. Endo Health Solutions is the latest buyer to receive a warm welcome for a sensible acquisition with notable synergies. Its market value jumped almost as much as the $1.6 billion purchase price for Paladin Labs. But the deal also involves a huge tax dodge and investors aren’t factoring in enough risk.

Nov 4, 2013
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BlackBerry’s liquid infusion won’t douse cash burn

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

BlackBerry’s liquid infusion won’t douse its cash burn. The troubled company is selling $1 billion of convertible debt after attempts to find a buyer flopped. Even big supporter Fairfax Financial has backed away from taking full control. The extra money and a new boss buy BlackBerry a bit more time. But its prospects are bleak.

Oct 29, 2013
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Apple’s simplicity complicated by status quo

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By Robert Cyran

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

Apple’s simple story is complicated by the status quo. Fourth-quarter results released on Oct. 28 contain plenty of encouraging elements. It’s just that each comes with an asterisk.

Oct 22, 2013
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Netflix could turn troublesome euphoria into useful cash

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

Netflix stock has quadrupled since January. Chief Executive Reed Hastings warns that momentum investors have become too euphoric. Diluting the punchbowl by issuing more equity is a better way to calm this rowdy party – and answer doubts about the online video company’s balance sheet.

Oct 18, 2013
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Hope tweets eternal for Twitter IPO valuation

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By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Twitter’s immature market debut leaves plenty of room for investors’ animal spirits. Early disorganization and a late focus on the top line make the microblogging service seem younger than Facebook when it went public. The social network was profitable, while Twitter is in the red – but its revenue is growing faster than at Mark Zuckerberg’s outfit.

Oct 16, 2013
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Sum worth more than parts in U.S. auto parts deal

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

The sum is worth more than the parts – auto parts, that is. Advance Auto’s $2 billion takeover of rival General Parts International resulted in the acquirer gaining $1 billion in market cap. That’s bang in line with the net present value of promised cost savings. Nobel Prize winner Eugene Fama’s efficient markets hypothesis may be flawed, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty of corporate finance, it often seems to work just fine.

Oct 9, 2013
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$2.3 bln stitch-up of Men’s Wearhouse is no cinch

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

Jos. A. Bank’s $2.3 billion attempt to stitch up Men’s Wearhouse will be no cinch. The rival U.S. menswear retailer may be twice as large, but its dishevelment makes for a tempting target. Even at a 36 pct premium, though, the clothes aren’t fitting. Men’s Wearhouse isn’t cooperating and Jos. A. Bank has problems of its own with stagnating sales.

Oct 4, 2013
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Twitter’s sky-high R&D hits the right spot

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

Twitter’s research and development spending may be sky-high, but it hits the right spot. At 44 percent of revenue in the first half of the year, the microblogging site is spending far more as a proportion of its top line than Facebook. But with a lower number of users than its rival, Twitter needs to grow to make new investors happy.

    • 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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