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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.

Oct 4, 2013
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Twitter stakes claim as least-evil tech IPO

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

Twitter has staked its claim as the tech world’s least-evil initial public offering. The microblog service’s $1 billion filing is a model of simplicity. There is one class of stock. Existing investors aren’t selling. The chief executive hasn’t written a sappy, incomprehensible letter. And growth is roaring. Twitter’s stock still carries risks, but avoiding many excesses Silicon Valley companies indulge in when going public is encouraging.

Oct 2, 2013
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Container Store fills IPO with Silicon Valley hype

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

Container Store has filled its initial public offering with Silicon Valley hype. Selling boxes is a commoditized affair. That’s why Kip Tindell, the chief executive, hawks cult-like self-improvement instead. He talks of the company’s “yummy” employee-centered culture. But paying Container Store’s backer Leonard Green & Partners and its executives a dividend with the proceeds of going public shows a hard-headed capitalism.

Sep 27, 2013
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J.C. Penney’s stock sale reflects discount dimness

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

J.C. Penney’s stock sale reflects a particular sort of dimness about discounts. The troubled U.S. retailer is struggling to get prices right in its stores and isn’t faring any better in the markets. It is selling over $900 million of shares at $9.65 each, after spending a similar sum to buy them back two years ago while paying nearly $37 apiece. Capital misallocation is a new bad sign for J.C. Penney.

Sep 25, 2013
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Maybe Gates should follow Ballmer out of Microsoft

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

Maybe Bill Gates should follow Steve Ballmer out of Microsoft. Allowing Ballmer to buy Nokia’s smartphone business as he exits will saddle his replacement with a flawed strategy. The company’s founder and chairman bears some responsibility for this and other missteps. With under 5 percent of the shares – scarcely more than Ballmer owns – Gates matters more to his charitable foundation than to Microsoft these days.

Sep 24, 2013
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M&A diplomacy features in $29 bln tech deal

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

Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron have showcased M&A diplomacy in their $29 billion deal. The U.S.-based producer of semiconductor-making equipment heeded local sensitivities and ceded governance duties in the proposed acquisition of its Japanese rival. At the same time, most of the financial benefits will accrue to its own shareholders. The merger is a delicate inauguration of Abenomics-style corporate reform.

    • 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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