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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.

Sep 19, 2013
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Old HP sets breakup example for new HP

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

The old Hewlett-Packard has set a breakup example for the new Hewlett-Packard. Spun off in 1999 with the company’s original testing products and research DNA, Agilent Technologies is considered by Silicon Valley veterans as the “real HP.” It has outperformed its former parent and is now splitting to create yet more value. HP can learn from its progeny.

Sep 19, 2013

Breakingviews- Old HP sets breakup example for new HP

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, Sept 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The old
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) has set a breakup example for the new
Hewlett-Packard. Spun off in 1999 with the company’s original
testing products and research DNA, Agilent Technologies (A.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is
considered by Silicon Valley veterans as the “real HP.” It has
outperformed its former parent and is now splitting to create
yet more value. HP can learn from its progeny.

Sep 17, 2013
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Pandora may spin new theme song: The Consolidator

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

Pandora looks like it’s spinning a new theme song: The Consolidator. The $4.3 billion internet radio firm is still losing money and the industry’s growth is slowing. Yet the stock has been on a tear, up more than 150 percent since the start of the year. Selling shares prudently shores up the balance sheet. It also gives the new boss – who knows about M&A – a chance to buy smaller rivals nipping at Pandora’s heels.

Sep 13, 2013
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Dell hell concludes, lessons probably unlearned

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

The hell that was Dell has at last ended. But its lessons will probably go unlearned. Shareholders have finally approved the $25 billion buyout by founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake, after three postponed votes and a measly two percent price increase. Overconfidence and delay got the better of both sides – and speculators succumbed to their overactive imaginations.

    • 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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