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Sep 4, 2013

Breakingviews-LinkedIn’s toppy stock sale is better than buying

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, Sept 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The $27 bln
job-focused social network is raising another $1 bln. With $900
mln in cash and rising profit, it doesn’t need it. But when a
company trades at over 1,000 times 2012 earnings, selling stock
makes sense. At least it makes a change from firms doing
overpriced buybacks.

Full view will be published shortly.

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Sep 3, 2013
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Verizon puts AT&T’s acquisition willpower to test

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By Robert Cyran

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

Verizon just put AT&T’s acquisition willpower to the test. Growth in the U.S. mobile market is slowing, and as AT&T learned the hard way, competition concerns preclude any transformative domestic deals.

Aug 23, 2013
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New Microsoft CEO needs “less is more” mindset

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

The next boss of Microsoft needs a “less is more” mindset. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is finally on the way out. A $20 billion bump in the company’s value following the news shows just how badly investors wanted a new approach. The wasteful “try everything” strategy should go.

Aug 22, 2013

HP throws M&A wrench in turnaround gears

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, Aug 22 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Hewlett-Packard
(HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) has thrown an M&A wrench in its turnaround gears. Chief
Executive Meg Whitman helped the troubled tech firm regain
investor trust by patching the hole left in its balance sheet by
her predecessors’ deal-making. Now she reckons a return to M&A
could help stem HP’s declining revenue. No wonder shareholders
had, by midday on Thursday, vaporized $6 billion of the stock’s
value.

Aug 21, 2013

Facebook effort could help poor, itself – and you

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, Aug 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A Facebook-led
(FB.O: Quote, Profile, Research) effort to connect the world’s poor to the internet won’t
be easy or offer huge profits. A third of the planet already
logs on, and the 2.4 billion people earning less than $2 a day
aren’t quite an advertiser’s dream. But communication aids
development, and improved data compression and transmission
technologies benefit everyone.

Aug 21, 2013
via Breakingviews

Big Blue’s earnings engine makes sputtering sounds

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

IBM’s earnings engine is making sputtering sounds. The tech giant missed projections for the first time in years last quarter. Big Blue characterizes these as mere speed bumps. And Chief Executive Ginni Rometty appears hell-bent on making $20 per share in 2015, by the company’s measure of earnings. That’s almost a third more than it earned last year. Pressing on the accelerator of job cuts, software acquisitions and select disposals has worked well so far. But some of the smartest money on Wall Street is betting the company has a bigger problem, with falling sales pointing to a hole in the gas tank.

Aug 14, 2013
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Carl Icahn makes #activism look easy at Apple

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By Robert Cyran 

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

Apple may be Carl Icahn’s easiest activist campaign ever. The 77-year-old billionaire disclosed a big position in the iPad maker on Twitter in what may be one of the most valuable tweets to date, at $142 million a character based on the roughly $20 billion it added to the company’s market value on Tuesday. His message was as simple as the medium – Apple should buy back more stock and fast. It would be a smart, relatively effortless move.

Aug 12, 2013
via Breakingviews

Plummeting BlackBerry would stain any buyout

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

At the rate BlackBerry is plummeting, it would stain any buyout. A clean balance sheet makes the $5.4 billion Canadian company an enticing takeover candidate. Like Dell, it’s a technology icon in need of a turnaround. BlackBerry’s cash flow is worse, though, meaning applying leverage would be extra risky. And the Palm precedent should scare corporate buyers.

Aug 2, 2013
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Flawed Dell compromise saves faces all round

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By Robert Cyran

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

A flawed compromise on the buyout of Dell will save faces all round. Letting the $24 billion transaction fade away would have hurt most shareholders, the board and the company’s eponymous founder. A 2 percent hike in the offer price by buyers Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners in return for a tweaked voting procedure won’t delight anyone – but it should seal the deal.

Jul 24, 2013
via Breakingviews

Facebook answers questions rivals can’t

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

Facebook is answering questions that its rivals can’t. Big technology firms have mostly reported subpar second-quarter earnings, with desktop software giant Microsoft the leading victim of the shift to mobile computing. By contrast, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is thriving on portable gadgets, and Facebook’s revenue growth – 53 percent to $1.8 billion in the quarter – was the fastest since its initial public offering in May last year. There’s more fuel here.

    • 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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