Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tesla is getting a lesson in buyout realities. Elon Musk’s stated desire to take the money-losing carmaker private has set Wall Street all atwitter. But Dun & Bradstreet’s $5.4 billion leveraged buyout, announced on Thursday, is a reminder of what it usually takes: a mature, mediocre, profitable firm. That’s a better bet than capital-draining dreams of domination.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Privacy is building a wider moat for Apple’s margins. The iPhone maker’s premium prices and fast-growing services continued to power earnings in the latest quarter. Selling hardware rather than advertising once seemed like a weakness. But in the wake of Facebook’s woes, CEO Tim Cook is using data security to buff the brand – and profitability.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Twitter has purged users and shareholders alike. The social network’s efforts to reduce spam, fake users and toxicity shrank active monthly users between March and June. Investors fled as well, sending the shares down 16 percent in early morning trading on Friday. That leaves both the platform and valuation more salubrious.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Amazon’s growth is leaving the shop behind. Jeff Bezos’s outfit now gets just over half its revenue from its online stores, down from two-thirds two years ago. E-commerce is still growing at a healthy clip, but the businesses Amazon has built around it are expanding far faster and producing much more profit. That makes its valuation a little less crazy.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The sudden new pessimism surrounding Facebook has overshot reality. Forecasts of reduced growth and margins wiped nearly 20 percent, or about $120 billion, off the social network’s valuation overnight after it reported second-quarter earnings on Wednesday. That’s an astonishing hit, and one of the largest dollar falls in a company’s market capitalization ever. It’s replacing excessive optimism with undue glumness.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Europe can’t stop the Alphabet profit machine. Regulators have tried to throw sand in the gears of the internet goliath, but blowout quarterly figures show Google’s parent is in a strong position. Europe will need more than stringent data rules, giant fines, and hearings to slow the company’s growth.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Microsoft needs to become its own activist. The software giant now has more than $50 billion in net cash on its balance sheet. Tax changes will boost its hoard even faster. With debt easily manageable, the company ought to boost dividends and buybacks, before pushy investors force it to.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The European Commission’s $5 billion fine on Google is the least of parent company Alphabet’s worries. A companion order requiring it to stop forcing handset makers to pre-install its Google search app and Chrome browser may cause much more damage – and curb the firm from expanding in areas like self-driving cars.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan has used up eight of his nine lives. With a single deal – the $19 billion acquisition of software company CA – he has torched a reputation slowly built through years of savvy acquisitions. Recovering from that will take time, luck and abstinence.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - It has been a long time coming, but Apple could soon be worth $1 trillion – and counting. At $943 billion on Monday, the tech giant is close to being the first company to pass that threshold in market capitalization, as Breakingviews predicted seven years ago. Growth has slowed since then, but customers remain loyal and today’s valuation is far from stretched. Apple’s timely focus on data privacy may help it get there.