The ex-Groupon chief isn't the first tech CEO to get fired from the company he created. And he may not be the last such executive to go on to have a memorable career.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 2, 2013 3:56PM

thestreet logoAndrew Mason in December 2012 (© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)By Dan Freed, TheStreet

 

Investors bid up Groupon (GRPN) shares by more than 12% Friday following the firing of 32 year-old CEO Andrew Mason. Personally, I would rather invest in Mason.


People like Mason may not run corporate America, but its people like him -- people with active imaginations and who aren't interested in playing it safe -- who create it.

 

Groupon isn't to be written off completely as an investment. The fact that it has fallen 83% since its initial public offering, in November 2011, doesn't change the fact that the company had 41 million active customers in 2012 and has worked with more than 500,000 merchants. 

As RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney told Bloomberg Television Friday morning, "That's not just thin air. There is a business here that can be picked up."

 

It costs less to increase a customer's loyalty than to get a new one. MasterCard has done this to gain big profits -- and an edge over rival Visa.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 27, 2013 2:13PM

MasterCard (© Image Broker/Rex Features)By Dana Blackenhorn, TheStreet

 

thestreet logo

When it comes to plastic money, I've always thought Visa (V) was Coca-Cola (KO) and MasterCard

(MA) was PepsiCo (PEP).

 

That is, Visa stuck to its knitting and dominated the niche, while MasterCard went into a bunch of other businesses and trailed like a puppy after a bigger dog.

 

Maybe my prejudice came down to regionalism. Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta, where I now live, and MasterCard, like Pepsico, is based in Purchase, N.Y., outside New York City. 

 

It's also possible that in this case I was wrong.

 

Demand for network equipment is slowly improving, and the company's massive restructuring efforts continue to make it less reliant on low-margin hardware sales.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 26, 2013 6:51PM

Cisco logo at the technology company's campus in San Jose, California © Robert Galbraith/Newscom/ReutersBy Richard Saintvilus, TheStreet

 

This earnings season hasn't been kind to techs stocks.


But after several companies reported subpar financial results and lowered guidance, Cisco Systems (CSCO) has emerged as a sector standout. The networking giant continues to make a case for why it is one of the best bargains in the stock market. 

 

Cisco's fiscal-second-quarter revenue rose 5% from the same period a year earlier and were up 2% from the previous quarter. The quarterly financial results suggest that the San Jose, Calif, company is successfully navigating its transition out of its hardware business.


Cisco's core routing and switching businesses, which has struggled, continued to erode in the three months  ended Jan. 26. But the company has dedicated a sizable portion of its $45 billion cash hoard to pick up companies such as Meraki, Cariden and BroadHop that can help with its diversification plans.

 

It's been a long time coming, but in parts of the country the cost of electricity produced by solar panels is less than the price paid for a comparable unit of power from the utility grid.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 25, 2013 4:24PM

thestreet logoSolar panelsBy Dana Blackenhorn

 

Something quite extraordinary has been happening over the last three months: Solar stocks are back.

 

Most survivors of the shakeout from the last few years have gained in the range of 40% to 60%, with the TAN (TAN) ETF up 58% and the KWT (KWT) ETF 66% higher. The U.S. industry's "bell cow," First Solar (FSLR), trails the field with a gain of 47%.

 

The leader by far is SunPower (SPWR), which has soared 230% over the last three months. After falling as low as $3.71 last summer, the company, which is majority owned by France's oil and gas giant Total (TOT), now trades at $13 per share.

 

A new survey shows that advertising for Windows 8 and the touch-screen Surface tablet has helped raise product awareness and brand likability.

By Minyanville.com Feb 22, 2013 7:32PM
Surface tabletBy Minyanville Minyanville on MSN Money

For more than a decade, Apple (AAPL) has been synonymous with technological cool, its MacBooks, iPods and iPhones the preferred gadgets by the trendsetting creative class. And Microsoft (MSFT), the red-hot brand in the '90s, has more recently been seen as the stodgy competitor whose products are highly valued only in the enterprise world, where utility trumps aesthetics. (Microsoft owns MSN Money.)

However, Microsoft has gotten an image boost in the past year, thanks in large part to heavy promotion of its new Surface tablets.

The changing perceptions around Microsoft is reflected in a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, in which half of those between the ages of 18 and 29 said the software giant is cooler today than it was a year or two ago.

Of course, Apple has no reason to despair. The survey found that 60% of respondents thought that the Cupertino, Calif., company is cooler than ever. But the survey's surprise is that Apple no  longer has a lock on hipness.
 

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