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商业 - 科技

Twitter可以从Facebook上市学到的四大教训

JP Mangalindan, Writer 2013年09月17日

Twitter上市在即。为了避免大热倒灶,它可以汲取Facebook在股票市场的首次公开募股时的教训,做到下面四点:定价合理;信息保密;切忌选择性信息披露;保持低调。

    社交媒体Facebook当前股价徘徊在44美元左右,可谓是一个不错的价位。殊不知,Facebook的首次公开募股跌宕起伏。由于许多人指责它估值过高,Facebook在上市后的前几个月里备受批评。本周,Twitter宣布已经秘密提交了准备首次公开募股(IPO)的S-1文件。事实上,对于Twitter而言,Facebook艰难的上市经历非常值得借鉴。

    本周,马克•扎克伯格在Twitter宣布IPO前一天召开的TechCrunch's Disrupt大会上说:“只要有可能,我就不会公开和IPO有关的信息。我从来没隐瞒过这一点。但是,回想起来,我非常害怕公开上市。Twitter只要致力于该做的事就很好。”

    以下是Twitter可以从Facebook身上汲取的经验。

    适当定价。2012年5月18日,Faceook在纳斯达克(NASDAQ)上市。整个业界为之欢呼。从当初的哈佛大学(Harvard)校内网迅速发展,成为现在拥有12亿用户的社交媒体,Facebook最终实现了成功。对有些人来说,Facebook的估值还没有到上限。但是对大多数人来说,38美元/股的发行价和1,040亿美元的估值着实令人咂舌。IPO之后数月内,Facebook股价一度跌至每股18美元。《财富》杂志(Fortune)采访过的专业人士都认为,如果Twitter定价适当,估值合理,它在股市的潜力将十分巨大。商务调研公司PrivCo的分析师道格拉斯•韦尔特曼表示,这不但赋予投资者增值潜力,而且也能更好地管理员工的预期。

    信息“保密”。确实,Twitter已经秘密提交了S-1文件。专家指出,对信息保密是明智之举。只要可能,在路演前,Twitter要尽量对公司的敏感信息予以保密,比如公司收入。Twitter表示将于2013年、而不是2014年上市。但是,即使Twitter取消IPO计划,它将面临的附带损失也会较小。佛罗里达大学(the University of Florida)金融学教授杰•里特尔指出:“大多数公司选择秘密提交IPO文件,旨在确保敏感信息不被披露。如果将来决定取消上市,风险也会小一些。”

    切忌选择性公开信息。Facebook公司 IPO的承销商投资银行摩根史丹利(Morgan Stanley)同意向马萨诸塞州的监管机构支付500万美元。原因何在?摩根史丹利发布了公开呈报,这为分析师提供了更为详细的信息,从而让他们了解Facebook移动广告业务的负面趋势。但是,其他投资者却没有收到这方面的信息,他们只能从Facebook的监管文件中了解宽泛的信息。显然,随之而来的争论给IPO进展造成了负面的影响。“如果你想让某一个投资者了解一条信息,那么就得确保让所有投资者都能了解到这条信息,”IPO咨询服务公司Park Lane Capital的CEO丹尼尔•罗伯逊简单地概括道。在走向上市的过程中,Twitter最应该避免的就是争论,尤其是可能导致监管罚款的争论。

    With its stock currently hovering around $44, Facebook (FB) is sitting pretty now, but its public offering was anything but smooth. During the social network's initial months on the stock market, it came under fire for what many argued was an overinflated valuation. Indeed, its troubled trajectory to becoming a publicly-traded company offers some valuable lessons for another company that announced this week it had filed a confidential S-1 with IPO intentions: Twitter.

    "I've been very outspoken about staying private as long as possible," Mark Zuckerberg remarked onstage at TechCrunch's Disrupt conference this week, one day before Twitter's announcement. "But in retrospect, I was too afraid of going public. As long as Twitter focuses on what they're doing, I think it's wonderful."

    Here's what Twitter can learn from Facebook:

    Set a modestly-priced company valuation. When Facebook debuted on the NASDAQ on May 18, 2012, there was excitement. The rapidly-growing social network Zuckerberg started in his Harvard dorm room, and which now claims 1.2 billion users, had finally arrived. To some the sky seemed the limit. But to many others, launching at $38 a share and a $104 billion valuation seemed exorbitant. That played out in the initial months, when Facebook stock plunged under $18 -- less than half its price on day one. Pundits Fortune spoke with all agreed Twitter's stock market potential could be vast, provided it goes public at a modestly-priced valuation. Not only does that give investors more potential upside, it also better manages employee expectations, says Douglas Weltman, an analyst for the business research firm PrivCo.

    Keep it "confidential." Ok, so Twitter already filed its S-1 confidentially. But it was a smart move regardless, according to experts. It keeps sensitive company information, like revenues, private for as long as possible, up until its roadshow. While it signals the company will likely go public in 2013 instead of 2014, it also means Twitter deals with less fallout if an IPO doesn't happen. "Most companies when they do the confidential filing keep it confidential because they don't want to risk the embarrassment if they decide not to go ahead with the deal," explains Jay Ritter, professor of finance at the University of Florida.

    Forget selective disclosure. Morgan Stanley (MS), a Facebook IPO underwriter, agreed to pay Massachusetts regulators $5 million. Why? The investment bank put out a public filing that provided analysts with more detailed information about negative trends regarding Facebook's mobile ad business. Other investors however, did not receive the same information and relied on broader information from Facebook's regulatory filing. The ensuing hoopla arguably tainted the IPO proceedings even further. "If you're going to let one investor know a piece of information, be sure to include that to all of them," Daniel Robertson, CEO of IPO services firm Park Lane Capital companies, puts simply. The last thing Twitter needs as it transitions to a publicly-traded company is controversy, particularly one that results in a regulatory fine.

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