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商业 - 科技

Twitter上市不会重蹈Facebook覆辙

Joshua Morgan Brown 2013年10月09日

Twitter上市在即,业界一片沸腾,让人再次想起Facebook上市前的光景。不过,Facebook大热倒灶的IPO悲剧依然历历在目,没人愿意Twitter重蹈覆辙,而华尔街和媒体似乎也已经从Facebook的悲剧中汲取了教训,确保平稳开盘预计会成为Twitter上市的重中之重。

    另外我想指出,Twitter的CEO迪克•科斯特洛有一点值得表扬,那就是他对股票控制得比较紧,不像上一次Facebook上市时,二级市场像跳蚤市场一样乱糟糟的。Twitter公司禁止高管参与销售股票,而且据说Twitter的私人股票也是比较巩固的。另外,Facebook的股价在一开始受挫后现在已经开始稳步回升,这也有助于Twitter在二级市场的表现。因此,当Facebook在七月的最后一周宣布股价已经回升到上市价格时,Twitter的IPO申请开始加速,这绝不是偶然或巧合。

    把这笔交易吹上天

    感谢上帝,Facebook上市的那天晚上,我没有参加CNBC的“快速生钱”栏目。当天晚上,该栏目邀请了梅莉莎•李和四名操盘手,结果Facebook股价一跌,他们五人立刻没脸见人了。等到股价被拦腰砍了一半,所有之前狂吹Facebook股票的人都立刻追悔莫及。直到现在,我们一起上节目之前偶尔还会就这件事互相安慰一下。《纽约时报》(New York Post )的跟进报道更是令这期节目声名狼藉,甚至还责怪这期节目就是导致Facebook的IPO失败的罪魁祸首。

    媒体同样会围绕着Twitter的IPO大肆宣传,其中大多数恐怕都是由于媒体对Twitter服务本身的痴迷,不过这次跟上一次肯定很不一样。另外Twitter现在只有2亿的用户群,不像Facebook上市时已经有了10多亿用户。

    “黑色三分钟”

    Facebook上市之前几天,每一家承销Facebook股票的投行的分析师们都开始悄悄地告诉机构客户,认为Facebook的收益预期可能有点太激进了。这种事之前可以说是闻所未闻的。长期市场观察人士都感到非常吃惊,因为他们也从没见过这种事,可以说这是对这次IPO彻头彻尾的背叛。

    一旦流言开始发挥它的威力,突然之间,许多人就会选择在开盘首日抛售股票,甚至全国各地的机构投资人和对冲基金都会争相要求取消认购。十年来最热门的IPO在交易前最后几小时突然变得门庭冷清,让媒体和交易所都始料未及。

    随着取消认购和抛售股票愈演愈烈,本已不堪重负的纳斯达克交易所的情况也进一步恶化了,局面变得更加混乱。等到当日收盘时,Facebook的股价已经惨不忍睹,几百万股东、操盘手、银行家以及Facebook的员工们已然溃不成军。与此同时,Facebook的“孩子王”马克•扎克伯格正在意大利度蜜月(莫名其妙的是,他居然被人拍到在当地的一家“汉堡王”里吃饭)。此时在纽约市,已有数十亿美金随着这次IPO蒸发了。这次交易后,所有人相互指责的场景恐怕永远都不会被忘掉。

    没有人想再经历这样一场悲剧。这一次可以肯定,各大交易所会把确保平稳开盘当成重中之重,而且华尔街分析师们在IPO之前的几天里也会尽力表现得最好。

    记住不要再乱嚼舌头了,伙计们。(财富中文网)

    本文作者是Ritholtz财富管理公司的CEO,也是The Reformed Broker博客的作者。

    译者:朴成奎 

    I'd also like to point out that Dick Costolo, Twitter's CEO, should be commended for keeping a tight handle on shares, unlike the Second Market swap-meet environment that surrounded Facebook's debut. Executives have been barred from selling shares, and the private stock that is out there is said to be fairly consolidated. It helps Twitter's aftermarket prospects that Facebook's stock has now recovered its initial losses and has been steadily bolting higher. It's no accident or coincidence t•hat Twitter's filing wheels began to turn at the exact moment Facebook reclaimed its opening price during the last week of July.

    Hyping up the deal

    Thank the Lord I wasn't on CNBC's Fast Money the night the Facebook IPO priced because they made Melissa Lee and the four traders who were on the show all wear hoodies. Once the share price had been cut in half, all that exuberance turned to regret rather quickly. We still tease each other about it in the green room to this day. The New York Post made the Fast Money hoodie incident infamous, going so far as to blame the show for the deal's failure.

    There will still be plenty of hype about the public offering, mostly owing to the general journalistic obsession with the Twitter service itself, but nowhere near on a par with FB. Besides, Twitter has a user base of just 200 million, not the billion-plus Facebook went public with.

    Last-minute glitches and hitches

    A few days before the Facebook IPO, analysts at the very investment banks that were underwriting the offering began to whisper in the ears of select institutional clients that revenue expectations for the company were a tad too aggressive. This kind of thing was absolutely unheard of. Long-time market watchers were just gobsmacked; they had never seen anything like it, a complete and total betrayal to the whole idea of the thing.

    Once that word began to make the rounds, all of a sudden there were a lot more first-day flippers and even outright cancellations of allocation requests from institutions and hedge funds all over the country. The hottest IPO of the decade went ice-cold in the last few hours before trading, unbeknownst to the press or the exchange itself.

    These rapid-fire cancellations and sell orders only exacerbated the overloaded Nasdaq open, which made things even more chaotic. By the time the market had closed that day, the IPO price was just barely defended, and millions of shareholders, traders, bankers, and Facebook employees were utterly demoralized. In the meantime, Facebook's boy-king Mark Zuckerbergwas honeymooning in Italy (photographed, inexplicably, eating at a Burger King) while billions of dollars evaporated here in New York. The finger-pointing free-for-all in the deal's aftermath will probably never be forgotten.

    No one -- and I mean no one -- wants to live through that again. This time around, you can bet that the exchanges will make a smooth opening a life-or-death priority and that Wall Street's analysts will be on their best behavior in the days leading up to the IPO.

    Bite your tongue, boys.

    Joshua Morgan Brown is CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management and author of The Reformed Broker blog.

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