商业 - 科技


Jack T. Ciesielski 2014年09月09日


    在公众眼中,阿里巴巴集团(Alibaba Group Holding Ltd)总能抓住投资者的眼球,塑造符合当下投资者所推崇的资产组合。B2B商务?有。消费者线上购物?有。微型博客、社交媒体?有微博(Weibo)。在线支付服务?支付宝就是做这个的。移动互联网产品和服务?没问题,有UC浏览器。云计算、在线娱乐、职业足球队?有,有,都有。


    在即将成为美国公开上市公司的当口,接受彭博资讯(Bloomberg)调查的分析师对阿里巴巴的整体估值为1980亿美元。如果瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)、德意志银行(Deutsche Bank)、高盛(Goldman Sachs)、摩根大通(J.P. Morgan)、摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)和花旗(Citi)等大牌投行的联合承销获得成功,阿里巴巴的估值将跻身IBM、丰田(Toyota)和Verizon等大公司之列,与Facebook比肩。相应的估值倍数很是惊人:是按美国通用会计准则计算的截至2014年(3月)的年度收益的53.2倍,息税折旧摊销前利润的40倍,以及营收的23.4倍。



    For most of its time in the public view, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has been able to capture the investor zeitgeist, shaping its asset portfolio to accommodate whatever investors think is sexy at the moment. Business-to-business commerce? Check. Online shopping for consumers? Check. Micro-blogging, social media? There’s Weibo for that. Online payment service? Got it covered with Alipay. Mobile Internet products and services? No problem, UC Web fits the bill. Cloud computing, online entertainment,professional soccer team? Check, check and check.

    Alibaba is not so much a company as it is essentially an exchange traded fund for exposure to Chinese technology and commerce.

    On the cusp of becoming publicly-traded in the United States, a Bloomberg poll of analysts puts the value of the entire firm at $198 billion. If Alibaba’s syndicate of heavyweights – Credit Suisse CS , Deutsche Bank DB 1.29% , Goldman Sachs GS 0.27% , J.P. Morgan JPM 0.02% , Morgan Stanley MS 0.41% , and Citi C 0.46% – pull it off, the company’s valuation would join the ranks of IBM, Toyota TM , Verizon VZ -0.32% , and most fittingly,Facebook FB 0.16% . That kind of valuation brings with it breathtaking multiples: 53.2 times (March) 2014 year end GAAP earnings, 40 times EBITDA, and 23.4 times revenues.

    Nobody would expect an Alibaba IPO to be a bargain, but those levels go far beyond pricing the company for perfection – and this is a company that’s not perfect. Alibaba will be trading on the New York Exchange because first choice Hong Kong exchange couldn’t stomach the insider controlover the election of directors.Accounting problems in its media acquisitions have raised questions about effectiveness of Alibaba’s due diligence efforts during its rambunctious, pell-mell acquisition binge. The inside-China ownership/outside-China capital structurecreates owners and shareholders with conflicting claims on the firm’s future. And the SEC is still studying Alibaba’s offering documents, pushing the roadshow off for another week.

    One curiosity concerning the financial statements is Alibaba’s lack of information for each segment of its business segment information – something that should be critical for those analysts polled by Bloomberg in coming up their valuations. Alibaba’s disparate businesses aren’t all worth the same multiples of relevant yardsticks, and they don’t all grow at the same rate – and it’s impossible to realistically peg one Alibaba business to that of a stand-alone competitor. The firm’s financial statements are prepared on a U.S. accounting basis, requiring that the firm report essential information about the segments used by the chief operating decision maker for reviewing performance and making decisions about resource allocation. In a firm with an asset palette as widely varied as this one, it’s justifiable to expect at least a couple of different segments. After all, how similar is online commerce to social media?

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