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阿里巴巴IPO:对投资者来说这是一笔“捡漏”的买卖

Stephen Gandel 2014年09月16日

中国最大零售电商阿里巴巴的股票价值或许会比华尔街银行家们的预估高出很多。

聚焦阿里巴巴上市专题

· 阿里上千员工或分得人均数千万财富
· 阿里的收购野心及其背后的风险
· 阿里巴巴能从亚马逊和谷歌的IPO中借鉴什么
· 硅谷怎么看阿里巴巴?
· 阿里巴巴IPO:对投资者来说这是一笔“捡漏”的买卖

    阿里巴巴(Alibaba)的IPO很可能火爆异常,但投资者仍有捡到便宜的机会。

    换言之:阿里巴巴可能是中国的亚马逊(Amazon),但不会成为IPO市场的下一个Facebook。(给那些忘性大的人提个醒,Facebook在IPO后的表现可不怎么样。)

    上周,纽约大学(New York University)金融学教授、交易估值专家阿斯沃斯•达摩达兰针对阿里巴巴股票估值发表了一篇分析文章。达摩达兰通常认为,大部分火爆的华尔街IPO交易都估值过高。

    比如,十年前,达摩达兰就表示,谷歌(Google)股价超过40美元就不划算了。而这家搜索引擎巨头的IPO定价为每股100美元,比达摩达兰建议上限的两倍还多。至于Facebook,他曾表示公允价格是28美元。而这家社交网络公司的实际IPO价格是38美元(但上市后该股迅速下跌至18美元附近)。对于Twitter,达摩达兰给出的价格是18美元,其实际IPO价格为26美元。

    那么,达摩达兰认为阿里巴巴的股票价值几何呢?一反往常,达摩达兰给出的价格为66美元,处于华尔街投行为阿里巴巴建议的IPO定价区间60-66美元的上限。因此,至少在达摩达兰看来,通过IPO认购股票的投资者最差也只是付出了该公司应有的价格。他们甚至可能还会赚一点。

    并不是每个人都认同这一点。雅虎(Yahoo)股东看起来有些担心。我的同事肖恩•杜利表示,投资者应当“避开”阿里巴巴的IPO。以66美元的价格计算,该公司的市盈率将达到41倍(基于截至今年3月份的上一财年数据计算),显著高于标普500指数成份股公司19倍的平均市盈率。看起来够贵的?那可不一定。

    市盈率和股票估值通常与公司的成长性有很大关系。公司成长性越好,股票获得的市盈率就越高。阿里巴巴正在高速增长。截至6月份的季度收益同比激增了200%。将利润增长因素考虑在内,阿里巴巴的静态市盈率将降至29倍,低于另一家中国互联网公司腾讯(Tencent)47倍的市盈率。

    Alibaba’s IPO might turn out to be the rare hot, hyped Wall Street deal that’s also a bargain.

    Put another way: Alibaba might be the Amazon of China, but it won’t be the next Facebook of the IPO market. (Facebook’s IPO, for those who don’t remember. didn’t go so well.)

    Last week, AswathDamodaran, a finance professor at New York University and recognized guru when it comes to valuing deals, published an analysis of what investors should pay for Alibaba’s shares. Damodaran typically thinks that most hot Wall Street IPOs are overpriced.

    Ten years ago, for instance, Damodaran said investors shouldn’t pay more than $40 for shares of Google . The search giant IPOed for more than twice that, at $100. For Facebook , he said a fair price was $28. The social network’s IPO price was $38. (Although the stock quickly plummeted to nearly $18.) For Twitter , Damodaran’s price was $18. It IPOed at $26.

    So what does Damodaran think Alibaba’s share should be worth? More than Wall Street thinks, for a switch. Damodaran’s price is $66, which is at the high end of the $60-to-$66 IPO range that Wall Street has set for Alibaba. So, at least according to Damodaran, the worst investors who get shares in the IPO will do is pay what the company is worth. They might even get a slight deal.

    Not everyone agrees. Yahoo shareholders seem wary. My Fortune colleague Shawn Tully says investors should “stay away” from Alibaba’s IPO. At $66, the company’s shares would have a price-to-earnings ratio (based on its last fiscal year, which ended in March) of 41. That’s considerably higher than the average P/E of 19 of companies on the S&P 500. Seems expensive? Maybe not.

    Price-to-earnings multiples and stock valuations in general have a lot to do with how fast a company is growing. The faster a company is growing, the higher the p/e it receives. Alibaba is growing fast. Its earnings in the three months ending in June jumped 200% from the same period a year ago. Factor those profits in, and Alibaba’s p/e drops to 29. That’s less than fellow Chinese Internet companyTencent, which focuses on online games and trades for 47 times trailing earnings.

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