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阿里巴巴能从亚马逊和谷歌的IPO中借鉴哪些经验?

Laurie Simon Hodrick 2014年09月18日

投资者可以通过回顾以往的类似IPO来预测本次阿里巴巴IPO的情况。比如说,阿里巴巴到底价值几何?回顾一下亚马逊的IPO会有助于回答这个问题。如果要推测阿里巴巴的上市对IPO市场有何影响,我们就应该回顾一下谷歌的首发过程。

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

    本周晚些时候,中国最大电子商务企业阿里巴巴(Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.)将在纽约证券交易所上市。该公司的股票代码为BABA,预计将从投资者手中筹集资金逾210亿美元。这只即将上市的股票备受关注,投资者自然也提出了一些问题,比如该公司的估值以及对今后的IPO市场会有哪些影响。

    阿里巴巴到底价值几何?回顾一下亚马逊(Amazon.com)的IPO会有助于回答这个问题。1997年上市时,亚马逊还只是一家在线书籍零售商。如果投资者只把它视为美国的一家书商,那么要想让首发价格达到18美元,亚马逊就得迅速占据美国图书市场90%以上的份额并且一直保持这样的水平!不过,这样的衡量标准忽略了一点,那就是当年亚马逊具有的实物期权价值。

    最初,亚马逊首席执行官杰夫•贝佐斯列出了20种有可能在线销售的商品,包括书籍、软件和CD。虽然从图书起步,但如果他的经营模式获得成功,就可以推广到其他产品上,也可以延伸到其他国家和地区。事后证明,这种规模扩张期权蕴含着极大的价值。当这些期权兑现时,不仅证明了亚马逊的IPO价物有所值,还证明了该公司的股价应该远高于首发价格,2014年9月15日亚马逊的收盘价为323.89美元,按照12比1的整体股票拆分比例复权后,亚马逊的市值为1500亿美元,而上市当天市值仅为4.38亿美元,也就是说亚马逊这些年来的年均资本增长率高达41%!

    和亚马逊一样,阿里巴巴的大部分收入也来自在线交易,该公司占有中国约80%的电子商务市场份额。其第一个交易平台Alibaba.com把中国的制造商和小型企业联系在了一起。淘宝网是它的C2C平台,类似于eBay,是一个虚拟市场。天猫是B2C平台,是一个虚拟购物中心,中国购物者可在此买到跨国公司的产品。支付宝则是阿里巴巴的在线支付业务,类似于eBay的PayPal,为每一笔交易提供担保。

    科技与市场调研机构Forrester Research提供的数据显示,中国在线零售行业的规模已经突破3000亿美元,预计到2018年将增长80%。在这样的背景下,阿里巴巴的招股说明书着重强调了这一增长机会。该公司还有一条兑现实物期权的途径,那就是跨越国界的国际性扩张,包括向美国消费者的延伸,因为他们是世界上在线购物消费最高的群体。从亚马逊的IPO中可以看出,实物期权兑现时的规模将极大地影响阿里巴巴的最终估值水平。

    如果要推测阿里巴巴的上市对IPO市场有何影响,我们就应该回顾一下谷歌(Google)的首发过程。周二,阿里巴巴对提交给美国证监会(SEC)的F1表格进行了第7次修正。修正后的信息显示,该公司将3.201亿份美国存托凭证的询价区间从60-66美元调整为66-68美元。本次IPO的规模预计将达到211-217.7亿美元,超过2008年Visa首发时的197亿美元,预计将在美国市场创下新的纪录。从历史上看,重大IPO能够保证随后的IPO市场处于炙手可热的状态吗?未必。

    2004年谷歌的首发规模为16.7亿美元,达到了前所未有的水平,而且与之前那些通过修改后的荷兰式招标[又称单一价格招标,是指按照投标人所报买价自高向低(或者利率、利差由低而高)的顺序中标,直至满足预定发行额为止,中标的承销机构以相同的价格(所有中标价格中的最低价格)来认购中标的国债数额。——译注]上市的公司相比,谷歌的IPO规模要大得多(在它之前的10次荷兰式招标的总融资额只有3.13亿美元)。然而,谷歌的IPO并未引发新股汹涌而来的局面,在这之后也一直没有公司用荷兰式招标首发上市,直到2005年才出现了晨星(Morningstar)1.40亿美元的IPO,随后是2007年5月盈透证券(Interactive Broker Group)12亿美元的IPO。

    关键的一点不同可能是路演过程揭示的需求情况。我曾在案例分析文章《别作恶:记2004年谷歌通过荷兰式招标首发上市》(Don’t Be Evil: Google’s 2004 Dutch Auction Initial Public Offering,由哥伦比亚商学院CaseWorks项目出版)中明确指出,谷歌原计划融资27亿美元。该公司原定发行股票2460万股,询价区间为每股108-135美元;随后,发行数量提高到了2570万股。但接下来,谷歌调整了自己对需求的乐观预期。由于路演遇到困难,谷歌的IPO再三推迟。最终,该公司只发行了1960万股,询价区间也降至85-95美元;最终确定的发行价为85美元,筹集资金16.7亿美元。需求萎缩也许不仅意味着对这支新股的兴趣减弱,而意味着对所有新股的整体兴趣减弱;它所体现的可能不仅仅是投资者对这家公司的增长前景信心下降,他们对所有新上市公司可能都是如此。

    和谷歌的遭遇相反,阿里巴巴的股票一直非常受欢迎,而且早早就完成了申购。周二收盘后,阿里巴巴提高了询价区间,发行价上限从66美元升至68美元,这可能在一定程度上表明人们对新股变得更有兴趣,投资者对其他公司的增长前景也更有信心。许多互联网和科技公司都已经提交了首发上市申请文件,但还没有开始公开招股,其中包括云存储服务商Box Inc.、网络域名供应商GoDaddy Inc.、集客式营销软件制造商HubSpot、个人贷款公司LendingClub Corp.以及太阳能企业Vivint Solar。这些公司都等着看阿里巴巴的表现,然后再进行自己的发行。

    只有时间能告诉我们阿里巴巴价值多少,以及此后的IPO市场是否红火。不过,来自亚马逊和谷歌IPO的经验肯定能为我们的预测提供参考。(财富中文网)

    劳丽•西蒙•霍德里克是哥伦比亚商学院(Columbia Business School)商业系A. Barton Hepburn经济学教授和金融研究项目创始人兼负责人。

    译者:Charlie

    Later this week, China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is expected to raise over $21 billion from investors, going public on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BABA. As investors consider this imminent high-profile initial public offering, questions about the valuation of the company and the implications for the future of the IPO market naturally arise.

    What is Alibaba really worth? It helps to take a look back at Amazon.com’s IPO. When the company went public in 1997, it was exclusively an online book retailer. If an investor assumed it was to remain a domestic bookseller, justifying the IPO price of $18 would have required that Amazon quickly achieve and then maintain over 90% market share in books! But, such a benchmarking calibration ignores valuable real options that were available to Amazon in 1997.

    CEO Jeff Bezos had originally created a list of 20 potential products to sell online, including books, software, and CDs. While he began with books, his business model, if successful, could then be exported into other product markets, as well as into other countries. These scope-up growth options proved ex post to have significant value. As they were realized, they not only justified the IPO price but a price far higher: Amazon’s price of $323.89 at the market close on September 15th, 2014, after split adjustments totaling 12:1, implies a market capitalization of $150 billion, compared to Amazon’s market capitalization of $438 million after its first trading day. This represents an ex post annualized capital gain of 41%!

    Like Amazon AMZN 1.19% , Alibaba gets most of its revenue from online sales, handling approximately 80% of the e-commerce in China. Alibaba.com, the company’s original marketplace, connects Chinese manufacturers with small businesses. Taobao, its consumer to consumer platform similar to eBay, offers a virtual marketplace. Tmall, its business to consumer platform, provides a virtual shopping center giving international companies access to Chinese buyers. And Alipay, its online payment processor akin to eBay’s EBAY 1.28% PayPal, guarantees every transaction.

    With China’s online retail shopping industry of over $300 billion expected to grow 80% by 2018, according to Forrester Research, Alibaba’s prospectus emphasizes this growth opportunity. Another opportunity for realizing real options can be found in cross-border international expansion, including to American consumers who spend the most money online in the world. As learned from Amazon’s IPO, the magnitude of the realizations of these real options will significantly affect Alibaba’s ultimate valuation.

    If we’re to hypothesize what Alibaba’s IPO implies for the market for IPOs, it’s worth taking a look back at Google’s debut on the public market. Based on yesterday’s Amendment No. 7 to its F1 registration filed with the SEC, increasing the IPO price range from $60-$66 to $66-$68 per share for 320.1 million American depository shares, Alibaba’s $21.1 to $21.77 billion offering is expected to be the largest is U.S. history, exceeding Visa’s 2008 $19.7 billion IPO. Does a historically large IPO guarantee a hot IPO market to follow? Not necessarily.

    Google’s unprecedented $1.67 billion IPO in 2004 was by far the largest modified Dutch auction IPO ever (with only $313 million cumulative total Dutch auction IPO proceeds in the ten previous Dutch auction IPOs). It did not, however, stimulate a flood of additional deals, with no subsequent Dutch auction IPOs until Morningstar’s $140 million IPO in 2005 and Interactive Broker Group’s $1.2 billion IPO in May 2007.

    One key difference might be the information about demand revealed during the road show. As detailed in my case study, “Don’t Be Evil: Google’s 2004 Dutch Auction Initial Public Offering,” published by Columbia CaseWorks, Google had originally planned to raise $2.7 billion. It set its offer at $108-$135 per share for 24.6 million shares but then increased the amount offered to 25.7 million shares. Their sanguine assessment of demand subsequently altered: After several delays following road show challenges, Google GOOG 1.20% finally offered only 19.6 million shares at a reduced price of $85-$95, with the offer closing at $85, raising $1.67 billion. Weakened demand for shares may signal not only less appetite for the offered stock but also for IPO shares more generally, and may suggest not only less investor confidence in the firm’s growth prospects but also for firms more broadly.

    In contrast to Google, demand for Alibaba shares has been sufficiently strong that the order book is being closed early. The increase in the offering price announced after yesterday’s market close, raising the maximum price from $66 to $68, could indicate in part greater overall IPO appetite and more investor confidence in growth prospects for other firms. Many Internet and tech companies have filed IPO paperwork but not yet gone public, including Box Inc., GoDaddy Inc., HubSpot, LendingClub Corp., and Vivint Solar. These firms await Alibaba’s performance before moving forward with their own offerings.

    Only time will tell what Alibaba will be worth, and whether the IPO market that follows will be hot, but lessons from the Amazon and Google IPOs certainly help to inform our expectations.

    Laurie Simon Hodrick is the A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Business and the Founding Director of the Program for Financial Studies at Columbia Business School.

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