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高利润率只是海市蜃楼:阿里并不像看上去那么能赚钱

Stephen Gandel 2014年09月20日

如果按沃尔玛和亚马逊等其他零售商的财务标准计算阿里巴巴的销售额,这只热门新股的营业利润率会下降到1.4%。

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    周五,阿里巴巴(Alibaba)以92.7美元的价格开盘,比发行价提高了36.32%。

    对这家中国电子商务巨擘,投资者受其预期盈利影响,一直反应狂热。纽约大学教授、公司估值专家阿斯沃斯•达摩达兰认为,和几乎所有热门IPO不同,阿里巴巴并没有高估,原因就是该公司的利润率——也就是利润和销售额的比例——很高。

    问题在于阿里巴巴的高利润率实际上只是一个海市蜃楼。

    记录销售额时,阿里巴巴只计算在它的网站上完成交易的买卖双方拿出来的手续费。因此,该公司的营业利润率(营业利润占销售额的百分比)可以达到51%。与之相反,沃尔玛(Wal-Mart)和亚马逊(Amazon)公布的销售额是实体店(沃尔玛的店面)和网站(沃尔玛和亚马逊网站)上售出商品的总金额。如果按这样的方法计算阿里巴巴的营业利润,这家电商企业的盈利能力就显得不那么令人激动了,就像施了魔法一样。用这样的标准衡量,阿里巴巴过去12个月的营业利润率会下降到1.4%,毫不起眼。就算和沃尔玛略高于5%的利润率相比,这样的盈利水平看来也不那么激动人心。(财富中文网)

    译者:Charlie

    Shares of Alibaba began trading on Friday at $92.7, up nearly 36.32% from the offering price.

    Investors have been so excited about the Chinese e-commerce giant primarily because of its perceived profits. Aswath Damodaran, a New York University professor and an expert on corporate valuation, cited Alibaba’s high profit margins—how much of its sales make it to the bottom line—when he argued that Alibaba, unlike nearly every other hot IPO, was not overpriced.

    The problem is that Alibaba’s high profit margins are actually a mirage.

    When it records sales, Alibaba only counts the commissions it receives for completing transactions between buyers and sellers on its website. As a result, the company’s operating margins (operating profits as a percentage of sales) come to 51%. Wal-Mart and Amazon , however, report sales as the total dollar volume of goods sold in their stores (for Wal-Mart) or on their site (for Amazon, and Wal-Mart). Compute Alibaba’s operating profits that way and, alakazam, the e-commerce company’s profitability doesn’t look so hot. Its operating profit shrinks to an unimpressive 1.4% over the past 12 months. Even compared to Wal-Mart’s just over 5%, that doesn’t look so hot.

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