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Slack上市:可从中吸取哪些经验

Anne Sraders 2019年06月25日

Slack开盘时的成交量惊人,令投资者和做市商都颇感意外。

6月20日在纽约证券交易所交易大厅,媒体、投资者和做市商齐聚一堂,急切等待Slack股票上市交易。随着Slack标志性的信息提示声“ping”响起,公司创始人及首席执行官斯图尔特·巴特菲尔德该敲钟了。Slack(代码为“WORK”)开盘报38.5美元/股,超过发行价57%,盘中价格保持40美元以上,收盘价高过38美元。

但Slack没有采用IPO(首次公开招股)方式上市,而是选择了不太常见的直接上市。以下是从Slack上市中可以吸取的经验。

成交量高

Slack开盘时的成交量惊人,令投资者和做市商都颇感意外。

做市商Citadel Securities负责此次Slack直接上市交易,执行服务主管乔·梅卡恩表示,原本预计Slack刚开始交易的成交量约将达到1000万至1500万股,在约2亿股符合交易资格的股票中约占5%。梅卡恩表示,普通IPO的公司上市交易时成交量在流通股中所占比例为10%,而Slack开盘时的成交量达到了约4000万股,比例远超正常水平。梅卡恩评价道,“出乎意料地强劲”。

高额成交量和全天都很稳定的交易流表明,投资者强烈看涨。梅卡恩发表的报告称,从开盘开始“买家就非常感兴趣,尽管价位很高”,而且卖方出货足够。“我认为,首个交易日大部分时间甚至全天强势是个好迹象,充分证明了该股的实力。”梅卡恩说道。

与典型的IPO交易相比,直接上市的供求关系略有不同,所以Citadel Securities等做市商之前有些担心。事实上,“可能出现市场上存在买家,市场上是否有供应却存疑的情况。”梅卡恩在上周三于纽约州蒙托克召开的《财富》头脑风暴金融会议上说道。

但现在看来,Slack直接上市引起的忧虑已然平息。“可能最令人惊讶的就是开盘以来该股走势十分稳定。” 德勤合伙人巴雷特·丹尼尔斯说道,他认为Slack “惊人稳健”的走势是个好兆头。

直接上市会变成趋势吗?

会有其他公司效仿Slack吗?

“Slack今日表现优异,而如果还有其他一些公司密切关注(直接上市的方式),我不会感到意外。” 丹尼尔斯说道。梅卡恩表示,已经有些考虑直接上市的公司与Citadel Securities进行接触。Slack的联合创始人及首席技术官卡尔·亨德森在上周四向CNN商业频道表示,之所以倾向这种非传统上市方式,是因为“我们并没有筹集资金的需求,这一点最为关键”。

但是,分析师认为直接上市取代传统IPO的可能性不大。“我从来不相信会有很多公司效仿,而且有能力这么做的公司很少。” 丹尼尔斯说道。“但如果有公司想知道这条路能否行得通,今天就能看到了。”

Slack的股价表现肯定会让企业软件公司格外受到鼓舞。

“这表明对企业软件公司来说,现在IPO机会很大。”资产管理公司D.A. Davidson的高级副总裁兼高级研究分析师里希·贾卢里亚说道。“预计年底以前会有更多的软件公司IPO。”

Citadel Securities又怎么看呢?

梅卡恩报告称,Citadel Securities本身便是“Slack的大用户”,连为该公司上市规划过程中也都靠Slack软件沟通。(财富中文网)

译者:艾伦

审校:夏林

Huddled on the NYSE trading floor, members of the press, investors and market makers alike hurried up and waited for Slack to begin trading on June 20. The company’s iconic message “ping” signaled it was time for Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield to ring the bell. Opening at $38.50 per share, Slack stock (under the ticker “WORK”) traded up over 57% and remained in the $40s during intraday trading on its first day as a public company. The stock closed over $38.

But Slack didn’t IPO—the company opted for the less-common direct listing. Here’s what we learned from Slack’s trading debut.

High volume

Slack surprised investors and market makers alike by opening with formidable trading volume.

According to Joe Mecane, head of execution services at Citadel Securities (which managed Slack’s debut), his firm had expected some 10 to 15 million shares to begin trading—representing about 5% of Slack’s roughly 200 million shares eligible for trading. And while typical IPOs have 10% of their shares outstanding available as a benchmark to begin trading, according to Mecane, the roughly 40 million shares Slack opened with was far above that percentage. That, says Mecane, was “unexpectedly strong.”

The strong volume and steady trading flow throughout the day suggest investors were feeling bullish. Mecane reports that, “buyers were very strongly interested at a high price point” from the open, and there were ample sellers to match. “I think the fact that it’s trading fairly strongly … for most if not all of the day … is just a good sign for the strength of the debut,” Mecane said.

Unlike a typical IPO, the supply and demand dynamics for a direct listing is a bit different—a potential cause for concern to market makers like Citadel Securities. In fact, “you can end up in a situation where you have buyers showing up, but you’re not quite sure whether or not the supply is in the market,” Mecane said on last Wednesday at Fortune‘s Brainstorm Finance conference in Montauk, N.Y.

But it seems as though these direct listing-specific worries were laid to rest. “Maybe the most surprising thing has been how steady it’s been since it opened,” Deloitte & Touche Partner Barrett Daniels said. Daniels characterized the stock’s “amazingly flat” performance as a good sign for the company.

Seeing a trend?

Will other companies follow Slack’s lead?

“Today went very well for them and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a couple of other companies that are watching this closely,” Daniels says. In fact, according to Mecane, there has already been a little bit of outreach to Citadel Securities from companies considering direct listings. Cal Henderson, Slack’s cofounder and CTO, told CNN Business on last Thursday that the non-traditional path to going public appealed because “we didn’t have a need to raise capital. That was the biggest driver.”

Analysts, however, aren’t convinced such direct listings will replace traditional IPOs. “I never think we’re going to see a ton of these, I still think that there is a very limited population of companies that can do this,” Daniels said. “But if they were looking for a sign that this works, then they got it today.”

Enterprise software companies, in particular, are sure to be encouraged by today’s results.

“It really just shows that the IPO window for enterprise software is very much open right now,” Rishi Jaluria, senior vice president and senior research analyst at D.A. Davidson, said. “I would expect many more of these software IPOs by year’s end.”

As for Citadel Securities?

Mecane reports that they are, “big Slack users as an organization,” and conducted planning sessions for the company’s listing over—you guessed it—Slack.

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