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商业 - 科技

图片需求强劲,Shutterstock前景喜人

Craig Giammona 2013年10月30日

随着市场对数字图片和视频的需求日益增长,以低价供应商姿态进入市场的图片公司Shutterstock的股价开始飞涨。分析师认为,这家公司未来还会迎来更大的增长。

    首席执行官抛售自己公司的股票,这可不是什么好兆头。但上个月,当Shutterstock公司的乔恩•奥林杰为了更大规模的二次发行而抛售自己创立的这家素材图片公司250万股时,这家公司的股价却开始猛涨,以17%的涨幅突破了70美元大关。

    这种情况表明,广大投资者对这家位于纽约的公司股票需求强劲。它一年前刚刚上市,受到数字图片和视频销售猛涨的推动,股价已经涨了240%。自IPO以来,它每个财季的表现都远超市场预期,目前市值已经逼近25亿美元。但它股票并不便宜。它的往绩市盈率达到了45【谷歌公司(Google)是28,苹果公司(Apple)是12】,分析师预计这个比率到2014年末将高达65。分析师表示,对Shutterstock股票的需求很大程度上是由于投资者希望在中型科技公司领域找到一个“好故事”。问题在于,这家公司是否能如市场所预期的那样实现营收的稳定增长。

    加拿大皇家银行(RBC CAPITAL MARKETS)股票分析师安德烈•瑟奎因说:“他们确实给自己定了很高的目标。投资者们普遍预期它的增长率将维持在高位。”

    Shutterstock的数字图书馆收集的图片已经达到3000万张,它每秒钟以每张平均2.33美元的价格卖出三张照片。经过审核的供稿人不断上传照片,如果他们的照片被人买走,就能分得售价的30%。

    2012年底,Shutterstock的销售总额达到1.69亿美元,毛利润高达1.05亿美元,利润比2011年猛增了40%。而今年,它的收入和利润也一直在稳步上升。最近,它还与Facebook公司签订了协议,允许广告主使用其照片,还扩大了素材视频目录。同时它还在积极拓展国际市场。2012年,它有72%的收入来自美国以外的市场(2012年它在欧洲的销售总额为6290万美元,美国为6000万美元,世界其他市场为4670万美元),现在更是将自己的网站翻译成了20种语言。

    Shutterstock的增长路径非常清晰直接。随着宽带的普及,越来越多的人(博客用户、公司、创业者)开始通过网络漫游世界。随着越来越多的人通过手机和平板这样的移动平台访问网站,对图片和视频的需求就开始激增。分析师称,现在很多营销人员连发个电邮都必须附上照片,而企业也对自己公司网站的形象要求日益提高。

    奥特米特集团(Altimeter Group)数字媒体分析师瑞贝卡•莉布说:“随着人们纷纷转向移动平台,数字内容也日益变得图文并茂。文字内容在减少,而视觉图像却大量涌现。只要这个趋势不变,而我觉得至少未来五年都会如此,Shutterstock公司的前景就非常非常好。”  

    It's typically not a good sign when a CEO dumps stock in his own company. But last month, when Shutterstock's Jon Oringer sold 2.5 million shares of the stock photo firm he founded as part of a larger secondary offering, the company's stock rose sharply, jumping 17% to trade above $70.

    It was a testament to investor demand for shares in the New York-based company, which went public just over a year ago and has seen its stock price rise 240% on the strength of growing sales of digital pictures and video. Shutterstock (SSTK) has beaten expectations each quarter since its IPO and has a market capitalization approaching $2.5 billion. But the stock isn't cheap. It trades with a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 45 (Google's (GOOG) trailing P/E is 28; Apple (AAPL) trades at 12), and analysts expect that ratio to climb to nearly 65 by the end of 2014.

    Analysts say demand for Shutterstock shares are due in large part to investors looking for a "quality story" in the mid-size technology space. The question is whether or not the company can deliver on the market's expectations of steady growth in revenue and earnings.

    "They've definitely set a high bar for themselves," says Andre Sequin, an equity analyst at RBC Capital Markets. "There's an expectation in the investor class that the growth rate is going to be pretty significant."

    Shutterstock's digital library has grown to 30 million photographs, and it sells three photos each second at an average of $2.33 per photo. Vetted contributors constantly send in photos and receive 30% of the sale price when their photos are purchased.

    Shutterstock finished 2012 with gross profit of $105 million on sales of $169 million, a 40% percent profit jump over 2011. This year, revenue and profit have ticked steadily upward. And Shutterstock recently inked a deal with Facebook (FB) to let advertisers use its photos and is expanding its catalog of stock video. The company is also growing its international business. In 2012, 72% of Shutterstock sales came from outside the U.S. (European sales totaled $62.9 million in 2012, compared to $60 million in the U.S. and $46.7 million from the rest of the world), and the company is now translating its website into 20 languages.

    The case for Shutterstock's continued growth is fairly straightforward. As broadband Internet expands, more and more people (read: bloggers, companies, entrepreneurs) are making their way online across the world. With more people visiting websites on mobile devices like phones and tablets, the demand for pictures and videos has grown exponentially. Most marketers don't even send an email without a photo these days, analysts say, and companies have grown increasingly demanding about the appearance of their websites.

    "With the migration to mobile, digital content is getting increasingly visual," says Rebecca Lieb, a digital media analyst at the Altimeter Group. "Everything written we see diminishing and everything visual is absolutely booming. As long as that trend continues, and I see it continuing for at least five years, the prospects [for Shutterstock] are very, very good."    

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