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Finding the facebook magic( 寻找facebook魔术)

2012-08-18 17:05:07 / 个人分类:笔译口译



Want to better understand the crazy world of technology stocks? That requires having a grasp of something that can best be described as the curse of the ordinary.


That curse could mean that Facebook, which is already down by nearly 50 percent from its offering price to $19.05 on Friday, could drop even further.

这个祸端可以理解为facebook, 该股价已从其发行价下跌了近50个点及19.05美元,而且有持续下跌的趋势。

It’s all about valuations.


Most efforts to judge the right stock market value for a company rely on profit forecasts. But earnings at young technology companies are harder to predict than at businesses using traditional approaches to generate earnings in other industries.



In times of optimism, that knowledge dearth can actually work to the advantage of technology companies. Executives fill that emptiness with promises of paradigm-breaking ways of doing business, prompting Wall Street analysts to project amazing profits.


Investors get excited and flock to their stock debuts. In short, it’s all about being seen as extraordinary.


That magic allowed Facebook to go public at a stock price that was an astronomical 100 times its earnings per share. Back in May, investors seemingly had little trouble believing that Facebook could entwine advertising into all interactions on its site and generate extraordinary revenue.


Indeed, each of the companies that have gone public in recent months has needed one main magical story. For Groupon, it was that the company had found a revolutionary marketing tool that was perfect for small businesses. The untapped market was theoretically huge.

确实,近几个月内每个公开发售股票的公司都需要一个主要传奇故事。对于 Groupon, 该公司已经找到了一个市场改革工具,对小公司可是说是完美。对尚未开发的市场是理论上的大难度性。

But the nightmare begins when investors stop believing in that central story. Earnings don’t have to be terrible, and they haven’t been at the hardest hit firms — Facebook, Groupon and Zynga, the online game company. The earnings just have to contain a few clues that the dream won’t be achieved.

但是噩梦开始了,当投资家们不再信任那个核心故事。收入不一定是恐怖的,起码在受灾最严重的公司不是这样-facebook, Groupon Zynga, 网络游戏公司。 从收入上可以看出梦想终将不会实现。

Then, the transition from extraordinary to ordinary is brutal.


Groupon is down 75 percent from its initial public offering. The market now values it as if it were any old marketing company; its shares are trading at 12 times the earnings that analysts are projecting for 2013, according to data from Thomson Reuters.


This is a critical time for Facebook.

对月facebook, 这是个艰难时期。

The faith level in the company is declining. Right now, Facebook is trading at 31 times the earnings that analysts are expecting for 2013. That’s not too expensive, but it’s far above Google’s 2013 price-to-earnings ratio of 14 times.

公司的信誉度正在下降。现在, facebook正在用分析家们预计的2013年股价以31倍收入价进行出售。 这并不是很贵了,但是比起谷歌2013年的市场股价收益率远远高出了14倍。

One reason investors have fled the stock is that Facebook’s second-quarter earnings showed few signs that it was close to achieving meteoric growth. “There have been almost no positive signals at Facebook in the past six months,” said Anup Srivastava, an assistant professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He thinks Facebook shares should be worth about $12, based on his estimates of the company’s future cash flows.

投资家门避开股票的一个原因是facebook第二季度的收入略有显示对实现飞速增长似乎存在较大困难。“在过去六个月来,facebook似乎无任何乐观迹象,”西北大学凯洛格管理学院助理教授Anup Srivastava说。他认为facebook股价应当在基于该公司未来现金流动上大约值12美元每股。

Such a fate may seem unthinkable, given how far the stock has already fallen. But Facebook may struggle to keep pace with Google, which, though it is a more mature Internet company, is still finding ways to grow fast. In its second quarter, the volume of “paid clicks” (the number of times users click on a link that generates revenue for Google) rose 42 percent from the year-earlier period. That’s the fastest growth since 2007, according to analysts at Nomura. And despite its extraordinary growth, investors still give Google’s shares only an ordinary valuation.


But there’s still hope for Facebook. 鉴于股价已跌至多远。但是facebook可能与谷歌这个相比更成熟的英特网公司同步竞争,尽管谷歌公司一直在寻找不断发展强大的方式。在第二季度,付费点击总量(用户在一定时间内点击链接为谷歌公司所带来的收入)从年前早期已增长了42个百分点。这是至2007年来的最快增长,根据Nomura公司分析家分析。 尽管有如此显著增长,投资家门在谷歌股价上仍然采取普通估价方式。


Negativity can feed on itself in the stock market, and the over-optimism of the I.P.O. may simply have been replaced with rabid pessimism today. “As with most other young growth stocks, no one really knows Facebook’s value,” said Aswath Damodaran, a professor of finance at the New York University Stern School of Business. “That means people can overreact in both directions.”

在股票市场,否定性也同样可养活自己,在过于乐观的I.P.O.简直可能被如今的狂热悲观所取代。“对于其它大多数年轻的增值性股票,没有一个可以知道facebook的价值,”纽约斯特恩大学商学院经融学教授Aswath Damodaran说,“这也意味着在两种走向上都可能反应过度。”

There are ways to get back into investors’ good graces. One is for Facebook to be more convincing when explaining why it’s special.


Since its own I.P.O., LinkedIn has kept investors enthralled. The company trades at 79 times projected 2013 earnings, a clear sign that the market believes the company has created a revolutionary space for companies to recruit.

自从他们自己的I.P.O.Linkedin 让投资家们一头雾水以来。该公司已经比预计的2013年股价出售79倍股票,明显表明市场已经相信该公司能在公司招聘上创造一个改革性空间。

Then there’s Amazon.com, which is extraordinarily talented at projecting itself as extraordinary. Its shares trade at 100 times its projected 2013 earnings, even though it has reported what might look like disappointing earnings for several years. The dream is that Amazon is well on its way to dominating Internet commerce, and can look forward to prodigious profits.


Amazon.com also shows there’s a way to get investors believing again. Its shares plunged amid fears that it could go bankrupt soon after the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, but in the last 10 years it has regained extraordinary status.


Facebook could use some of that Amazon magic.


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