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Alphabet展现谷歌雄心(双语)

cocotang 于2015-08-16发布 l 已有人浏览
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如果说华尔街之前对谷歌(Google)烧钱的行为越来越担忧,那么其表达方式相当奇怪。周一,当谷歌神奇地变身为高科技投资控股公司Alphabet后,股价出现了飙升

If Wall Street was getting worried about Google’s spendthrift ways, then the share price jump that followed its magical reinvention on Monday as Alphabet, the tech investment holding company, was a strange way to show it. 

如果说华尔街之前对谷歌(Google)烧钱的行为越来越担忧,那么其表达方式相当奇怪。周一,当谷歌神奇地变身为高科技投资控股公司Alphabet后,股价出现了飙升。

This overhaul formalised what chief executive Larry Pagehas been saying for some time: that Google has its main sights squarely set on giant tech growth markets, such as driverless cars, drones and biotech. Reorganising Google into a conglomerate — with search and other internet businesses just one operating arm among many — is a structure for the long term. 

这一大幅重组印证了首席执行官拉里?佩吉(Larry Page)一段时间以来所说的,谷歌已将主要目光投向巨大的高科技成长型市场,比如无人驾驶汽车、无人机以及生物科技。把谷歌重组成一个企业集团——使搜索以及其他互联网业务成为众多运营部门中的一个——是一个放眼长远的结构。

If investors were in any doubt before, then this was a clear message that the cash pouring out of the company’s internet businesses is really there to support the most ambitious agenda in the tech world, as Mr Page looks to build the defining conglomerate of the 21st century. 

如果投资者之前有过任何疑问,那么这次重组清楚表明,谷歌互联网业务产生的大量资金,确确实实被用来支持高科技产业最富雄心的议程。佩奇有意打造在21世纪引领潮流的企业集团。

That might sound like a recipe for an even more aggressive investment strategy — just the thing that stock market investors have grown wary of as Google has poured its excess cash into its grand new schemes. However, after a period of underperformance stretching back to early last year, Google’s shares rose more than 5 per cent in after-market trading on the news. 

这也许听起来意味着甚至更激进的投资战略——随着谷歌将富余资金投入其宏伟的新项目,这正是股市投资者越来越警惕之处。然而,自去年初以来一直表现不佳的谷歌股票,在这条新闻公布后在盘后交易期间上涨超过5%。

Nevertheless, there was a distinct glass half full aspect to Wall Street’s enthusiasm. Google’s metamorphosis into Alphabet is seen as a sign that Mr Page and co-founder Sergey Brinare finally ready to tackle some of the issues that have been concerning their investors — even though, on the face of it, the changes might risk having the opposite effect. For a company that has famously shunned Wall Street in the past, that could make this a turning point in its financial history. 

话说回来,华尔街的热烈反应带有一种“尽量往积极方向看”的意味。谷歌变身Alphabet被视作一个迹象,表明佩奇和联合创始人谢尔盖?布林(Sergey Brin)终于准备解决投资者近年关切的一些问题,尽管乍看之下此次重组可能产生相反效果。对于一家过去以避开华尔街出名的公司,这可能成为其财务史上的一个转折点。

One concern has involved a lack of disclosure about the performance of Google’s different businesses. Without that, Wall Street has lacked a real understanding of how its core internet operations are performing as it makes the switch to the smartphone-centric world, or of how much money is being poured into big new schemes including driverless cars, delivery drones and “smart” home thermostats. 

投资者的关切之一是谷歌对不同业务的表现缺乏披露。没有这些信息,华尔街就无法真正了解,在谷歌的重心转向智能手机世界之际,其核心互联网业务的表现如何?或是谷歌在无人驾驶汽车、无人机快递和“智能”家居温控器等大型新项目上到底投入了多少钱?

On Monday Google said it would start to show results for its core business separately from the fourth quarter this year. But that does not go as far as Wall Street has wanted. It will still be impossible, for instance, to see how YouTube is doing, or how much Google makes from display advertising. 

周一谷歌表示,将从今年第四季度起单独公布核心业务的业绩,但这并没有达到华尔街期待的披露水平。比如,投资者仍无法看出YouTube表现得怎么样,或是谷歌从显示广告上赚取了多少利润。

Still, even Monday’s minimal gesture towards better disclosure drew an enthusiastic response from investors.

话虽如此,谷歌周一在改进披露的方向上作出的小小姿态,得到了投资者的热烈响应。

“It’s a really, really important step to get the company to where they break out the businesses,” said Youssef Squali, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald. 

Cantor Fitzgerald公司分析师尤塞夫?斯夸里(Youssef Squali)说:“这是朝着推动该公司分别披露各项业务业绩的方向上迈出的非常、非常重要的一步。”

If, as some analysts believe, the operating profit margin in Google’s core business is more than 60 per cent — compared with the figure of about 40 per cent that it currently reports, after the effect of spending on newer businesses — it would go a long way to shoring up confidence. 

谷歌目前报告其整体营业利润率(计入在较新业务上投资的影响之后)约为40%。但假如就像某些分析师所认为的,其核心业务的营业利润率超过60%,那将非常有助于增强投资者信心。

A second pressure from Wall Street has been for the company to do far more to explain its investments. With capital spending soaring, and costs weighing on its overall margins, doubts have hung over its financial discipline. The appointment this year of chief financial officer Ruth Porat, who had held the same title at Morgan Stanley, had already raised hopes of a more rigorous approach. 

来自华尔街的第二项压力,是要求谷歌下更大努力解释其投资项目。随着资本支出猛增,随着成本拖累整体利润率,各方对谷歌财务纪律的疑虑挥之不去。今年,摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)前首席财务官(CFO)露丝?波拉特(Ruth Porat)被任命为谷歌首席财务官,令外界期待谷歌在财务上将更加严谨。

There were no specifics in Monday’s news to indicate how — or even if — Alphabet’s capital allocation policies would differ from those of the old Google. 

在周一的新闻中,没有什么细节预示Alphabet的资本配置政策将与原来的谷歌有何不同、甚至会不会有所不同。

Even so, the very act of separating the different operations into a holding company structure will eventually force Google to make the case separately for each business, analysts argued. This should encourage a “laser focus” on the financial performance of the newer businesses and eventually force each to stand on its own feet, Mr Squali said. 

即便如此,分析师们辩称,把不同业务分开、将其置于一个控股公司架构的举措本身,最终将迫使谷歌分别说明每项业务背后的逻辑。Cantor Fitzgerald的斯夸里表示,这应会鼓励较新业务的财务表现得到“激光般的聚焦”,最终迫使每项业务自己站稳脚跟。

Some on Wall Street read even more into the shake-up. Separating Google’s businesses under a holding company is the kind of thing that can lead eventually to breaking the company up, said David Garrity, an analyst at GVA Research. 

有些华尔街人士甚至从此次重组中看出了更深的含义。GVA Research分析师大卫?加里蒂(David Garrity)表示,把谷歌的不同业务分开、置于一个控股公司之下,这样的操作最终可能导致公司被拆分。

“People see this and they immediately think: ‘spin-off’,” he said. While any move would be far in the future, Mr Garrity suggested Monday’s share price rise showed that Wall Street believed this was a first step — since break-ups often follow when companies “slice and dice things so they appear to be worth more than they are”. 

“人们看到此举,立刻就想到:‘剥离’,”他说。尽管任何剥离动作都将是遥远未来的事情,但加里蒂提出,周一的股价上升显示华尔街认为这是第一步——因为当公司“把不同业务切成一块一块,让它们貌似更有价值”时,下一步往往就是拆分公司。

This message did not meet with universal approval in the tech world. Google’s refusal to adopt the normal conventions of public companies may have frustrated Wall Street, but it has been seen as a sign of its steadfast focus on the long term. As a result, any indication that it might be adapting to financial fashion grated. 

这层含义没有得到科技圈的一致认同。谷歌拒绝采纳公开上市公司的惯例也许令华尔街感到沮丧,但这一直被视为谷歌紧紧聚焦于长远的迹象之一。因此,谷歌或许会追随财务时髦的迹象令人不爽。

George Colony, chief executive of tech research firm Forrester, summed up that reaction in a tweet: “Google chose the investment banker solution to maintain momentum. The risks? Conflict, customer confusion, ecosystem degradation.” 

科技研究公司福里斯特(Forrester)的首席执行官乔治?克罗尼(George Colony)在Twitter上一语道出这种反应:“谷歌选择了投行人士的解决方案来维持增长势头。风险是什么?冲突、客户困惑、生态系统退化。”

According to the Google chief executive, however, a looser corporate structure will make it easier for Google to achieve its ambitions. 

然而,按照谷歌首席执行官的说法,更松散的公司架构将更便于谷歌实现自己的抱负。

Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times late last year, Mr Page made the case that the company’s many “moonshot” projects are standalone businesses, not parts of an integrated whole. He has argued that Google’s many new businesses should not be seen as part of a single grand plan to collect data and sell more advertising to the same group of customers. 

在去年末接受英国《金融时报》采访时,佩奇说明,谷歌的许多“登月”项目是自成一体的业务,而非一个统一整体的组成部分。他辩称,谷歌的许多新业务不应被视为一个宏伟计划的组成部分,目的是收集数据,向同一客户群体销售更多广告。

At the least, this is a message that may help Google fight swelling concerns over its growing business power and threat to personal privacy. 

最起码,这种表述或许能帮助谷歌化解各方对于其商业实力和对个人隐私构成的威胁日益加大的严重担忧。

However, as Alphabet emerges into view, as if from a chrysalis, and the sheer scale of Google’s ambitions become apparent, there is also a risk that it will end up having exactly the opposite effect. 

然而,随着Alphabet破茧而出进入人们的视野,随着谷歌各项抱负的规模渐渐展露出来,也存在这样一种风险,那就是此举最终可能起到相反的效果。

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