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投多少钱都是打水漂?看看Snap如何把大把资金烧没了

Shawn Tully 2017年08月20日

之前Snap出名的是自拍照阅后即焚,现在最擅长的则是把大把投资人的钱烧光。

8月10日,Snap公布的第二季度收入、利润以及新用户增速均低于分析师预期,这让该公司已遭打击的股价在本周一(8月14日)中午收盘时再次下挫10%。虽然没有达到预期,但4-6月份Snap的销售额仍增长了1.10亿美元,增幅为152%。然而,费用上升了4.42亿美元,280%的增速远超收入,其中增长最快的是研发以及销售和营销费用。

为填补这个缺口,Snap烧掉了大量现金。在截止6月底的1年时间里,Snap为运营投入了7.47亿美元。但远不至此,它在收购方面也越发活跃。第二季度,Snap收购了法国公司Zenly。后者可以让用户在地图上精确定位朋友的位置并追踪其行程。总之,从2016年第二季度到2017年第二季度,Snap在收购上花掉了大约3.33亿美元。

在这12个月里,Snap的运营和收购总支出几乎达到11亿美元。而在接下来的许多个季度中,它的赤字有可能继续攀升。收入和成本的差距仍在拉大,收购也不断出现。今年7月,Snap斥资1.35亿美元买下了Placed,后者的软件可以追踪广告主的采购情况。

也就是说,Snap烧钱力度只会大增。因此,大量现金储备对Snap的长期经营来说就尤为重要。吸引足够用户,从而让自己的照片共享产品盈利所需的时间很难确定,第二季度的低迷表现则让这个时间的可预测性进一步大幅下降。今年3月Snap首发上市,融资26.58亿美元。该公司发行了1.60亿股新股,扣除佣金后的发行价为每股16.575美元。由于上市前就已经拥有足够现金,Snap目前囤积的现金为28亿美元。但这个数字远不像听上去那么令人放心。如果Snap继续以目前每年远超10亿美元的速度烧钱,它就可能需要在不到2年的时间里开始创造大量利润和自由现金流(假设Snap需要保留约5亿美元来维持日常运营)。

现金问题让人对Snap的IPO产生了怀疑。和往常一样,投资机构大赚了一笔。承销商设定的预售价为每股17美元,远低于主要投资者愿意接受的水平(承销商收取2.5%的佣金,所以Snap的净首发价为16.575美元)。今年3月2日,也就是上市第二天,Snap的股价飙升至24.48美元,3月3日收于27.09美元。

当然,投资者随后开始觉得Snap的价值远低于24美元,甚至低于17美元的首发价。但就拿在手里的现金而言,重要的是:承销商预售时投资机构愿意出的价钱。这个数字至少是24美元。所以,如果Snap的所有者要了这样的高价,而不是为投资机构大打折扣,这家顶尖照片分享公司筹集到的资金就不是26.58亿美元,而是38亿美元。二者的差距超过11亿美元,或41%。投资机构则应该成为忠实的长期股东,以示其感激之情。

如果这样的话,Snap目前持有的现金就不是28亿美元,而是39亿。那么,按目前的烧钱速度,这笔资金能够支撑的时间就不是最多2年,而是3年。多出来的这部分现金将使Snap的账面价值上升11亿美元,而且十有八九能让它的市值出现同样幅度的增长,这意味着,Snap的股价会比现在高8%。

大规模抛售已经证明,享受巨大折扣的投资者并不忠诚。和IPO时完全兑现自身价值相比,由于把11亿美元现金留给了别人,Snap就得大大加快实现盈利的速度。5个月前看似梦幻的现金储备现在已经显得不那么让人放心。Snap需要跑得比现金更快,目前它却落在了后面。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

On August 10, Snap announced second quarter revenues, earnings, and growth in new customers that fell below analysts' predictions, sending its already tanking stock down additional 10% by midday Monday, August 14. Despite trailing forecasts, Snap's sales for the three months ended June 30 rose $110 million, or 152%. Its expenses, however, far outpaced the surge in revenues, leaping from $442 million, or 280%, led by huge increases in R&D and sales and marketing.

To fill that chasm, Snap is burning gigantic amounts of cash. For the 12 months ended in June, it devoured $747 million in cash to fund its operations. But that's not nearly the total. Snap is an increasingly active acquirer. In Q2, it purchased Zenly of France, provider of maps that allow users to pinpoint their friends' precise locations and trace their travels. All told, Snap spent around $333 million in acquisitions in from Q2 '16 to Q2 '17.

Over that twelve-month span, the combined cash outlays on operations and acquisitions totaled almost $1.1 billion. That deficit is likely to keep growing for many quarters ahead. The gap between revenues and costs continues to expand. And the deals keep coming. In July, Snap bought Placed, whose software tracks purchases for advertisers, for $135 million.

So the cash burn will only intensify. Hence, a gigantic cash cushion is essential to furnish Snap a long runway. The time required to lure the multitudes needed to make its photo-sharing product profitable is highly uncertain, and became a lot less predictable following the dreary Q2 results. In March, Snap's vaunted IPO raised $2.658 billion by selling 160 million shares at a price, minus commissions, of $16.575. Since it already had plenty of cash before the IPO, Snap's horde now stands at $2.8 billion. That figure isn't nearly as comforting as it sounds. If Snap continues burning cash at the current rate of well over $1 billion a year, it probably has less than two years before it will need to start generating substantial profits and free cash flow (assuming that it will keep to maintain around $500 million to fund its daily operations).

The cash issue calls into question Snap's handling of its IPO. As usual, the institutions got a sweet deal. The underwriters pre-sold the shares at $17, far less than big investors were willing to pay. (Snap netted $16.575 after a 2.5% commission to underwriters.) On March 2, the day following the offering, Snap's stock soared to $24.48, and closed on March 3 at $27.09.

Of course, investors have since reckoned that Snap's worth a lot less than $24, or even the IPO price of $17. But for cash in the treasury, what matters is what the institutions would have paid when the underwriters pre-sold the shares. And that number is at least $24. So if Snap's owners had demanded top dollar, instead of handing a deep discount to money managers who were supposed to show their gratitude by remaining loyal, long-term holders, the photo-sharing phenom would have banked not $2.658 billion, but $3.8 billion. That's a difference of over $1.1 billion, or 41%.

Instead of its current $2.8 billion in cash, Snap would now be holding a horde of $3.9 billion. Instead of at most two years in cash at the current burn rate, it would be flush for three years. The extra cash would raise its book value by $1.1 billion, in all probability raising its market cap by the same amount, adding 8% to its stock price.

As the big selloff has proven, the investors who got a deep discount weren't loyal after all. Because it left $1.1 billion in the table, Snap needs achieve profitability far faster than if it had reaped what was then full value from its IPO. What looked like a fantastic cash cushion five months ago isn't looking so comforting now. Snap needs to beat the cash clock, and right now, it's losing the race.

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