Pageview Valuation Methodology
|Ticker||Annualized Pageviews (B per year)||Equity Market Cap ($B)||Value per Pageview|
|YHOO circa September 1998||52.6||12.8||$0.24|
|LNKD circa May 2011||28.4||8.8||$0.31|
|YHOO circa September 1999||140.5||47.2||$0.34|
|YHOO circa March 2000||228.1||97.2||$0.43|
...LNKD è valutata in modo grosso modo equivalente a Yahoo nel 1999. C'è quindi spazio per un ulteriore rialzo del 20-30% prima di....
....una correzione di circa il -95% in diciotto mesi (vedi il grafico di Yahoo dal 1999 ad oggi) e di circa il -85% in undici anni! Yahoo raggiunse un prezzo massimo di 120 dollari nel 2000, per poi crollare a 5 dollari nel 2001-2002 e ancora oggi quota meno di 20 dollari.
Ma veniamo ora a Facebook. L'autore ricorre alla legge di Metcalfe per valutare Linkedin e di conseguenza anche Facebook: l'idea è che "L'utilità e il valore di una rete sono pari ad n^2 - n dove n è il numero degli utenti". Siccome Facebook ha circa 6 volte il numero di utenti di Linkedin il suo valore (dimenticando per un attimo che utilità e valore sono due concetti assolutamente distinti, diciamo che siamo risk-neutral e buonanotte...) Facebook dovrebbe valere 36 volte Linkedin, ovvero
Using Metcalfe's Law Valuation Methodology
|Stock||Users (100 million)(N)||N^2||Enterprise Value Estimated($B)||Equity Value Estimated ($B)|
Lasciamo spazio all'autore per i commenti, ho solo evidenziato il confronto tra l'EV di Apple e quello stimato per Facebook ammettendo come "efficiente" la valutazione che il mercato ha messo su Linkedin. Il risultato è che Apple vale meno di Facebook!!!
The first and obvious comment is, why should this make any sense anyways? The notion of Metcalfe's law is that the value of the network is proportional to the square of the users. This draws in people, and hopefully through clever business models, the company can capture that value. In this case, I would wager that Facebook is a lot more sticky than LinkedIn and pulls in more people for longer periods. Simply applying the ratio to just users would suggest that Facebook is worth $52.8 billion. However, I would argue it is worth more for the previously mentioned notion of stickiness; perhaps that is worth a 45% premium to get to the $80 billion valuation noted in the beginning. Also, the $52.8 billion is consistent with the price that Goldman Sachs (GS) paid for its stake ($50 billion) earlier this year.
The next note is that the Metcalfe's Law Valuation approach puts Facebook's Enterprise Value higher than Apple's (AAPL) based upon LinkedIn's current valuation. The equity value is comparable between Facebook and Apple. Does this make any sense whatsoever? In my opinion, absolutely not. However, at the rate that Facebook's valuation is climbing, it might be the only plausible methodology to use.
A proposito di Linkedin: Andrew Ross Sorkin, l'editore di Dealbook sul New York Times, indubbiamente uno dei massimi esperti mondiali del mondo della finanza corporate, contesta la tesi di Joe Nocera, riportata e in parte condivisa da Alfa o Beta? qualche giorno fa, che le banche di investimento hanno volontariamente sottoprezzato l'IPO. Dunque avrebbe ragione l'opinione di un lettore (rara avis) che ha commentato il post. Ecco qui un ampio stralcio dell'articolo di Ross Sorkin:
The basic premise was that the bankers that underwrote LinkedIn’s I.P.O. badly underpriced the offering since the stock zoomed from $45 a share to over $120 on the first day of trading. Worse, Joe posits that the bankers did this on purpose to line the pockets of their clients at the expense of the company, which could have used the money to grow.
Before diving into this, let’s stipulate at the outset that the current I.P.O. system is not perfect and that other more innovative approaches — like a Dutch auction in which the buyers set the price — may be a better alternative.
Let’s also stipulate that the bankers behind the offering, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Chase, could have gotten a higher price for LinkedIn, from which they collected significant fees. At the same time, however, it must be noted that the banks have clients in the form of investors, so clearly the banks are playing both sides.
While we’re at it, let’s also stipulate that many people on Wall Street and elsewhere are rightly worried that a bubble is forming around social networking. LinkedIn made only $15.4 million in 2010 and is now valued at more than $8 billion.
With that context, here is another way to think about the LinkedIn I.P.O: the offering price was generous — and maybe even too high.
If you believe that LinkedIn’s stock price is part of a bubble and that it may fall back to earth, how should the underwriters’ pricing be judged in the future? If the banks had priced the offering at about $94 — the price it closed at in its first day — and it subsequently fell to $45 a share, the public (and perhaps Mr. Nocera) would be up in arms that Wall Street had foisted a lousy deal on its unsuspecting clients, who were clamoring for a supposedly hot deal.
Note, too, that Goldman Sachs, which was an early investor in LinkedIn before the offering, sold its entire stake at $45 a share at the open, leaving some $30 million in missed profit on the table. Goldman clearly did not believe that LinkedIn’s stock price — even at $45 a share — was sustainable. What do they know that the rest of the world does not?
None of this is to suggest that Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and JPMorgan got the pricing right; they clearly could have done better.
But unless we learn that the low price was determined, in part, to help themselves through kick-back schemes with favored clients, it is hard to argue the banks purposely “scammed” their client. (It is, however, something we should watch out for in this latest I.P.O. mania.)