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Lex专栏 高通不应剥离芯片业务_亚博买球

发布时间:2021-02-13    来源:亚博买球官方网站78602

本文摘要:For a mature tech company, the trick of the trade is to choose what to exit, and when. Qualcomm, founded 30 years ago, has made some smart exits, such as selling its handset business in 1999 and its infrastructure business that same year. Is it now time for the company to bow out of its chipset business, too?对于一家成熟期的高科技企业来说,交易中的难题往往在于退出什么以及什么时候退出。

For a mature tech company, the trick of the trade is to choose what to exit, and when. Qualcomm, founded 30 years ago, has made some smart exits, such as selling its handset business in 1999 and its infrastructure business that same year. Is it now time for the company to bow out of its chipset business, too?对于一家成熟期的高科技企业来说,交易中的难题往往在于退出什么以及什么时候退出。30年前正式成立的高通(Qualcomm)曾作出一些明智的退出要求。

比如,1999年该公司出售了手机业务,并在同一年出售了基础设施业务。那么,该公司现在解散芯片业务否不顾一切其时呢?Qualcomm has openly considered this idea in the past, and recently investors have started clamouring for it as well. The most valuable part of Qualcomm is considered by analysts to be its licensing business, which supplies most of the IP for 3G and 4G wireless in smartphones. These licensing royalties account for just a quarter of revenue, but two-thirds of profits. Meanwhile Qualcomm’s chipset business brings in the bulk of revenue but less than half of profits. The businesses can complement each other when a new wireless communication standard is being introduced: for example Qualcomm can develop the IP behind a new standard like LTE (Long Term Evolution), and then simultaneously develop chipsets that incorporate LTE to prove how the technology works. But this synergy matters less at a time like the present, when Qualcomm already licenses a large majority of global handset, Credit Suisse points out.高通过去曾公开发表回应考虑过这一点子,而最近投资者某种程度也开始大声敦促这么做到。分析师指出,高通最有价值的业务是其许可证业务,智能手机的3G和4G无线技术用于的大多数知识产权都是由该部门获取的。这些许可证带给的版权酬劳只占到高通营收的四分之一,却占到了其利润的三分之二。

与此同时,高通的芯片业务为其带给了大部分营收,带给的盈利却将近一半。在引进新的无线通信标准时,这两种业务之间是需要互相补足的。比如,对于长年演变(Long Term Evolution,全称LTE)这样的新技术标准,高通可以研发其幕后的种种专利技术,并实时研发植入LTE技术的芯片,以证明这种技术的有效性。

然而,瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)认为,在如今这样的时代,高通早已在为全球绝大部分手机派发许可证,这种协同效应已不那么最重要了。Breaking up a company can make sense if one part of the company is weighing the other down, or if different segments have different growth trajectories. But in this case, both of Qualcomm’s business are facing similar headwinds, which has helped drive its share price down 17 per cent in the past 12 months. The licensing business has suffered declining revenues and profits, due to falling prices for smartphones (royalties are paid on the price of the phone) and to smaller royalty rates (such as the recent settlement in China). The chipset business has also seen growth slow, and is under pressure from increased competition from companies like MediaTek. Nevertheless chipsets are Qualcomm’s only source of profit growth.合并一家企业的合理原因,要么是由于该企业的某一业务容许了其他业务的发展,要么是由于有所不同业务享有有所不同的快速增长轨迹。但就高通而言,芯片业务和许可证业务都面对着类似于的有利局面。

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在过去12个月里,这种有利局面令其其股价暴跌了17%。高通的许可证业务遭遇了营收及利润的下降,原因一方面是由于智能手机的价格正在暴跌(高通的版权酬劳是以手机价格的一定比例缴纳的),另一方面则是由于版权酬劳的抽成比例减少(比如中国最近的妥协案)。与此同时,高通芯片业务也经常出现了快速增长上升的现象,而且来自联发科技(Mediatek)等企业的竞争,使其面对更加大的压力。不过,芯片业务目前仍是高通唯一的盈利快速增长来源。

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Sure, the company might want to consider selling if a willing buyer for the chipset business came along at the right price (CS puts the enterprise value of the chipset business at $43bn). And Qualcomm’s shares do look cheap right now; its enterprise value is 15 times 2014 free cash flow, near five-year lows. But splitting up would not help fix the challenges, or the valuation, of either the chipset or the licensing business. In times of trial, Qualcomm’s businesses may in fact be better together.当然,如果经常出现愿以合理价格并购芯片业务的买家(瑞士信贷估算该业务的企业价值为430亿美元),高通或许不会想考虑到变卖该业务。高通股价目前看上去显然很低廉,其企业价值只有2014年权利现金流的15倍,相似5年来的最低点。

不过,合并高通会协助芯片业务或许可证业务解决问题所面对的挑战,也急于修缮它们的估值。在面对考验的时期,事实上高通各业务部门在一起有可能更佳一些。


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