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经济学人:钱多了该怎么花 苹果大赚

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Apple's cash pile

苹果大赚
How to spend it
钱多了该怎么花
The tech giant should give cash back to shareholders
巨额现金流应该部分返还股东
NOT long after Steve Jobs died last year, wags eulogised the Apple co-founder with a joke:
苹果公司创始人史蒂夫·乔布斯去年病逝后不久,就有这样一个赞颂他的笑话流行起来:
"Ten years ago we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash. Now we have no jobs, no hope and no cash." Apple may no longer have Jobs, but it fills investors with hope and is brimming with cash.
"10年前,我们有史蒂夫·乔布斯, 鲍勃·霍普和约翰尼·卡什,现在呢,手头没有工作(乔布斯姓Jobs,意为工作),内里缺乏信心(霍普姓Hope,意为希望),腰包里也早就没钱(卡什姓Cash,意味现金)了"。
Its market capitalisation recently passed $500 billion, and it has a whopping $100 billion or so of cash on its balance-sheet.
是的,乔布斯永远地离开了苹果,但他给投资者留下了巨大的财富和希望:苹果市场总值超过5000亿美元,资产负债表显示库存现金约1000亿美元。
That mountain of money is about to get higher.
而且,这个"钱山"还会越堆越高。
Apple aficionados are poised to snap up the new gadgets that the company unveiled on March 7th. These include a new iPad, the latest in the firm's wildly popular range of tablet computers, and a revamped Apple TV device.
苹果迷已经蓄势待发抢购3月7日发布的新产品,如颇受追捧的掌上电脑即新一代IPAD,以及升级版的电视设备。
If the new iPad, which boasts a super-sharp screen and lightning-fast connectivity, wins friendly reviews, it will give a big boost to Tim Cook, Jobs's handpicked successor.
新一代IPAD装备了超高清屏幕,连通性如闪电一般迅速。如果新产品市场反应良好,这不仅是对于现任执行官蒂姆·库克的肯定,也会再次给苹果带来巨额利润。
But the extra cash it delivers will also increase pressure on Apple's boss and board to explain what they plan to do with the company's embarrassment of riches.
同时,"苹果公司老板和董事将如何处理这笔巨额财富"将成为舆论焦点,而也恰恰是尴尬之处。
Last month Mr Cook admitted that the firm has more cash than it needs for its operations. It's a nice problem to have.
上个月,库克先生曾承认苹果现有的现金流超出了运营日常业务所需,这是个让人高兴的"富贵病"。
The obvious solution would be to give cash back to shareholders, either via dividends or share buybacks.
最现成的方法,似乎是通过股息分红或股票回购把现金返还给股东,但这是个很敏感的话题。
This is a surprisingly sensitive subject. Mr Jobs was obsessed with hoarding cash, not least because of Apple's near-bankruptcy in the mid-1990s. Returning money to shareholders would mark a big departure from the revered founder's philosophy.
鉴于上世纪90年代中期时苹果差点破产,所以前任执行官乔布斯推崇囤积现金,以备意外。因此,返现金给股东这个方法,很明显与这位备受尊敬的创始人的理念大相径庭。
Another reason Mr Cook will want to tread carefully is that some pundits see a tech firm's decision to start paying dividends as a signal that its glory days are behind it.
除了这一点,现任执行官库克在处理这件事之所以小心翼翼,还有另外一个原因:某些权威认为,技术型企业一旦分红,即暗示该企业走向没落。
One oft-cited example is Microsoft, whose growth slowed after it began returning cash to shareholders in 2003.
一个经常提到的例子是微软:2003年,微软将部分现金流返还股东之后,发展逐渐变缓。
Apple is unlikely to suffer a similar fate.
苹果可不想走上这条路。
Demand for its iGizmos seems insatiable. That is why it needs to come up with ways to invest more of its cash sensibly.
人们对苹果的新发明似乎永远期待,这也是督促苹果一定要明智地投资这笔巨额现金流的压力来源。
Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies, a consulting firm, reckons Apple could ramp up its forward purchases of components and set up its own semiconductor factories, to give it a tighter grip on a critical link in its supply chain.
创意策略咨询公司的蒂姆·巴家瑞认为,苹果可以投资建设自家半导体工厂并提前购买电子元件。众所周知,半导体是电子产业供应链中重要一环,苹果正好可以借此牢牢把握这一点。
It could open more physical stores—though their sales would only add to its cash pile.
当然,也可以投资实体店——尽管实体店依然会再赚钱进来。
And it may have to fork out more on lawyers' fees to fight patent lawsuits and deal with other problems, including allegations that it colluded with publishers to fix the price of digital books.
最近苹果一直在打专利等官司,如被指控与出版社合谋操纵电子书价格,因此律师费也将是一笔值得考虑进来的支出。
On the acquisition front, the firm has long shunned megadeals, preferring to swallow smaller firms with technology and people it covets.
那不如这样:趁有钱,多收购些公司扩大营收?如果关注过苹果你就会发现,它从未收购过大型公司。
That policy is unlikely to change, though Apple may well accelerate its deal-making tempo.
相反,苹果会不时收购小型公司,以获取技术和人才。
Among its likely targets are firms that offer video and other entertainment content, and others with data that could enhance services such as Siri, its virtual personal assistant.
即使现在发展步伐加快,这一基本思想也很难改变,即搜寻研究影音技术、游戏服务以及一切其他能丰富苹果产品功能的小公司。这里的功能所指广泛,如虚拟个人助手Siri系统等等。
None of this would put much of a dent in $100 billion.
这些支出跟1000亿美元相比,简直是"九牛一毛"。
So Apple will probably start handing cash back to shareholders later this year.
因此,苹果应该会在今年年底,将部分现金流返还给股东。
Working out how to do so will take time, not least because the firm holds much of its money outside America in order to avoid hefty US corporate-tax rates.
因为避税(指美国高额企业税)其所持有的现金很多不在美国本土,返现计划从计划到施行还需要一段时间。
Some Apple fans fret that if the company decides to pay regular dividends, it could end up regretting it.
不少苹果迷担心:定期发放红利将不是个明智的选择。
"Apple needs to watch out for dividend addicts," says Aswath Damodaran, a finance professor at New York University who owns Apple stock. Such shareholders, he adds, will be obsessed with extracting as much cash as possible from Apple rather than with its mission of making mind-blowing products.
来自纽约大学的金融学教授Aswath Damoaran是苹果的股东,他说:"公司需要注意,发放股息返现将会吸引来不少过分追求红利的投资者,这群人所重视的,不是公司能否推出令人耳目一新的产品,而是尽可能地利用股息赚钱(如此追"红"逐"利"的股东大会可能会影响公司良性运转)。"
Perhaps. But the point of shares is that they confer ownership. They are valuable only because shareholders expect—and are entitled to—a share of profits.
也许吧,但各位别忘了,股票的性质之一就是凭证所有权,也正是因为股东相信股票并有权享有公司部分权益,它这才有了价值。
Apple may have trouble finding a good use for its cash, but its shareholders will not.
苹果公司会因如何妥善安排现金流而备受苦恼,但股东们却不会。

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insatiable [in'seiʃiəbl]

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adj. 不知足的,贪求无厌的

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boost [bu:st]

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vt. 推进,提高,增加
n. 推进,增加

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accelerate [æk'seləreit]

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vt. 加速,提前,跳级
vi. 加速

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entertainment [.entə'teinmənt]

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n. 娱乐

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supply [sə'plai]

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n. 补给,供给,供应,贮备
vt. 补给,供

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stock [stɔk]

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n. 存货,储备; 树干; 血统; 股份; 家畜

 
enhance [in'hɑ:ns]

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vt. 提高,加强,增加

 
screen [skri:n]

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n. 屏,幕,银幕,屏风
v. 放映,选拔,掩

 
solution [sə'lu:ʃən]

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n. 解答,解决办法,溶解,溶液

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valuable ['væljuəbl]

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n. (pl.)贵

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关键字: 钱多 怎么花 苹果 大赚

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