Английский язык. Практический курс для решения бизнес-задач(страница 6 из 49)
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Louder Drumbeat. Investors aren’t impressed, and Wall Street is insisting on a simple solution: break the company up. The CEO strongly resists the idea. The BoD continues to discuss such a move, but directors support Fiorina’s commitment to hold the company together. Still, the calls to split apart the consumer and corporate businesses, or to sell off the printer division, are bound to grow if she fails to light a fire under HP’s underperformers. The breakup options could certainly appeal to investors. Analyst Steven Milunovich of Merrill Lynch estimates that the total value of HP’s businesses could increase by 25% to 45% if it were split into printing and nonprinting operations. The printing business could expand its market and partner with HP’s computing rivals, including IBM and Dell.
And managers of the computing company, with its divisions in software, PCs, servers, and tech services, would have to struggle to make profits. No longer subsidized by the printer division, they would have no choice but to perform. Merrill assesses that the spin-off would create $15 billion to $27 billion in incremental value.
For now, Fiorina continues to bet on bulk. She contends that HP’s scope pays off in added sales and lower costs. Consumers and corporations, for example, often shop for both printers and computers at the same time. And HP does benefit from economies of scale. After the Compaq merger, the company cut $3.5 billion in annual expenses, in part by squeezing components suppliers for lower prices.
Broad Reach. Fiorina insists that HP needs the broadest possible scale to capitalize on her vision of technology’s future. A former executive at AT&T, Fiorina has become a leading evangelist for the converged digital world. She describes how the Information Revolution will transform corporations and electrify entertainment, with the whole world becoming «digital and mobile and virtual and personal». In line with this vision, she has assembled a giant corporation that is far broader than Dell or IBM. HP makes everything from calculators and cameras to supercomputers, and competes with Sony, Canon, Samsung, EDS, just about everyone in tech.
Fiorina carries the solid Q4 results into an analysts’ day in Boston on Dec. 7. This eases the pressure for her to take dramatic action. But the latest numbers merit a second look. During the period, HP’s tax rate fell to 15%, down from 19% a year earlier. In addition, R&D decreased to 4% of sales, down from 4.6% the year before. This pumped up profits. Investors who are excited about a sustained, profitable growth from HP should be wary. «You can’t simply keep cutting R&D and the tax rate to boost profits,» says analyst Richard Chu of SG Cowen Securities.
HP acknowledges the point. CFO Robert P. Wayman said that the decline in the tax rate was primarily a result of the favorable resolution of a state tax audit and that the tax rate would probably rise to 20% in the coming year.HP officials have said that they expected R&D spending to diminish, because of the elimination of redundancies from the Compaq merger and its efforts to place fewer, more focused research bets.
As analysts appraise HP’s Q4 numbers, other questions arise. During the period, its receivables surged by $1.8 billion, to $10.2 billion. HP defends the increase saying that it shipped extra units to support several product launches.
Unwieldy System. Still, HP suffers from poor positioning. In its PC business, HP runs two systems that often operate at odds with each other. One is a direct-sales, built-to-order model to compete with Dell, which carries virtually no inventory. The other is HP’s traditional, higher-inventory model for units that it ships through its sales partners. Operating in both worlds leaves HP doubly exposed.
Yet if the company pushes more business into direct sales, it risks angering HP’s traditional retailers and resellers. And HP needs their help to sell its printers and ink. A break-up would help to resolve this dilemma, freeing the computer division to adopt the Dell approach. For now, HP keeps both systems intact – and loses ground in PCs. Following the Compaq merger, HP briefly rose to the No. 1 in PCs. But the company slipped to No. 2, with 15.7% share, behind Dell, which has an 18.3% share. Operating margins in 2004 were a meager 0.9%, miles behind Dell’s 8.8%.
HP also appears overmatched in its rivalry with IBM. Big Blue has put together a more lucrative portfolio of corporate computing products. They span everything from software to servers to chips, and they generate overall 11% operating margins. By comparison, HP’s non-printing businesses managed operating margins of 3% in 2004. The disparity is especially clear in the profit-rich software business. In IBM’s third quarter, its software biz generated $3.6 billion and operating margins of 25%. HP reported $277 million in software sales for its Q4, posting a small operating loss.
At times, HP’s push for synergies has gotten in the way. Take storage. After buying Compaq’s market-leading storage unit, HP integrated it into its enterprise group, which also includes servers and software. Along the way, HP fired many storage-sales specialists in favor of sales reps with a broad knowledge of HP offerings. Key storage execs followed them out the door. Soon, competitors such as EMC began to nab customers from HP. Storage revenues dropped 5% in 2003 and a further 7% in 2004. Even loyal HP customers chose EMC when buying storage gear earlier this year. Although HP recognizes the error and is hiring back storage specialists, it cautions that a turnaround in storage could take time.
Other customers have even more serious complaints. For instance, HP has developed customized Web sites for customers where they can place and manage orders. However, these business-to-business sites have frequently cratered – erasing accounts, losing orders, and shipping the wrong products. An HP sales representative complained to his superiors about the disappearance of 70 customers from the B2B systems: «I can’t even evaluate how many relationships… have been burned with this new site.» HP has no comment on the B2B issue.
Patchwork Quilt. Similar problems have hamstrung HP’s efforts to compete with IBM in large corporate computing deals. The technology supporting HP’s corporate-computing sales remains a patchwork of overlapping and poorly fitting systems despite recent efforts at streamlining. HP sales reps spend only 30% to 35% of their working time with customers and partners, compared with 55% to 60% at well-run organizations. «I would stress how difficult it is to do business inside HP,» says Paul Gerrard, HP’s former vice-president. «There are terrible inefficiencies in the system.»
To pull off a big sales deal at HP often requires delicate diplomacy. Putting together a package involving servers, printers, and software, a sales rep has to reach an agreement with each division. If one unit is unwilling to lower its price, the whole deal can fall through. The company lacks an effective process to resolve conflicts. Fiorina helps broker some deals, but she has time only for the biggest accounts.
These problems have fueled calls within HP for hiring a trouble-shooting operations chief. Fiorina is categorically against a COO, saying that a strong CEO should keep a grip on operations. Many analysts rate Fiorina very highly as an inspiring speaker and salesperson, but either lacking the skills or stretched too thin to solve HP’s operations challenges.
If Fiorina continues to struggle, pressure is sure to mount for her to spin off the printing and imaging division. It boosted its sales by 7% in 2004, to $24.2 billion. And it’s a cash geyser, providing 76% of HP’s operating profits, derived from just 30% of total sales. Analysts speculate that freedom from broad corporate management could improve the printer group’s performance. Separating from the printing division could protect HP from its most dangerous long-term threat in the printing business, Dell.
Although it’s unlikely Dell would exit the printer business if HP spun off its printer operation, Dell would have much less incentive to wage price wars, making life easier for the stand-alone HP printing business. And rivals such as IBM and Dell could resell HP’s equipment or license its technology. «If HP separated their businesses today, and the imaging and printing business was its own entity, I would bet we would be partners because they’re a source of technology,» says Tim Peters, VP at Dell.
Going Shopping? HP’s corporate computing businesses could also benefit from standing on their own. Although investors are valuing the nonprinting operations at next to nothing now, these units generated $1.4 billion in operating profit in 2004. Merrill Lynch’s Milunovich figures that the businesses, if they were independent, could be worth $18 billion to $21 billion. Milunovich predicts that without the protection of the cash-cow printing business, managers would respond to acute pressure to revamp its sales, upgrade tech systems, and divest declining businesses.
HP’s services division also needs a lift. With $14 billion in revenues, this group helps corporate customers manage new information systems. Yet HP struggles in services against IBM, whose service division is three times bigger. While more than 60% of HP’s services business comes from low-end customer support and maintenance, some 70% of Big Blue’s service revenues come from business consulting and strategic outsourcing, really high-margin deals. IBM strengthened its high-end consulting services through the $3.5 billion purchase of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting in 2002 – a purchase Fiorina rejected at a lower price.
As Fiorina completes a half-decade atop HP, the excitement of the early years has faded. The charismatic and determined CEO who set out to build a titan has now assumed a defensive posture and is working to keep her creation in one piece. For success, she must tackle HP’s stubborn operational glitches. This will require every ounce of her guile, passion, and boldness. But at this point, her choices are stark: The only way to defend the sprawling HP she has built is to fix it. Until she does, the calls for the breakup of a Silicon Valley icon will only grow louder.
Source: Business Week (online), December 13, 2004 (abridged)
1. rebound n – отскок, отдача, реакция; восстановление
rebound v – отскакивать; иметь обратное действие; воспрянуть, оживиться
2. tax rate – налоговая ставка
3. underachiever n – достигающий более низких результатов по сравнению со своими возможностями
underachieve v – достигать более низких результатов по сравнению со своими возможностями
4. portfolio n – портфель
portfolio a – портфельный
5. stand-alone value – ценность отдельно взятого предприятия в рамках компании
6. capitalization n – капитализация
7. revenue(s) n – выручка, доходы
8. synergy n – синергия
synergetic a – синергетический
9. insolvency n – неплатежеспособность
insolvent a – неплатежеспособный
10. breakup n – разделение (компании), разрыв
break up v – разделять, разрывать
11. Board of Directors (BoD) – Совет директоров
12. underperformer n – демонстрирующий результаты ниже возможных (или ниже рынка)
underperform v – демонстрировать результаты ниже возможных (или ниже рынка)
13. option n – опцион, вариант выбора
14. rival n – соперник
rivalry n – соперничество
rival v – соперничать
15. subsidy n – субсидия
subsidize v – субсидировать
16. spin-off n – отпочкование, отделение (создание самостоятельной компании на основе части производства существующей компании)
spin off v – отпочковываться, отделяться
17. increment n – увеличение, прирост, приращение
incremental a – увеличивающийся, прирастающий
18. bulk n – величина, масса, объем, большие количества; основная масса, бо€льшая часть
19. scope n – пределы, границы, рамки; масштаб; размах
20. economies of scale – экономия на масштабах производства
21. merger n – слияние
merge v – сливаться
22. expense n – расходы, затраты
23. scale n – масштаб, размах, охват; шкала, уровень
24. capitalize (on) v – капитализировать, использовать что-то в своих интересах
25. convergence n – конвергенция, сближение
converge v – сближаться
26.sustain v – поддерживать; выдерживать; испытывать
sustained a – длительный, поддерживаемый, непрерывный
sustainable a – устойчивый
27. boost n – поддержка, проталкивание; повышение, ускорение
boost v – поднимать, подпихивать; рекламировать; повышать, ускорять
28. receivables n – дебиторская задолженность
29. shipment n – отгрузка, отправка
ship v – отгружать, отправлять
30. positioning n – позиционирование
position v – позиционировать
31. exposure n – подверженность риску, риск потенциальных убытков; разоблачение; положение; незащищенность; экспозиция
expose v – выставлять; подвергать риску, воздействию; сталкиваться; раскрывать, разоблачать; показывать, выставлять напоказ
32. margin n – маржа
marginal a – маргинальный
33. biz (business) – бизнес (амер. жаргон)
34. post v – переносить записи (делать проводки) (бухг.)
35. operating loss – операционный убыток
36. fire v – зд. увольнять
37. rep (representative) – представитель (амер. жаргон)
38. exec (executive) – руководитель (амер. жаргон)
39. error n – ошибка, погрешность; неправильная банковская проводка
err v – ошибаться
40. hire v – нанимать
41. customize v – специально разрабатывать под нужды клиента
customized a – специально разработанный
42. account n – счет
account (for) v – учитывать; приходиться на долю
43. superior n – начальник, руководящее лицо; превосходящий другого
superior a – лучший, превосходящий, превосходный, высшего качества
44. issue n – выпуск, эмиссия; вопрос
issue v – выпускать, эмитировать
45. overlap v – дублировать; пересекаться, совпадать, налагаться друг на друга
overlapping a – дублирующие; пересекающиеся, совпадающие, налагающиеся друг на друга
46. trouble-shooter n – специалист по улаживанию конфликтов или решению острых проблем
trouble-shooting a – улаживающий конфликты или решающий проблемы
47. Сhief Operating Officer (COO) – главный операционный директор (отвечает за повседневную деятельность, текущие операции корпорации)
48. incentive n – стимул
49. entity n – юридическое лицо; юридическая форма организации компании
50. revamp v – переоборудовать, переделывать, обновлять
51. upgrade n – модернизация, обновление, повышение, улучшение
upgrade v – модернизировать, обновлять, повышать (качество, рейтинг), улучшать
52. low end a – недорогой, невысокого класса
53. outsourcing n – аутсорсинг, передача каких-либо функций субподрядчикам
outsource v – передавать какие-либо функции субподрядчикам
Exercise 1. Answer the following questions.
1. Did HP report impressive results in the 4th quarter of 2004? 2. What were the key factors that contributed to its improved financial performance? 3. How did the acquisition of Compaq affect HP? 4. What are its current financial and operating problems? 5. Why do analysts and investors insist on the break-up of the company? 6. What was Carly Fiorina’s vision when she joined HP? 7. Why is HP unable to compete successfully with IBM and Dell? 8. What are its customers complaining about? 9. Is HP really efficient? 10. Why does it make sense to spin off the printing and imaging division? 11. What do you think Fiorina should do to turn HP around?
Exercise 2*. Find 6 verbs in the text for «оценивать» and make 2 sentences with each verb.
Exercise 3. Carly Fiorina hired you as her strategic advisor. What serious problems of HP сould you identify and what would you recommend doing to strengthen its competitive positions?
Exercise 4*. Fill in the blanks using terms given below.
The Nation’s Worst CEOs
…… grab headlines for soaring…… or sordid crimes, but rarely for wretched……. Here are two who’ve run great companies into the ground.
In the late 1990s, investors deified corporate chief executives. In the early 2000s……..were vilified. And now, it seems, they are pretty much ignored – seldom appearing on financial television programs or news magazine covers anymore unless they’re in handcuffs. They are the forgotten souls of Wall Street’s……… machine.
But that doesn’t mean that the overpaid and……….. executives aren’t making as many bad……… as ever. It simply means that we’ve gotten complacent about the hardships they cause shareholders when they…….. bad strategies, bad communications, bad hiring, bad products and bad marketing – and then blame their problems on the weather, world politics or traders.
AT&T’s David Dorman. Let’s start with David W. Dorman of AT&T. Though he inherited a junkyard dog of a company from the………. prior chief executive, C. Michael Armstrong, he hasn’t done a thing to improve Ma Bell in the past two years. With such an immensely well-known…… name and legendary………, you would think that Dorman could make his company synonymous with the global growth of networking as a way of life.
Yet he appears to be pushing the company ever deeper into the background……its wireless business in an expensive deal with Sprint, losing the……. on broadband services to the more aggressive Baby Bells, making its long-distance plans more ridiculously complex than ever, experimenting with a high-quality-but-high-cost enterprise strategy, and pursuing Internet-based telephony too slowly and timidly.
Since Dorman has taken the reins, the…… of AT&T……. have sunk about 60%. The stock’s 5.8% dividend is a nice start of a……… but Dorman needs to find a way to grow the business……. have been down every year since 2000, and earnings-growth……. are negative.
Oracle’s Larry Ellison. No major technology company’s chief executive has put his……… through more pain than Larry Ellison at Oracle in the past four years. Oracle shares are down 72% from the March 2000 high, about twice as much as Dell and about half again as much as Microsoft. And while most of Ellison’s………. have found a way to make shares grow over the past 12 months, Oracle is still stuck in a rut.
Part of the problem at Oracle is that the company did so well for so long at getting its databases into Fortune 500 companies that there is little room for major business……… With so few major………. left in the world, it will be difficult for Oracle to grow much faster than the global economy. But Ellison’s personality is another major part of the problem. His combative……….. to business with partners and competitors alike has turned off investors. His attempt at………. of PeopleSoft has justified their distrust of his instincts.
Mark Anderson, hedge fund manager, complains that Ellison «is so predatory – it’s as though he cannot control himself.» Anderson says that Ellison would grow………… more appropriately if he were more creative than rapacious. The PeopleSoft………., in Anderson’s view, is a…….. to «buy seats» for Oracle database software by purchasing and shutting down a………. It will probably……, and, in the meantime, it has been a costly distraction.
Ellison would do much better by his shareholders if he would……. an initiative to build communications more effectively into the world of database applications. The chief executive understood the power of the Internet early and rode the online…….. brilliantly in the late 1990s. But since then he was unable to find a……. for his company in a broader…….. play that will carry it into the next decade.
With that……., he has doomed his company to……. revenue growth and a stagnant……. Database software, after all, is a business that will never go away and gets deeply embedded in clients’ way of doing business. Once you have customers, «you pretty much need to shoot both their dogs before they’ll leave you,» is Anderson’s colorful phrase. But Wall Street demands more than……. With moderating sales, he’s got to do more than try to smother the…….. and……..
boom, failure, acquisition, counterparts, stability, communications, execs, bid, CEOs, approach, strategic decisions, pursue, drive, overrated, brand, outsourcing, price wars, value, rebound, trends, shareholder, growth, installation, shareholder value, deal, competitor, single-digit, stock price, competition, cut costs, profits, performance, revamped, R&D team, shares, revenues, fail, market niche, underachieving
Exercise 5. Translate into English.
Ценности капитализма: План Госплану рознь
Инвесторы и аналитики все большее внимание уделяют не только текущим финансовым показателям компаний и конъюнктуре рынка их продукции, но и их долгосрочной стратегии. Стратегическое планирование включает производственные, финансовые и инвестиционные вопросы, систему организации и мотивации менеджмента, политику в области корпоративного управления (corporate governance).
Амбициозные и одновременно прагматичные стратегии, нацеленные на рост рыночной доли, лидерство по качеству товаров и услуг, а также высокий уровень рентабельности по сравнению с конкурентами, естественно, пользуются наибольшими симпатиями инвесторов. Долгосрочное видение проблем оценивается выше, чем краткосрочное планирование. Западные компании, приходящие в Россию, такие, как BP, привнесли в практику своих российских партнеров именно вкус к долгосрочному планированию, а также необходимость глубоких и системных исследований в области маркетинга и технологий. Известно, что Shell сделал ставку на финансирование масштабных фундаментальных разработок в области добычи и переработки нефти и газа, и такой подход, несмотря на отсутствие быстрого результата, оказался жизнеспособным, если мерить не одним-двумя годами, а десятками лет. Технологические разработки Shell являются знаковым конкурентным преимуществом компании.
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