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商誉及其摊销:规则与现实——1983年给股东的信附录

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  BERKSHIREHATHAWAY INC.

  伯克希尔·哈撒韦有限公司

  Goodwill and its Amortization: The Rules and The Realities

  商誉及其摊销:规则与现实

  


  This appendix deals only with economic and accounting Goodwill – not the goodwill of everyday usage. For example, a business may be well liked, even loved, by most of its customers but possess no economic goodwill. (AT&T, before the breakup, was generally well thought of, but possessed not a dime of economic Goodwill.) And, regrettably, a business may be disliked by its customers but possess substantial, and growing, economic Goodwill. So, just for the moment, forget emotions and focus only on economics and accounting.

  这篇附录探讨的只是经济和会计商誉,而不是日常所说的声誉。比如,一个公司可能被大多数客户喜欢,甚至热爱,但是却不具有任何经济商誉。(AT&T在分拆前总的来说声誉很好,但没有一分钱的经济商誉。)遗憾的是,一个公司可能被其客户所不喜欢,但却具有大量,而且不断增长的经济商誉。所以,就目前而言,让我们先忘掉感情,只关注于经济和会计。

  When a business is purchased, accounting principles require that the purchase price first be assigned to the fair value of the identifiable assets that are acquired. Frequently the sum of the fair values put on the assets (after the deduction of liabilities) is less than the total purchase price of the business. In that case, the difference is assigned to an asset account entitled "excess of cost over equity in net assets acquired". To avoid constant repetition of this mouthful, we will substitute "Goodwill".

  当一个公司被并购时,会计准则要求并购价格首先分配给所并购的可确认资产的公允价值。资产的公允价值总和(经过扣除负债后)经常是少于公司的并购总价格。在这种情况,这两者的差异就被分配到一个资产帐户,称为“超出并购的净资产权益的额外成本”。为了避免不断的重复这一很长的说法,我们将用“商誉”来替代之。

  Accounting Goodwill arising from businesses purchased before November 1970 has a special standing. Except under rare circumstances, it can remain an asset on the balance sheet as long as the business bought is retained. That means no amortization charges to gradually extinguish that asset need be made against earnings.

  在1970年11月前购买公司所产生的商誉有不同的处理。除非在极少的情况下,只要仍然持有所购买的公司,商誉就可以存在于资产负债表上。这意味着不需针对盈利核算摊销费用而逐渐削减这项资产。

  The case is different, however, with purchases made from November 1970 on. When these create Goodwill, it must be amortized over not more than 40 years through charges – of equal amount in every year –to the earnings account. Since 40 years is the maximum period allowed, 40 years is what managements (including us) usually elect. This annual charge to earnings is not allowed as a tax deduction and, thus, has an effect on after-tax income that is roughly double that of most other expenses.

  但是1970年以后的并购就不同了。当并购产生商誉,这些商誉必须在不超过40年的时间里进行摊销。每年以相等的摊销费用减少利润帐户。由于40年是所允许的最长时间,这也是管理层(包括我们自己)通常选用的。这项减少利润的年度费用不允许被用来抵扣税,所以具有一般费用大约两倍的税后收入影响。

  That’show accounting Goodwill works. To see how it differs from economic reality, let’s look at an example close at hand. We’ll round some figures, and greatly oversimplify, to make the example easier to follow. We’ll also mention some implications for investors and managers.

  这就是会计商誉的做法。为了揭示这与经济商誉实际情况的不同,让我们看一个手头的例子。我们将近似一些数字,并极大的简化,以让这个例子容易理解。我们还将提及一些对投资者和经理人的影响。

  Blue Chip Stamps bought See’s early in 1972 for $25 million, at which time See’s had about $8 million of net tangible assets. (Throughout this discussion, accounts receivable will be classified as tangible assets, a definition proper for business analysis.) This level of tangible assets was adequate to conduct the business without use of debt, except for short periods seasonally. See’s was earning about$2 million after tax at the time, and such earnings seemed conservatively representative of future earning power in constant 1972 dollars.

  Blue Chip Stamps于1972年初以2500万美元购买了喜诗糖果。当时,喜诗有大约8百万的净有形资产。(在整个讨论中,应收帐款将被归于有形资产,这个定义对商业分析是适合的。)这个水平的有形资产,除了季节性的短时期,当时足够不用债务而运营业务。喜诗当时的税后盈利是2百万美元,这似乎保守的代表了以1972年美元计的未来盈利能力。

  Thus our first lesson: businesses logically are worth far more than net tangible assets when they can be expected to produce earnings on such assets considerably in excess of market rates of return. The capitalized value of this excess return is economic Goodwill.

  因此,我们学到的第一课:当净有形资产能产生远超过市场水平的回报率时,公司价值从逻辑上讲,远超过净有形资产。这一超出市场回报的价值被资本化就变成了经济商誉。

  In 1972 (and now) relatively few businesses could be expected to consistently earn the 25% after tax on net tangible assets that was earned by See’s – doing it, furthermore, with conservative accounting and no financial leverage. It was not the fair market value of the inventories, receivables or fixed assets that produced the premium rates of return. Rather it was a combination of intangible assets, particularly a pervasive favorable reputation with consumers based upon countless pleasant experiences they have had with both product and personnel.

  在1972年(和现在)相对来说只有很少的公司能像喜诗那样稳定的获得25%的税后净有形资产回报率。而且这种回报率还是建立在保守的会计方式和没有财务杠杆的情况下。并不是公允市场价值的库存,应收款,或者固定资产,产生了这种非凡的回报率。正好相反,是无形资产的组合,尤其是在消费者中良好的声誉产生了这一切。这种良好的声誉是建立在消费者对其产品以及公司员工无数愉快的体验之上。

  Such a reputation creates a consumer franchise that allows the value of the product to the purc

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