By Dennis Walsh, Vice President
The Shareholder on a Shelf is a new tradition that has become the holiday gift of choice for IROs to their executive management teams. The story of the Shareholder on a Shelf is as follows:
“Have you ever wondered how the SEC could know;
If you’re naughty or nice in making your reported revenues and margins grow;
For 79 years it’s been a big secret;
Which now can be shared, if you promise to keep it.
At reporting time the SEC sends me to you;
I sit in the shadows to watch and report on all that you do;
My job is an assignment from Ms. Mary Jo White herself;
I am her helper, a friendly scout shareholder that sits on a shelf. Continue reading
By Maureen Wolff, President and Partner
Three years ago, on the heels of the greatest collapse U.S. financial markets have experienced in decades, in conjunction with IntelliBusiness/eventVestor, we published a study, “The Guidance Effect: Improving Valuation” (PDF 570 KB), that evaluated the impact of increased transparency on equity valuation during the turbulent first quarter of 2009.
The findings supported the thesis that issuing quantitative financial guidance contributes to improved stock performance. Given the climate of fear and uncertainty that permeated Wall Street during the study period, we hypothesized that providing guidance – and thereby increasing transparency for investors – likely had an unusually pronounced affect on stock price behavior at the time. Continue reading
By Jim Buckley
One of the investor relations issues that companies often struggle with is the “quiet period.” Here I’m not talking about the SEC mandated quiet period related to IPOs, other public offerings or around the release of lock-up agreements. Those all have defined legal parameters and lines drawn around what companies can and can’t do. I’m referring to the quarterly quiet period – where individual companies determine if, when and how they want to stop talking to the investment community as they approach the end of the quarter.
The quarterly quiet period is one of those gray areas that investor relations is famous for, and there is certainly no one-size-fits-all approach for companies. The fundamental principle behind the quarterly quiet period (or QQP) is straightforward. At some point around quarter end, management has knowledge of the company’s quarterly performance. So investors start calling in the last two weeks of every quarter and asking “How are things going?” They want to get a read on upcoming results through tone and demeanor. As a result, over time, companies began to institute a quiet period with the Street to avoid taking these calls. Makes sense, right? But how does each company handle its QQP? That’s where things start to get a little fuzzy. Continue reading
By Maureen Wolff, President and Partner
Companies planning to go public need to be able to hit the ground running on the day of the IPO pricing with an investor relations program. In order to prepare, Sharon Merrill President and Partner Maureen Wolff provides tips on what to do before and after the S-1 filing in the videos below. Continue reading
For months leading up to your S-1 filing, you probably have been singularly focused on creating that massive tome. You have spent significantly more time with your lawyers and auditors than with your own family — and you cannot even begin to imagine a time when you won’t be spending every waking moment with your bankers. So now that you’ve left the long nights (and great food spreads) at the financial printers behind, it’s time to focus on investor relations. You need to hit the ground running with IR as soon as your company prices its offering, so here are 10 “to do” items before then:
1) Develop your IR website. The IR website must be ready to go live on the day of your IPO pricing. It is most cost-effective to hire an IR website hosting provider, which will develop your site and aggregate content such as news releases, SEC filings and stock data. You also need to prepare additional content for your site such as “Frequently asked Questions,” management biographies and fact sheets. Your website is arguably the most important vehicle you will have to communicate with investors, so make sure it has everything that investors need and expect.
On January 4th, the first business day of the new decade, Dow Jones VentureSource released figures suggesting that 2010 will be a stronger year for IPOs. They reported that eight companies completed public offerings in 2009, raising $904 million. This was a 64% increase from the $551 million generated through seven IPOs in 2008.
Looking ahead, VentureSource pointed to the 25 venture-backed companies that are currently in IPO registration as a sign that the market will improve as this year unfolds. The larger attendance and stronger sense of optimism at the most recent Deloitte Tech-Venture IPO Bootcamp, where I spoke on IPO investor relations, suggests the same thing.
So if the proverbial IPO window does open wider in 2010, a good number of venture-backed companies probably will jump through. This will send them into the hectic time of pre-IPO preparations.
Like skilled gymnasts or freestyle skiers, some of these companies will stick the landing. They’ll see good liquidity and strong underlying demand when their shares begin trading. Others will lose a few style points and generate only a tepid response from investors. For the underperformers, the leap into the public markets will conclude with a painful face plant. Continue reading