Any company that finds Wall Street analyst estimates out of line with its own financial projections faces a potentially risky perception problem. How management handles the situation can determine whether they reassure investors or lose credibility with the Street.
Posts by Caroline Corner
Wall Street analysts can play a key role in a company’s investor relations plan, so executives should approach these relationships carefully. Properly handled analyst relationships can become a significant asset to a company, while missteps may create unnecessary problems — especially considering that analysts may share anything you say with the public markets.
For public and mature private companies in need of financing, finding the right investment bank is a vital early step. Choose wrong, and your deal could sour, or you could wind up accepting an unfavorable valuation. But the right banker will guide you through your IPO, follow-on investment, or other financing deal while maintaining a long-term relationship with you that could bear fruit for years to come.
So what should you be looking for? For each investment bank you consider, you’ll want to look hard at three things above all: the quality of each firm’s banking team itself, the credibility of its research team, and the relationships that you can forge with its people, as well as their own relationships with the Street.
At some point during your company’s growth, you will need to share sensitive data with investors and financial professionals by using a data room. In the old days, a data room was just that: a room filled with printed files and reams of paper containing patent descriptions, clinical data, and financial projections.
Today, data rooms are usually virtual. And with hackers increasing their efforts (and their ability) to steal sensitive data, it’s vital you consider security as well as service and convenience as you evaluate data room solutions.
Dining with one of your analysts can be nerve-racking, but it really doesn’t need to be.
Sharing a meal at a restaurant should make for a less formal meeting than one conducted in a boardroom. The mood should prove to be friendlier and less business-like, and conversations rarely venture deep into the numbers.
Over dinner, analysts frequently probe for “color” related to previously disclosed themes to gather the kind of details that can animate their coverage and talking points for investors.
We’re often asked for advice on managing quarterly quiet periods successfully, so that management can focus on tying up financials and developing good messaging for the earnings call and press release.
A well-thought out and consistently applied quiet period can provide a much-needed respite from investor communications for management around busy quarter ends. But one reason for confusion about them is that, unlike quiet periods following an IPO, which are closely regulated by the SEC, end-of-quarter quiet periods are more loosely defined and not strictly regulated.
We’ve met with plenty of companies over the years that are unsatisfied with the service they’re getting from their existing investor relations advisor (and some of them are happy clients of ours today). In many cases, they really weren’t getting great service. But all great relationships are two-way streets. So to ensure that you have the best possible relationship with your partner, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind.