I have always found it interesting to discover what’s on people’s minds and delve into what keeps them up at night. So, I thought it would be useful to share the questions I have received recently from a mix of public and private biotech management teams, along with my responses.
Posts by Robert Uhl
Why would anyone invest in a biotech or biopharma company? After all, most are development-stage companies based on complicated science that consume cash voraciously, have no revenue or earnings, and need to sell a dream that could be years away from commercialization.
The risks are enormous. Yet they attract investors because the payoff can be huge. Here are the 10 must-do items that all public biotech companies should address in an effective IR program in order to attract the right investors.
Investor conferences offer an effective platform — and a variety of opportunities — for you to tell your story to investors. During the course of the day you may connect with at least a dozen investors and possibly as many as several hundred. What could be better than that?
It may seem a bit early to start creating an investor relations plan for the coming year, but considering there are several major external factors primed to drive structural change and market volatility, it’s critical to start planning now. After all, there is a major U.S. election in November 2020, a recent inversion in the yield curve that may be a predictor of an approaching economic slowdown, an ongoing trade war, and plans for investor conferences organized by corporate access teams at major buy-side institutions that cut out the investment banks.
Congratulations! You have spent the past 12 months — or possibly longer — building relationships with the Street, including investors, bankers, and sell-side analysts. You refined your presentation deck; drafted the S-1 after spending hours in a room with your attorneys, accountants, and management team; and brought your website and its content up to the caliber of a company that expects to be public soon. You engaged with the buy side during test-the-waters (TTW) meetings and, finally, your confidentially filed S-1 has flipped public.
However, U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) regulations require that you wait 15 days before the road show begins — so what do you do now?
Financial news travels instantly, and investors must process its market impact and take action at a similar pace. To help investors analyze new information and make key investment decisions, they look to the IR portion of your website — often a microsite available from your corporate website. An easy-to-use IR website must contain readily available information including up-to-date financials, a recent corporate presentation deck, event listings with access to replays, stock information, and news releases. How do you know if your IR site is any good? Here are five must-haves.
We recently hosted a luncheon for biotech execs where our special guest speaker was Ed Baxter, senior managing director of Evercore’s corporate advisory business, focused on life sciences and healthcare. Ed has broad experience in biotech and life sciences investment banking and M&A at a variety of firms from boutiques to bulge brackets. Here are his key thoughts and takeaways on raising capital for the sector and where it may be headed.
Development-stage healthcare companies typically need to raise money every one to two years. As they grow, they typically attract larger and more varied forms of financing until the time comes for them to either be acquired or go public. Many companies will opt to run a dual-track strategy at such a time to maximize the value that has been created.
But what if the market isn’t quite ready for your IPO, as we saw throughout most of 2016? How can you keep your development engine running while waiting for the right market conditions to make your debut as a public company?
Good CEOs and CFOs know that they only get a limited number of interactions with their buy-side and sell-side analysts each year. Analysts are busy people, with perhaps dozens of listed companies under coverage or on their watch lists. An earnings call is thus one of the few times that companies can have the undivided attention of their covering analysts and interested buy-siders. Use that time wisely. Here are some pointers to consider before you host your next biotech earnings call.
The goal of exemplary investor relations at any publicly listed company should be the achievement of a fair market valuation. However, for those working in an IR function for a biotech firm, it’s important to understand that how the market values your company will be quite different from how it values any other.
While companies in every other industry are valued based on their expected profitability compared with cash flows and other potential investments, biotechs are typically expected to lose money in the short- and medium-term, attaining profitability only a long time into the future. And that future is subject to a substantial amount of risk.