From new treatments and technologies to platforms and diagnostics, we may be living through the greatest period of innovation in the history of healthcare. The biopharma industry’s efforts to rapidly develop multiple safe and efficacious life-saving vaccines for the Covid-19 pandemic is just the latest example of the collective appreciation for innovation and its ability to impact human health. While the industry loves true innovations—and the brilliant minds who envision them—being an innovator is not for the faint of heart.
ICR Westwicke Blog
The ICR Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of healthcare communications.
While quarterly earnings calls may happen routinely, they should be anything but routine. Earnings calls are your opportunity to tell your story to the world — and they’re one of the few times each year you have the chance to capture the undivided attention of your analysts and investors. So, it’s essential to make these calls count.
The second quarter of 2022 was the weakest quarter for healthcare and biotech IPOs in more than five years. Some media headlines have predicted that it marked the bottom of the biotech market.
The XBI biotech index fund, which serves as an index for many companies that are eyeing a public debut, peaked in January 2021 followed by a fairly steady 16-month decline. But now, the XBI is on the rise. While it’s too soon to know if the XBI rise that kicked off in July 2022 will continue to mirror the rise that drove its 2021 peak, the climb appears to be signaling a comeback of healthcare and biotech IPOs.
If you’re watching the fund, you might now be considering reviving your plans to take your company public.
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.
For every healthcare company, public or private, the anticipation of clinical trial data represents an important, high-pressure milestone in its communications planning. For a public company, there is an obligation to disclose data within a reasonable timeframe. For a private company, while there isn’t an obligation to shareholders, there is pressure from private investors, the medical community, advocates, and even patients.
The Walt Disney Company and its CEO Bob Chapek are paying a high price for staying outside of politics, and then jumping into it. Disney’s entanglements with its employees on one side and Florida’s governor and lawmakers have spilled over with very real implications. Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill that strips Disney of its special tax status in the state, a move which will effectively change how the company operates.
For CEOs and company leaders, interacting with the media isn’t an option — it’s a necessity. The media plays a significant role in telling your company story and shaping your public image. To ensure they tell an accurate story, however, it’s essential to learn how to work with the media and strive to understand how the industry is shifting.
Over the last 25 years, I have listened to hundreds of earnings calls. As a sell-side analyst, they were a routine and not-much-fun part of the job. Four times a year, you lock yourself in your office and listen to call after call of management teams highlighting their achievements or trying to sugar coat the not-so-positive news.
Most of the calls were pretty standard, and came off as well thought-out and comprehensive. But every so often you would hear that call where the sell-side analysts were unforgiving in their questions and the tone was so negative you almost feel bad for the management team. In my role here at ICR Westwicke, I’ve learned what really goes on behind the scenes to make those effective earnings calls appear effortless: a lot of hard work and practice starting about a month ahead of time. Who would have ever thought?
Creating an investor relations strategy is no small task — but it’s a critical step for any public company. To meet the expectations of investors and analysts, company leaders must develop a strategic approach for messaging, earnings calls, guidance, conferences, investor interactions and more. While that can seem overwhelming, an effective IR process actually boils down to just seven essential elements. With a plan for each of these areas, you can build a quality, long-term shareholder base and enhance equity market value.
Public healthcare companies often question the best course of action during quiet periods – those stretches of time during which they should limit their interaction with Wall Street due to their knowledge of material and timely information that has not yet been disclosed. Specifically, management teams struggle to figure out what the quiet period means for their investor relations (IR) efforts.