The IR calendar is a vital tool used by any investor relations professional. One of the most important aspects of IR is making sure that your management team is regularly in front of investors without limiting their ability to run their business. Ultimately, it is a delicate balance. The IR calendar allows the IR team, management, the company’s board, and other relevant stakeholders to look at the program holistically and understand where management should be spending their time with investors throughout the year.
Key Events to Include on Your Calendar
There are a few aspects of the IR calendar that are relevant for all companies: earnings reporting dates, press releases, industry events, investor conferences, and Board of Director meetings. As we have previously discussed, companies with larger market caps are more likely to be covered by more sell-side analysts than their smaller counterparts, and, in-turn, will likely be invited to more investor conferences. As such, management will likely draw a large investor audience. Smaller companies, on the other hand, are less likely to have broader sell-side coverage and won’t be invited to as many conferences. This is where it is up to the IR team to be creative in its approach to filling up the IR calendar. One option could be a conference in which the company pays the investor conference provider to participate. Another option could be asking your sell-side analyst to host a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) call in order to highlight a specific product or product line. This will drive investor awareness to your company’s story by allowing an independent voice to opine on use and efficacy of your company’s offerings.
Timing is Everything
After you add earnings dates, investor conferences, and Board meetings to the calendar, it is useful to look at timeframes in which the company can participate in a non-deal roadshow. A good timeframe is typically after the company reports its earnings results and before the close of the quarter and/or in conjunction with key company events, like a new product launch or FDA clearance of a new drug. Additionally, it is beneficial to look at companies that are covering banking industry conferences for the year. If your company is invited to participate in a covering bank’s conference in March, a non-deal roadshow with the same bank in April might not be the best idea, as the same investors would likely be targeted by that bank. Instead, see if the covering bank has the ability to host a non-deal roadshow in August or September, so that if the bank targets the same investors, they will have had a chance to do more research on the company and take a position in the stock.
A regular news flow is important for all companies. However, releasing news too frequently or too infrequently may have negative effects on your company. Issuing news too frequently can dilute your messaging, so that when you do have news that will move the needle, investors won’t pay attention. Conversely, if you release news too infrequently, investors won’t pay any attention to the company, and those who were on the fence about taking a position might be discouraged by the lack of news. The IR calendar allows the IR team and management to think strategically about timing and frequency of issuing press releases. It is often a good idea to issue a press release prior to an investor conference in order to leverage the news in conversation with both existing and potential shareholders.
Another way to keep a steady news flow is to issue press releases outside of the regular earnings cycle. For example, if you report your quarter in early May, it might be beneficial to wait a month before issuing news so that your company’s name is in front of investors outside of the busy earnings season. Additionally, if your company plans on hosting an analyst or R&D day throughout the year, use the IR calendar to find the best time to attract the best audience possible.
In all, you can add just about anything to the IR calendar, even if at first it has a note of Date TBD, Target Event, or Potential Press Release. In fact, it is beneficial to add these target events to the calendar as it reminds management what is on the horizon so that they can plan accordingly.
In recent years, the IR calendar has become even more flexible as many meetings have become virtual. We have discussed this in a past blog post, Revisiting Your IR Calendar. At Gilmartin, we have created countless IR calendars for companies of all sizes. If you would like to learn more about how to leverage your IR calendar for success, contact us today.
Jack Droogan, Analyst
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