As the year comes to a close, people everywhere are looking ahead to 2015 and speculating what will happen. Will biotech valuations continue to soar? What role will hedge funds play? How will the healthcare market abroad influence the market at home?
While we contemplate these questions and work with companies to plan for 2015, we’re also taking time to reflect on 2014 — and lessons learned from what has been a rollercoaster ride of a year. Here, I share insights from some of our conversations and tips to take with you as you inch closer to the new year.
There’s a saying in investor relations: “You date your investment bankers, but you marry your research analysts.” Essentially, this means that most sell-side analysts who cover your company will remain your partner for the long run. Investment bankers, on the other hand, work with a long list of companies and deal with jam-packed, demanding schedules. They don’t disappear after the initial public offering (IPO), but the time they can devote to your company diminishes.
The opposite happens for sell-side analysts: after the IPO, the time they spend interacting with your management team and learning about (and talking about) your company increases. Sell-side analysts are at every quarterly earnings release, at many investor conferences, and if they sponsor a non-deal road show, they should be by your side at those events, too. The most effective relationships with sell-side analysts are, in theory, like those of married couples: full of back-and-forth interaction and long-term.
The buy side is structured in many different ways, and knowing the set up and style of your audience is critical both to your pre-meeting preparation and to the level of detail you provide when you answer questions — and whether you take a more quantitative or qualitative approach.
The general buckets to understand are portfolio manager and analyst, but the roles and focus areas of these key players can differ, depending on the institution. So start by asking these questions:
Completing an initial public offering (IPO) is a major milestone for your company, and a journey that involves many months (and in some cases years) of hard work and dedication. As you likely know, the timeline ends with the pricing and allocation of your IPO — a process that is short in duration but one of the most important steps in your path to becoming a public company.
What do you need to know about the pricing and allocation process to help you act in the best interest of your company and shareholders? Below, I walk you through the associated primary concepts.
One of our clients, a recently public diagnostics company, settled an ongoing royalty dispute with a major pharmaceutical company. The settlement amount was significantly lower than what our client had accrued, resulting in nearly $750 thousand upside to their P&L in the upcoming quarter.
The company assumed they needed to issue a press release in addition to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) disclosure Form 8-K, but was a press release really merited?
Your board is telling you to go public. Your peers are telling you that this IPO window may close at any moment. You believe your company is compelling enough for an IPO, but are you actually in the position to get one done in short order? How can you make an IPO move faster?
In my last post, I went over key — and sometimes overlooked — housekeeping items you can do to hit the ground running for an IPO, such as ensuring you have the right lawyers and auditors in place and getting a head start on your presentation and website. In this post, I’ll go over strategic choices that you’ll want to think through as soon as possible to improve your chances of a speedy and successful entry into the public markets.
Despite some signs of resistance, initial public offerings (IPOs) continue to move along at a robust pace. With fears that the window may close, some company boards and management teams find themselves scrambling to enter the mix before it is too late. Perhaps by reflex, the first thing they often do is pick up the phone to call an investment bank.
However, before you join their ranks and take your first banker pitch, there are some key – and sometimes overlooked – steps you can take now to ensure you hit the ground running.
You worked hard to prepare for your IPO and made it to the first day of trading. Celebrations are certainly in order, but there is plenty of work in the pipeline. In fact, operating as a newly public company presents a whole new set of challenges.
When it comes to investor relations, the focus of your first 100 days as a public company is to educate and communicate with investors and analysts — and to build on the momentum of the IPO to establish credibility, refine your messaging and vision, and provide the information that key stakeholders need. During this time period, your investor relations (IR) function should be in full swing with set procedures, policies, and designated spokespeople in place. In addition to delivering a well-crafted message, meeting with investors, and responding to analyst requests, we recommend that you create a strategic IR plan for the next 12 months and start preparing to report quarterly earnings for the first time.
Below, we share our view of some of the most important tasks during your first 100 days.
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). Should they bring to a halt all communications with the investment community or have limited interaction? Should they answer only fact-based (or historical) questions or avoid inquiries altogether?
While the formal quiet period regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) comes with clear guidelines and regulations, informal quiet periods are far less defined, and variation exists in how much (or little) a company communicates with investors and analysts.
One of the first places investors look to learn about and form an opinion of your company is your investor relations (IR) website. Often a microsite accessible from your corporate website, your IR site puts at investors’ fingertips the data and information they need to evaluate your company and make decisions about investing.
Yet IR websites do more than provide investors and sell-side analysts with numbers and percentages. Done well and meticulously maintained, they communicate who you are as a company and enable you to cultivate relationships and build trust, not just with the investment community but also with the media, your board, the corporate community, and the general public.