I worked on the sell side for seven years and I saw it all the time: Companies issuing material news — sometimes very good news — while failing to appreciate how the announcement would be received by a skeptical investor community.
As an executive, you want to minimize any negative reaction to your company’s latest update. That’s natural. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with accentuating the positive, it’s important to remember that sell-side analysts are trained to poke holes in your story. That’s their job, and most of them are very good at it.
Over the last five years the healthcare market has performed well, and we’ve seen a large number of IPOs. Recently, however, times have been a little tougher and many of these newly minted IPOs are beginning to experience what life as a public company is like in a more volatile market environment.
In times like these it is more important than ever to keep your head down, run your business, hit your targets, and deliver on the promises you have made to your investors. All of this should be complemented with a comprehensive investor relations strategy that enables you to understand how to take full advantage of the resources you have at your disposal now that you are a public company. One such resource is the sell-side analyst.
A well-run Investor Day can be an incredibly valuable part of your investor relations strategy. It’s a great way to cultivate relationships with existing investors and covering analysts, and to introduce/enhance prospective investors’ and analysts’ understanding of your story.
Timely and strategic planning are integral to hosting a successful event. Drawing on our many years of attending and participating in Investor Days, we can be a valuable resource as you prepare for yours.
In a previous blog post, I discussed why it is essential for companies heading into an IPO to carefully evaluate the sales teams of potential investment banking partners before selecting their banks. Their job is to sell your stock to institutional investors. Yet sometimes the distribution capabilities and differences of each bank is underappreciated.
In this installment, I want to explore the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with that sales force after the initial offering is complete, and to share some ideas about how to do it.
In the past several months, several of our Medical Technology clients have participated in investment bank-sponsored conferences or traveled to meet investors in one-on-one meetings. In preparation for these meetings, we work with our clients to create a list of topical and provocative questions that investors are likely to ask, and we help to prepare scripted answers. We also create investor profiles ahead of every investor meeting so that our clients have information at their fingertips on competitive share positions, the investor’s background, and our insight as to focus areas for that particular investor.
While most questions that investors and analysts ask in these meetings pertain to the particulars of the business, revenue growth, and market dynamics, we have come to expect the unexpected. We know that thorough preparation is crucial.
Negotiating a merger or acquisition can be all-consuming for a company’s management team given the complexity of such deals, and the stakes involved. These transactions can be as transformational as an IPO — more so, in some cases.
But even the very best merger or acquisition can fall apart if the management team doesn’t also develop a strategic communications plan to inform the outside world about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. This cannot be an afterthought. Time is of the essence.
Why would anyone invest in 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.
For publicly traded companies, successfully communicating information to shareholders and the public depends on the efforts of all employees. That’s why they need a written public disclosure policy that assigns responsibility for the collection and assessment of information, and specifies who will communicate that information and when.
A disclosure policy will help ensure that information is disseminated promptly, credibly, and in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, including the SEC’s Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD). Reg FD will guide many of your disclosure practices.
Companies, especially those in the biotech sector, need to be strategic when preparing to target new shareholders. And biotech companies have to do a lot of targeting because developing new drugs and therapies is a long and very expensive process, necessitating frequent rounds of raising capital.
Management teams that go to potential shareholders without a strategic plan are at risk of returning with investors who aren’t an ideal fit — or with nothing at all.
Often in meetings, investors will ask a CEO or CFO about a competitive product. Doesn’t the other drug work faster? Aren’t there fewer side effects? Isn’t it cheaper? I hear those questions all the time during road show presentations and meetings. Usually management’s first response is to take a defensive position. While they may not totally “bash” another product, they seem to quickly start listing all of the negative attributes.
That’s not the right approach. Instead, when asked to compare your drug, product, or service to the competition, you should do two things: First, know why the question is being asked. Then turn a negative question into a positive response. Let me walk you through my thinking and how the positioning can actually be shifted in your favor.