Mark Twain said that the “difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
There’s a lesson in there for all of us. Say the wrong thing (or even the right thing poorly) and you’re going to underwhelm, disappoint, confuse, or even lose your listeners. And during your company’s earnings call, mistakes like that can cause a crisis.
In the past several months, we have been asked by several of our medical device and diagnostics clients to conduct perception audits. Some were small and focused, with specific and timely topics in mind, whereas others were broad-based with long-term objectives. Often, investors and analysts provide feedback that is difficult to hear — especially when they are giving it to a third party and their comments will be confidential and/or not ascribed to them.
While no one wants to receive (or provide) negative feedback, it is important and often can be the most constructive data. If we could offer only one piece of advice to our clients, it would be to listen openly and objectively to your shareholders and analysts when you ask them for their opinion. Don’t try to talk them out of their viewpoint (for which you just asked them), and don’t discount their opinion because they are at a hedge fund or you think they don’t understand your company. Chances are, whatever their perspective, there are others with the same view. Investors are often happy and willing to offer their feedback — especially on a stock position that is meaningful to their fund performance — in an effort to help management teams communicate better. Let them. We think it’s enormously valuable, as their perceptions are your reality.
Last week, Histogenics became the 100th initial public offering (IPO) in the healthcare sector in 2014, with pharmaceutical and biotech companies leading the pack. Healthcare IPOs now account for close to 40 percent of all IPOs registered for the year, more than any other sector.
At Westwicke, the year has passed in a flash, with our investor relations, capital markets, and IPO advisory experts crossing multiple time zones regularly to meet with clients and attend conferences and road shows. We shared some of our experiences and key takeaways in our last blog post, “Lessons Learned in Healthcare IR from 2014.” Here, we’d like to reveal our most popular blog posts of the year — and share essential points that can help you plan for the year ahead.
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.
It’s that time of year again, when management teams start looking ahead to figure out and plan strategically for a successful next year. What will drive your investor relations (IR) strategy in 2015? What can you learn from your efforts this past year? How do you decide where to focus your investor interactions, and what strategies can help you balance the push and pull on your time?
Here, our team of IR experts at Westwicke answers these and other questions, and shares advice to help you create a top-notch investor relations plan that aligns with your company’s goals and priorities.
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:
In the months that follow the successful completion of an initial public offering (IPO), some companies have a hard time striking a balance between under- and over-communicating. This happens, in part, because the final week of the IPO road show is one of the most frenetic and adrenalin-pumping periods in the careers of any management team, and being back in the office after so much excitement can feel like a letdown.
To fill that void, some management teams react by getting right back out there (once the 25-day quiet period has expired) to tell their story to the same or new investors all over again. At Westwicke, we advise rethinking that strategy and taking a more balanced approach. Consider these tips and real-life scenarios from the field to help you determine the right mix.
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?