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Westwicke Blog

The Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of investor relations and the capital markets, with a specific focus on the healthcare industry.

Four Tips for Managing Your Quarterly Quiet Period

Posted on February 1st, 2017. Posted by

Four Tips for Managing Your Quarterly Quiet Period

We’re often asked for advice on managing quarterly quiet periods successfully, so that management can focus on tying up financials and developing good messaging for the earnings call and press release.

A well-thought out and consistently applied quiet period can provide a much-needed respite from investor communications for management around busy quarter ends. But one reason for confusion about them is that, unlike quiet periods following an IPO, which are closely regulated by the SEC, end-of-quarter quiet periods are more loosely defined and not strictly regulated.

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Seven Tips to Help Ensure Successful Biotech Earnings Calls

Posted on December 7th, 2016. Posted by

Seven Tips to Help Ensure Successful Biotech Earnings Calls

Good CEOs and CFOs know that they only get a limited number of interactions with their buy-side and sell-side analysts each year. Analysts are busy people, with perhaps dozens of listed companies under coverage or on their watch lists. An earnings call is thus one of the few times that companies can have the undivided attention of their covering analysts and interested buy-siders. Use that time wisely. Here are some pointers to consider before you host your next biotech earnings call.

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Three New Ways to Approach Your Earnings Call

Posted on September 7th, 2016. Posted by

3 New Ways to Approach Your Earnings Call

We’re often asked by clients and others for ideas on how to liven up their earnings calls. And that’s understandable. Nobody loves earnings calls. They’re tedious, repetitive, and (if things in your business are going as they should) they offer few surprises.

So the desire to make your earnings calls more compelling is certainly reasonable. Still, we always recommend that companies think carefully before they change any aspect of their usual call process just for the sake of change.

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Non-GAAP Financial Measures Getting More SEC Scrutiny

Posted on July 20th, 2016. Posted by and

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Background:

The Division of Corporation Finance (the Division) is a branch of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that supports the SEC’s mission to “protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.” Among its duties, the Division “provides interpretive assistance to companies with respect to SEC rules and forms and makes recommendations to the Commission regarding new rules and revisions to existing rules.” This duty is performed, in part, through the issuance of Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (or “C&DIs”) on a variety of subjects.

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The Perfect Earnings Call: Your 5-Week Prep Plan

Posted on May 4th, 2016. Posted by

Over the last 20 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 are unforgiving in their questions and the tone is so negative you almost feel badly for the management team. In my role here at Westwicke Partners, 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?

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De-Stress Earnings Calls, Part 2: Earnings Call Etiquette

Posted on July 15th, 2015. Posted by

Earnings Calls pt2

Executives who are both passionate and informed can talk about their companies in great detail and at great length. There are certainly times when elaborate and extended presentations are appropriate. The earnings-day conference call, however, is not one of them.

Last week, we offered some tips on preparing for your earnings calls. Now here are three tips to help you execute an efficient and effective conference call while maintaining proper etiquette.

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De-Stress Earnings Calls, Part 1: Four Crucial Preparation Steps

Posted on July 8th, 2015. Posted by

Earnings Calls Part 1

The day you report earnings is obviously crucial, and even veteran IR professionals frequently botch them — sometimes due to poor preparation or just nerves. This week and next, we’ll offer tips to help you de-stress the event and execute it flawlessly — beginning today with four pre-call tips to help you get ready.

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Ten Strategies for an Effective Earnings Call

Posted on June 3rd, 2015. Posted by

10 Tips for Earnings Calls

Hosting the quarterly financial call is a basic task of a public company. Not all investor calls are as effective as they could be, and some can be downright dull and unprofessional.

How, then, should you prepare for an effective earnings call?

Here is a list of 10 do’s and don’ts that will help you get the most out of your quarterly calls:

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Common Mistakes When Sharing Disappointing News With Wall Street

Posted on April 28th, 2015. Posted by

Delivering Bad News to Wall Street

Nobody likes being the bearer of bad news. I remember as a kid breaking a basement window playing hockey and “forgetting” to tell my parents what happened.

Well, after a few feet of new snow, a lot of which accumulated in our basement, my secret was out. I remember my parents being furious, not so much for the broken glass itself, but more because I didn’t take responsibility for what happened. They made me feel terrible by saying what I didn’t tell them violates a trust that is difficult to earn back.

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Earnings Calls: Keep It Simple, or Get Creative?

Posted on March 11th, 2015. Posted by

Earnings Calls Creativity

When I started working in investor relations (IR) more than 25 years ago, little did I realize that “creative writing” would often boil down to finding clever synonyms for words like opportunity, growth, and transition — rather than drafting colorful, superlative-rich descriptions of corporate events and milestones. Is it possible to find a new way to express year-over-year financial comparisons or do the numbers in the financial tables mostly speak for themselves?

We are often faced with management teams that seek to fill their perceived “air time” and make their conference call stand out from the hundreds of other calls taking place. If this sounds familiar, and you find yourself wondering how much creative leeway to take with your own quarterly earnings calls, then keep reading as I explain where it’s possible to truly add value, and where it actually detracts from your objective.

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