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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.

Changes to Your IR Plan for Year Two as a Public Company

Posted on July 11th, 2018. Posted by

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You have successfully completed your public offering, laid out a solid investor relations strategy, and successfully managed through your first year as a public company. As you enter your second year and once again map out your investor relations and communication strategy, it is important to make sure that plan evolves with you.

While many of the same components of the strategy should remain – a comprehensive buy-side targeting approach, conference and NDRS plans, etc. – there are a number of changes that you must begin to implement to ensure the strategy adapts to your company’s current circumstances.

Here are a few new things to consider as you begin to lay out your year-two IR strategy.

  • Adjust Your Message. Biopharma companies must constantly modify messaging in response to pipeline advances and changes in the sector and competitive environment, to name a few. Adjustments come into play as you progress from a research to a clinical-stage company, or from a clinical-stage to a commercial company. With these changes comes a need to develop updated corporate presentations that focus on a new set of metrics and target new kinds of investors.We often carry out a comprehensive scenario analysis before developing any client IR strategy. It is an important exercise that companies should conduct at least once a year.
  • Consider Doing a Perception Analysis. Periodically we will have a client tell us that investors do not seem to give the company any value for program ABC or ask why investor questions always seem to focus on XYZ. A disparity between message and investor perception is not uncommon and one reason why we believe a sound IR strategy includes a perception analysis every other year.Your second year as a public company is the perfect time to integrate this into your strategy. In designing and conducting perception analyses, we have found them to be extremely valuable tools that help clients refine and, when appropriate, modify their message.
  • Expand Sell-Side Coverage. Immediately after completing an IPO, companies tend to focus on developing their relationship with the sell-side analyst who participated in the offering. While this must remain a priority, a good year-two sell-side strategy should aim to expand beyond current coverage and add one to two new analysts to follow the company.This strategy involves targeting the right analyst and building a plan for “recruiting” coverage into the IR strategy. You may develop an approach of reaching out at key opportunities – quarterly earnings, big announcements, during travels – to analysts who expressed interest in the company heading into the IPO.

    This process can take time so year two as a public company is the ideal time to start putting this plan into place.

  • Organize an Investor Day. We recommend companies host an investor/analyst day at least every other year. While it may be tough to justify an investor day immediately after going public, year two is a perfect time for this meeting. By this time, you are a more established and seasoned company, you probably have had, or will have, important corporate updates for the Street, and you are beginning to think about diversifying and expanding your shareholder base as well as sell-side coverage.Hosting an investor half-day is a great opportunity to accomplish all of this while providing a deep dive into company fundamentals.

Once you’ve gained your footing as a newly public company, year two is the prime time to deepen and expand your Wall Street relationships as you grow and prepare for the next steps on your corporate journey.

Do you have questions about developing stronger connections with investors and analysts? Westwicke’s team, with more than 300 of years of Wall Street experience, can help. Get in touch.

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