Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Public Companies Continue to Embrace Social and Transparency

As earnings season comes to a close, public companies continue to demonstrate an increasing focus on using their earnings calls to be more social, interactive, and transparent. The following are some recent examples:

1. Allotting More Time for Investor Questions:
Ex. 1: "Based on the feedback we've received from many of you that you prefer the approach we introduced last year with more abbreviated prepared comments, we will again keep them brief to allow more time for your questions." (Link)
Ex. 2: "Today's call features shortened prepared remarks in order to spend more time on questions-and-answers segment of the call." (Link)
Ex. 3: "We're going to try to use maybe somewhat shortened management presentation so we have little more time for Q&A." (Link)
2. Making it Easy to Submit Questions / Allowing More Investors to Participate:
Ex. 1: "During the call, interested parties may participate live by following the instructions that will be provided by our call Moderator Shona, or you may email questions to" (Link)
Ex. 2: "During the question-and-answer segment, those of you listening via the Internet will be able to ask questions. Please submit your questions via email to" (Link)
3. Earnings Call Consisting Solely of Q&A:
"As is our standard practice, this call will consist solely of Q&A, and we are going to conduct the Q&A via e-mail. Please e-mail your questions to" (Link)
(Comment: It's well and good that companies are making more time for questions. But many companies continue to suffer from lack of earnings call participation: (Ex. 1) (Ex. 2) (Ex. 3). Of course, some companies are taking proactive steps to address this issue.)

4. More Ways, Places to Access Earnings Calls:
Ex. 1: "A replay of today's call will be available for two weeks as a podcast on the iTunes Store, as a webcast on, and via telephone." (Link)
Ex. 2: "Please note that this entire webcast, including Q&A, will be maintained on Polycom's website for 12 months from today for your convenience in replay. Also, a link to the call will be provided on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn at Polycom." (Link) (IR Web Report coverage)
5. Other Investor-Friendly Moves by Management Teams:

(a) From Netflix: "A shareholder letter and the Q4 financial results and the webcast of this Q&A session are all available at the Company's Investor Relations' website at" (Link)

(b) Commencing earnings call with company description: "Founded in 1996, 1-800-PetMeds is...." (Link).

Comment: This is a particularly smart move considering that earnings call transcripts are freely available on various Internet sites --- and, typically earnings calls demand some pre-existing company knowledge that potential investors researching stocks may not have.

(c) Company executives reviewing their most important earnings call takeaways at close of call (Link).

Comment: What are you seeing?

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