Corporate access heroes from the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – US 2016

Apr 01, 2016
<p>How the best US companies for IR rely on a foundation of good corporate access</p>

This year sees the 21st IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – US, which marks the advent of several changes to the way in which IR Magazine’s research is presented.

Most noticeably, there is a greater emphasis on gauging the investment community’s reaction to a wider range of issues than just the quality of IR at the companies they follow. IR Magazine sought investors’ and analysts’ opinions on three topics: the role of corporates in discussions about macro issues, respondents’ attitude to companies’ use of excess cash, and their views on moving away from quarterly reporting.

Alongside these, readers can still pore through opinions on the best aspects of US corporates’ IR programs. One recurring topic in 2016 is corporate access, and how the best IR teams in the country are those that prioritize this vital interfacing opportunity. Here we pick out four of the US’ top corporate access performers, according to 612 members of the US investment community.

Hologic

A new entrant to the US rankings in joint 27th spot, healthcare technology firm Hologic has made a strong debut with five top-five spots in research categories, including first place in the category of best IR by a CEO or chairman at a small or mid-cap firm.

Indeed, access to the C-suite is picked out by many of those who comment on the company’s success. CEO Stephen MacMillan is praised for his ‘constant communication of his message and story with Wall Street’. Both he and the company’s CFO are great at explaining company specifics at conferences, says one buy-sider: ‘For instance, at the last results announcement they explained what targets had been set for departments and how these sales targets were incentivized.’

Honeywell

Consumer conglomerate Honeywell is no stranger to a high rating in IR Magazine research, and this year the firm has climbed back up to third spot in the overall 2016 rankings, thanks to six top-five finishes in research categories, including the grand prix for best overall IR at a large cap.

Though the IR team itself is praised for its ease of access, even by smaller investors, Honeywell’s C-suite is leading the way, according to one sell-sider: ‘The CEO, CFO and IRO regularly attend industry events where they set out clearly how the firm is doing, along with a look at the industry itself and Honeywell’s peers. The IRO and CFO have clarity about the future and what they are trying to achieve, which is helpful for analysts. In fact, their guidance and forward planning are what set the firm apart.’

JPMorgan Chase & Co

After finishing in sixth place last year, 2016 marks second spot in both the overall rankings and the grand prix for best large-cap IR category for finance giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. Many commentators bring up the bank’s excellent analyst day, where business heads are available to answer questions and provide extensive data.

Senior management is readily available, too, with CEO Jamie Dimon singled out as a knowledgeable and accessible figure. ‘It seems as though JPMorgan goes out of its way to make senior management available to investors,’ summarizes one sell-sider.

Schlumberger

Oilfield services firm Schlumberger finished second in the most progress in IR category this year, rising 10 places to finish fourth in the overall US rankings, picking up four top-five spots and a win for best IR in the energy sector along the way.

Both buy-siders and sell-siders name IROs Simon Farrant and Joy Domingo as providing ‘the best access’ to CEO Paal Kibsgaard, alongside a proactive and impressive IR program. Kibsgaard himself ‘meets regularly with key investors and has made a greater effort than prior chief executives to meet with the sell side,’ says one analyst.

To read more about the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study - US 2016, click here

 
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