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Companies continue to innovate with their earnings call format, looking for ways to help their messages land effectively and communicate in the most effective way. We speak to companies to find out their best-in-class approach to this staple task of the IR role.
Preparation is critical to the overall success of earnings calls in terms of both content and delivery.
Whether hosting a quarterly, half-yearly or annual reporting event, establishing the format of how an individual company wants to present results – and alongside what associated messaging and content – needs careful planning and consideration.
Mickey Foster is vice president of investor relations at transportation and e-commerce multinational FedEx Corporation.
Commenting on his own preparation, he says: ‘About a month before issuing earnings, we start planning meetings with all of the operating company chief executives and CFOs to understand the why behind the quarterly numbers. We also develop a list of the top 10 topics and questions most likely to be asked on the earnings call.’
As well as involvement from the C-suite, FedEx’s preparation includes input from other departments within the company, including the disclosure committee, which comprises the IR, accounting, finance, legal and communications teams.
‘The investor relations team plans meetings with our disclosure committee to review speaker remarks, slides and our earnings release,’ Foster explains.
‘The committee further reviews the quarterly stats book and 10Q. The IR team also meets with our economics and sales team before earnings and there are many practice sessions held where potential Q&As are reviewed with the speakers: our CEO, CFO and chief marketing officer.
‘On the day itself, we typically have around 6,000 people on our quarterly earnings calls, including about 5,000 employees participating. We issue after the market close and then distribute the earnings release, stat book and 10Q.
‘About an hour or so later, we conduct a conference call for analysts and a webcast with slides for all other interested parties.’