How should a company report earnings during the COVID-19 outbreak? As this Bloomberg story indicates, there is more uncertainty on what to say and how to say than perhaps ever before.
We looked at some 17 mainly American companies (see below for the full list) that reported their 1Q20 earnings and noted the following:
35% had a Covid-19 section on the company site; 47% had a Covid-19 section in the earnings report; 65% revised or withdrew their guidance; 18% separated financial or operational figures monthly; 59% mentioned Covid-19 in the Message from the CEO section of the report; although not every company has a dedicated Covid-19 section on their site, all of them have at least one press release or article about it.
A recent study by Intelligize for IR magazine reported the following: Between March 16 and March 29, 151 companies withdrew annual guidance. Forty-six companies withdrew quarterly guidance; of these, 33 withdrew annual and quarterly guidance at the same time. During the same period, 32 companies suspended dividend payments, while many more postponed share buyback plans. (Interestingly, a recent Bloomberg story showed that large Mexican companies are increasing, not cutting their dividends. (https://twitter.com/nncattan/status/1252273130103603203?s=20<)
This Wednesday April 22nd at 10am CDT, IR Magazine and Q4 are hosting a webinar on preparing for the Earnings Report amid the Covid-19 crisis. Some questions to be explored. How to position your company’s story during the prepared remarks. How to prepare your management team for the Q&A section. How to anticipate the questions you may receive. How other companies are thinking about updating or suspending guidance. We will be on the call and will send our notes next week.
The 17 Companies Miranda IR Researched:
Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, JP Morgan Chase, UnitedHealth Group, Bank of America Corp, Abbott Laboratories, ASML, Citigroup, Blackrock, Intuitive Surgical, Christian Dior, US Bancorp, Fast Retailing Co., Walgreens Boots Alliance, Nemak, Afla and Alpek.