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The Importance of Updating Corporate Presentations in Uncertain Times

This week we focus on the corporate presentation now that we are emerging from lock-down and 1Q2020 reports are firmly behind us. How should the presentation change post the COVID-19 pandemic and lock-down? The answer is that most likely by a lot, but by how much will depend on to what extent the company has been and will be affected by the pandemic.

As a general rule, corporate presentations need to be updated 1) with new factual information, such as quarterly earnings 2) as the questions and concerns on investors’ minds change; the corporate presentation needs to address what investors are thinking about now, and not a year or even a semester ago. Thanks to COVID-19, we have likely never seen such a rapid change in what investors are focusing on than from February to May this year, implying that for many companies (but not all) a fundamental re-write of the corporate presentation is in order.

We have reviewed corporate presentations from leading companies in Mexico and across the globe and would recommend the following as best practice (we have included the names of companies with good examples of each point, where relevant – see below for links to their presentations):

  1. Update your corporate presentation as soon as possible, on at least a quarterly basis, no more than 2-3 weeks after the quarterly earnings release. (e.g. DHL)
  1. Include at least 3 slides focused specifically on COVID-19 and the business. (e.g. Barclays)
  • These additional slides should include:
    • Updates to strategy due to COVID-19 (e.g. Alfa, Volaris).
    • Sectors you cover which are particularly affected by COVID-19 (e.g. HSBC).
    • Milestone changes due to COVID-19 (e.g. GSK).
    • Any changes to guidance due to COVID-19. (You may wish to pull guidance which is no longer achievable) (e.g. DHL).
    • Key initiatives to enable the company to move past COVID-19 (e.g. Alfa).
    • A recovery plan, if appropriate (e.g. Banorte).
  1. These additional slides should be at the start of the presentation (e.g. Barclays, Televisa).
  1. Be forward looking and focus on the long-term. There is no longer (in June) much interest in writing about how well your team works remote (e.g. GSK).
  1. Greater importance should be given to demonstrating how the company will protect profitability and maximize liquidity (e.g. Televisa).
  1. Greater importance should be given to the balance sheet and cash flow (e.g. DHL, Volaris).
  1. Relate results, changes and strategies back to COVID-19, where appropriate, throughout the presentation (e.g. GSK, Walmart).
  1. Keep telling your company’s story.
  1. DO give as much accurate, up to date information as you can. DON’T sugar-coat, be optimistic or pessimistic.
  1. You may choose to include mention of COVID-19 in your disclaimer (e.g. Aramark).

As always, we are happy to work with companies on implementing these measures and ensuring their presentation reflects what investors are actually thinking about, and not what the company was pitching in pre COVID era.

Links to corporate presentations:

Alfa: Download

Aramark: Download

Banorte: Download

Barclays: Download

DHL: Download

GSK: Download

HSBC: Download

Televisa: Download

Volaris: Download

Walmart: Download