As earnings season is right around the corner, this week we bring you some tips and tricks you can apply to start preparing for quarterly reports. We focus on three main things companies are usually working on during this time: the press release, the earnings call, and the board meeting. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for each event.
There are a few things you can do to start setting up the report weeks before the final information is ready. The first thing you can do is prepare a first draft of the earnings release. Start by updating the titles and headings that talk about the quarter (e.g., change the period in the report from 1Q22 to 2Q22 and change the closing month from March to June). Then, you can gather the information you already have (e.g., relevant events, conference call details -date, time, registration link, speakers-, any stock information as of the end of the quarter, etc.) and update that information directly in the press release.
Additionally, you can link your Excel files to the earning release Word document so that it will automatically update, making the transfer of financial data faster and more accurate. This will come in handy when the financial information is ready, since you will be able to incorporate that into the earnings release very easily. You can start off by preparing a ‘template’ of every chart and table that goes into the report (e.g. financial statements, debt analysis QoQ, comprehensive financial result, etc.). Make sure every detail of the format matches the report (font size and style, colors, etc.), and also include the information that does not tend to change (like accounts and concepts that make up the financial statements), which will be useful for the following quarters too. Next, include the information that is already available, such as the figures of the same quarter of the previous year. Finally, once the financial information is ready, use your Excel template to incorporate it directly into the report.
During the weeks prior to the release date, make sure to schedule meetings with the different areas involved in preparing the information for the press release. Maintaining constant communication with them will be key for an agile and efficient reporting season. As the release date approaches, add the missing information and final details.
The earnings call is a relevant part of every quarter, it is a place where investors and analysts have the opportunity to speak directly with the top management and address their concerns. The best way to have all people you need available at that time is to schedule the call in advance. Remember to check the date and time of your peer’s conference calls beforehand to avoid an overlap. We recommend sending the invitation one month prior to the call and send a reminder one week or a few days before. Additionally, you can use the invitation as an opportunity to disclose the quiet period. Also, if possible, we suggest sending a calendar at the beginning of the year with the date and time of all the conference calls for that year (don’t forget to disclose this information on your IR website too).
When preparing for the quarterly results conference call, there are a few activities you can prepare in advance. First off, make sure to schedule the call with the service provider, checking one task directly off the list. Next up, discuss the quarterly results with the management team and speakers so that the main message can be defined in advance. You can then proceed to prepare the script for the call, prioritizing the most relevant topics and/or accomplishments during the quarter. This will help you structure the call and identify potential concerns that might come up during the Q&A session. By addressing those concerns during your speech, it is easier to control the narrative and portray your message in the best way possible. Lastly, prepare the complementary materials you need during the call, like the presentation, making sure it follows the order of the script and offers a visual aid to better understand what happened during the quarter.
Additionally, remember that when going through very uncertain and volatile environments, the Investor Relations team should be even more proactive and transparent than usual, promoting an open and frequent communication strategy with the market.
In many Mexican companies, the presentation used in Board Meetings is also one of the several Investor Relations area’s tasks. So here are our main recommendations to successfully prepare this presentation.
There are numerous details that shouldn’t go unnoticed when preparing for a Board Meeting, especially because the effectiveness and productiveness of the meeting will depend on how well it was prepared.
You can start by helping define the meeting’s agenda. Make sure to discuss this matter with the top management. Don’t forget to briefly review any comments from the previous Board Meeting to identify any topics that may have been overlooked and include them in the new agenda. Once the preliminary agenda is ready, the Chairman of the Board should review and approve it.
Then, reach out to the different areas responsible for preparing the information. As you gather the numbers, update the presentation and keep track of any details that might still be missing. Make sure the presentation complements the meeting’s agenda. Once it is ready, either you or one of the members of the top management can share the required documents to the Board Members.
Make sure to keep in mind the following things when working on your materials:
- Prepare a list of the main concerns analysts and investors might have so you can make sure the final materials address these matters properly.
- It’s very important to review all the materials thoroughly to avoid inconsistencies and other potential mistakes (make sure more than one person review each document to reduce the possibility of a mistake).
- Use a different color or a highlighter to mark the information that is still pending, this way it is easier to identify and differentiate current from past figures.
- We recommend reporting early in the reporting season, as usually the later dates are the busiest. Also, reporting early gives a feeling that the company is well organized.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help during any step of the earnings season process. We will be more than happy to assist you. In Miranda IR, we specialize in assisting our clients during earnings season and have plenty of experience approaching market concerns during uncertain macroeconomic environments.
Contacts at Miranda Partners