IR Magazine recently hosted its annual awards ceremony (a virtual event for the second year running). This week we bring you the winners of the key categories and our take on why they are considered the best in the business. We also recommend looking at the websites of the winners to learn from what they do.
The US IR Magazine Awards reward excellency in the investor relations profession. Awards are split into two category types: nominated categories and researched categories. The nominated categories consist of individuals and companies, which submit written entries to a panel of experts made up of investment professionals and IR Magazine editorial members, who decide the winners. By contrast, the researched categories nominees are selected by hundreds of analysts and portfolio managers who independently cast their votes for who they think provide the best IR services across the US. The winners of both category types are selected on their ability to outperform their peers. The nominees and winners have been able to face the growing demand to inform investors of their company’s risks, opportunities and overall landscape.
The following is a list of the key awards presented, with the shortlisted nominees, the winners of each category, and our thoughts on what sets the winners apart in selected categories:
Best ESG reporting:
FIS (winner), Hannon Armstrong, Henry Schein, Honeywell International, ONEOK, Philip Morris International, Verizon Communications
A 2020 survey by RBC found that 75% of institutional investors have incorporated ESG components into their investment strategies, up from 70% in 2019. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to have consistent and insightful reporting on environmental and social factors.
FIS has a whole section of their website dedicated to Sustainability, including a range of ESG reports, two of which are interactive. FIS produced a stand-alone sustainability report, rather than an integrated annual report. They use photos to demonstrate their involvement in the community, not just in the US but also in other countries including Mexico. They prepared their Global Sustainability Report in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Core option and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Software & IT Services 2018 Sustainability Accounting Standard. They map their progress on material topics aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and compare this to the GRI and SASB topics. They also cover Diversity and Inclusion. The report is attractive, concise and true to the Company’s brand.
Best IR website:
Etsy, Intel Corporation (winner), Tractor Supply Company, Voya Financial, Zebra Technologies Corp
We liked the simplicity of the website, with links to different key areas of the website on the homepage. The scroll function is easy to use and reduces the number of clicks to access key information. This scroll function is on all pages, thereby avoiding the need for multiple sub-menus. Intel presents key graphs on the homepage and then goes into further detail on the specific pages.
Best investor event:
Fiserv, Medtronic, Sempra Energy, Tractor Supply Company (winner), Zillow Group
Tractor Supply Company hosted a virtual Enhanced Earnings or Investor Event in October. This event was very slick and professionally filmed in a studio. The opening remarks and presentations were pre-recorded, but the Q&A appeared to be live. We found this to be a great format. Their use of multimedia was very strong. They had the presentation on screen at the same time as the presenter, and the whole slide was legible. When focusing in on key metrics, they zoomed in on the slide to make it full screen, enabling participants to concentrate on the key points being addressed. They used video well, including a narrated virtual tour of a store. They addressed their strategy, new services and improvements that are being made. They allowed a good amount of time for the Q&A session and the questions were answered well. The participant asked the question (rather than it being asked by the host) and they even projected the name, company logo and photograph of the person asking the question on the presentation behind the panel. Overall, we thought the event was extremely engaging. Click here to watch the full event.
Best use of technology & social media for IR:
Atlassian, Zoom Video Communications (winner)
It comes as no surprise that a forward-looking company like Zoom won this award. They are very active on social media and have not only used technology for their own IR, but have also enabled numerous companies to host virtual IR events and make the move from voice only earnings calls, often with bad lines, to high quality video calls.
Best IR during a corporate transaction:
First Horizon Corporation, I-Mab Biopharma Co, Ideanomics, T-Mobile US (winner), Wright Medical Group, ZoomInfo Technologies
Best IR by a non-US company in the US market (excluding Canada):
adidas, BP, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Roche Holdings (winner)
Roche has a specific section of its IR website dedicated to US investors, including information on ADRs and how to invest from the US.
Best overall investor relations (large cap):
Danaher, Equinix, Medtronic (winner), Microsoft, Nvidia Corporation
Best overall investor relations (mid-cap):
American Airlines Group, Axon Enterprise (winner), JB Hunt Transport Services, Owens Corning, United Airlines
Best overall investor relations (small-cap):
Energy Recovery, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Koppers, Matador Resources Company (winner), Stoneridge
Most progress in IR:
Axon Enterprise, General Electric (winner), JB Hunt Transport Services, Switch
As always, Miranda IR would be happy to discuss IR best practices and to help improve your company’s investor relations strategy and products (websites, reports, investor events etc.) to set your company apart from the competition.
The complete list of nominees and winners can be found on the IR Magazine website.
Contacts at Miranda Partners