What Is an Analyst Meeting?
An analyst meeting is an annual gathering held by many publicly traded corporations. At an analyst meeting, the company executives (generally the CEO and the CFO) provide information about how the company is performing and its future prospects. Executives may also provide in-depth information about the financial status of the company, and detail different forecasts of future performance.
An analyst meeting should not be confused with a company's annual shareholder meeting (known formally as the annual general meeting, or AGM), which is intended for owners of stock in the company, although analysts may also attend this event.
- An analyst meeting provides information from a company's management and board intended to inform equity analysts that cover the company.
- Whether in-person or held over phone or video conference, the analyst meeting allows analysts to ask questions and clarifications from company executives.
- Executives may also provide in-depth information about the financial status of the company, and detail different forecasts of future performance.
Understanding an Analyst Meeting
Analyst meetings are just one of many ways corporations provide transparency for their performance figures and ensure that company information is available to stakeholders. Publicly available Securities and Exchange Commission filings required by the federal government, such as the 10-K and 10-Q reports, provide information about a company's major developments, competition, legal proceedings, management, research and development, business segments, and financials. Annual reports are another way public companies communicate with shareholders about the company's operations and financial strength. Analysts require different information than from investors or the media. As a result, companies typically organize separate meetings for the different key audiences of a company.
Topics discussed at analyst meetings range from merger and acquisition activity, divestitures, exciting new products, services, or alliances, and general accounting and financial management issues. The general theme of a meeting takes on the topics and issues most relevant to analysts and strategists in a given year, and it may change from one year to the next.
Executives may also choose to answer questions from analysts and in some cases from large investors. Some companies make their meetings widely available via a webcast and/or a podcast. Most publicly traded companies organize analyst meetings at least twice a year, usually when the company publishes its annual and semi-annual results.
How an Analyst Meeting Is Conducted
There's no formal template; some meetings are rather sparse, with little in the way of traditional conference fixings. At other times, companies may roll out the red carpet to introduce a blockbuster opportunity. In one form or another, all analyst meetings are an extension of the corporate relations function. Thus, some companies treat this as an essential element of their corporate communications, and they may include a generous budget to host high production value events.
Analyst meetings typically start with a presentation by the CEO about the strategy of the company, followed by a presentation by the CFO that details the financial information about the company. Often times, the CEO wraps up the presentation. At times, analyst meetings have come under fire because they are said to disproportionally favors securities insiders. Companies hosting analyst meetings go to great lengths not to give the impression they're allowing preferential access to insiders or strategic relationships. Public relations, investor relations, and corporate communications all play an essential role in creating and delivering careful messaging for analysts and various stakeholders.