October 26, 2015

Earnings Releases: Goldman Sachs Foregoes the Wires

As noted in this WSJ article, Goldman Sachs recently released its earnings through its own website & Twitter – foregoing the use of the wire services. Here’s an excerpt from this Q4 blog:

Earlier this week, we briefly noted Goldman Sachs decision to release their earnings report exclusively through their Twitter account rather than go the traditional route of press release through a large newswire. With a financial leader like Goldman choosing to forgo the standard practice of a press release, we saw it as a strong statement on how much value they felt the service added to their announcement.

While we were excited by the change, there was still the question of whether or not releasing exclusively through Twitter is a truly viable option. Without the use of the wire, how would the story be picked up? Would there be a stumble when it came to reporting? Would it be met with the same urgency as it would’ve been through traditional media? We maintained a lookout throughout the day to see how the media interaction went.

Earnings Releases: NYSE Warns on Date Changes Without Pre-Announcements

Recently, the NYSE issued this guidance to listed companies:

The Exchange wishes to remind its listed companies of the importance of making a prior public announcement of the scheduling of a company’s quarterly earnings release or any change in that schedule. The Exchange believes that providing this information to all market participants at the same time is important to the maintenance of a fair and orderly market.

Generally, listed companies publicly announce the date on which they intend to issue their quarterly earnings information. Occasionally, a company needs to change the date of its earnings release for a particular quarter at which time, the company usually also makes a public announcement of the revised date. It has come to the Exchange’s attention that companies occasionally do not publicly announce a change in the date of their earnings release or, in certain instances, may inadvertently selectively disclose this information in advance of a broad dissemination of the new date. The Exchange believes that a change in the earnings announcement date can sometimes affect the trading price of a company’s stock and/or related securities and that market participants who are in possession of this information before it is broadly disseminated may have an advantage over other market participants.

Consequently, the Exchange believes that it is important for listed companies to promptly and broadly disseminate to the market non-selectively, news of the scheduling of their earnings announcements or any change in that schedule and to avoid selective disclosure of that information prior to its broad dissemination.

By the way, as noted in this Cooley blog, the SEC’s Investor Advocate took his first position – on the NYSE’s proposal related to exempting early stage companies from receiving shareholder approval before selling additional shares to insiders. And check out this Fortune article entitled “Here are the five dumbest excuses for a bad quarter”…

Latest CPA-Zicklin Index: More Political Disclosures Being Made

Recently, the Center for Political Accountability published its “CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Disclosure and Accountability” for the 5th year in a row. The latest shows 87% of the S&P 500 voluntarily post a political spending policy; 25% place some type of restriction on political spending; and 54% have a dedicated webpage to address political spending.

Meanwhile, two House Committee Chairs sent this letter to SEC Chair White recently asking her to not conduct any rulemaking in the disclosure of political spending area…

Broc Romanek