February 23, 2015

Survey: Earnings Call Practices

The results of NIRI’s 2014 Earnings Call Practices Survey are summarized in this recent memo. Notable stats include:

Quarterly calls common: A whopping 97% of respondent companies hold quarterly earnings calls, compared to 80% 20 years ago.

When quarterly earnings calls are held: Over 70% of surveyed companies hold calls on Wednesdays or Thursdays. 75% of companies hold their call on the same day that earnings are released.  There’s almost an even split between holding calls during and outside of market hours.

How calls are announced:
– Press releases (93%)
– Corporate website (83%)
– E-mail blasts (55%)
– Twitter (9%)

When calls are announced: 86% announce between one week and one month in advance of the call. 35% announce 2 – 3 weeks before.

Length of calls:
– 46 – 60 minutes for 68% of respondents
– 30 – 45 minutes for 20% of companies

Formats used to broadcast calls to listeners: Telephonic (94%) and webcasts (almost 90%)

Call script & rehearsal practices:
– 63% begin preparing for an earnings call three weeks in advance or less; 30% prepare four weeks out.  22% ask the Street during their preparation period which topics they would like the company to address during the call.
– The IRO, CFO & CEO are most commonly involved in both script development and review. 37% and 71% involve in-house counsel in script development and review, respectively.
– Rehearsal practices are diverse, and 22% don’t rehearse at all.

Call participants: IRO, CFO & CEO virtually always participate. Less frequently but still common are CCOs (83%), in-house counsel (78%), CMOs (70%)

Screening practices: More than 3/4 screen call participants

Archival practices:
– 73% archive a webcast on the corporate website. 73% archive the audio. 57% archive a slide presentation. Only 25% archive the full call script.
– 40% archive their call audio for less than 90 days.
– 46% archive their scripts and 51% archive their slide presentations for longer than one year.

Access additional benchmarking information and other helpful resources in our “Earnings Releases” Practice Area.

IR Guidance on Tough Situations

In this new Deloitte piece, veteran IR managers share their views on how to handle difficult scenarios – including gaps in company and investor/analyst perspectives, communicating bad news and dealing with activist investors.

Transcript: “Rural/Metro & the Role of Financial Advisors”

We have posted the transcript for the recent webcast: “Rural/Metro & the Role of Financial Advisors.”


– by Randi Val Morrison