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PW’s CEO to Serve as Panelist at Forum for Corporate Directors on February 23

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A focus on board involvement with investors. Roger Pondel of PondelWilkinson will be participating on a panel discussion at the Forum for Corporate Directors exploring the dynamic between board members and investors.

In today’s volatile stock market and increasingly activist investor environment, it is vital that board members fully understand the unfiltered views of investors as they govern theirrespective companies. James Moloney, partner with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, will moderate a panel on this critical topic February 23, at the 7 a.m. breakfast meeting of the Forum for Corporate Directors, at the Pacific Club, 4110 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach.

Directors who are aware of their investors’ perceptions and expectations are far better equipped to clarify, remedy and reinforce their companies’ messages. The panel will feature Glenn Welling, Founder and CIO of Engaged Capital; Glenn Schafer, Chairman of the Board of Janus Capital Group and Lead Director of Genesis HealthCare; and Roger Pondel, CEO of investor relations consultancy PondelWilkinson.

For more information and reservations, email michelle@fcdoc.org or visit http://fcdoc.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Do You Trust?

You say “po-tae-tow,” I say “po-ta-tow.” You say “tow-mae-tow;” I say “tow-ma-tow.”

An accent is one thing, but how can two respected financial organizations come to such disparate conclusions? A look at the overview comments by each tells a fascinating story:

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Morgan Stanley, initiating coverage, says “Buy.” And Zacks, on the same day, with the same stock, says “Sell.”

Zacks:

  • “Disappointing results and rising regulatory concerns”
  • “Company has disappointed its investors in each of the last four quarters”
  • “We would advise investors to stay away from this stock for the time being”
  • “Longer-term recommendation of ‘Underperform’”

Morgan Stanley:

  • “Regulatory concerns are overblown”
  • “Compelling entry point”
  • “Underappreciated growth opportunity”
  • “Valuation does not reflect strong growth potential’”

Without mentioning the stock by name, since it is one of our clients, the recommendations just go to show how widely analysts can differ in their assessments of the same security, and how carefully investors should scrutinize recommendations when making investment decisions.

What happened to the stock on the day these opposing recommendations were issued? It went up.

 

Roger Pondel, rpondel@pondel.com 

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Twits and Stones May Break Your Bones

Photo Credit: crunchbase.com

As the year begins to wrap up and office parties kick into high gear, I wonder what next year holds for the world of investor relations.  Proxy access, say-on-pay and XBRL were widely discussed topics throughout the year, but none may have reached the feverous pitch more than the use of social media in investor relations; and that trend will likely continue in the New Year thanks to a recent development.
 
Last week, Yahoo! Finance launched a feature called “Market Pulse,” an area of the site that aggregates feeds or discussions of a particular stock in real-time from StockTwits and Covestor. If you have never heard of StockTwits, just think of it as Twitter for the world of investing. Maybe a little less known is Covestor, a social network for investors that allows them to mirror transactions of other investors.
 
At first glance, I admit that I dismissed StockTwits as nonsensical ramblings by a bunch of “Twits” and Covestor as speculative herd mentality – but I decided to take a closer look.
 
Within a few seconds, I noticed that Dell recently created an official StockTwits page, for which they most likely paid the going rate of $250 dollars a month. Their page had around 45 posts and five followers through last month, and I began to wonder why Dell might have established the account in the first place.  My thoughts:
 

  1. Monitoring online conversations is an important component of reputation management. If you are not engaging with your investor constituencies online, you should at least be listening and ready to respond.
     

  2. As investor audiences increasingly move online, content should be distributed across multiple platforms simultaneously.
     

  3. Companies do not always need a press release or Web cast to communicate with shareholders.  Sometimes it is more efficient and cost effective to express yourself in 140 characters or less.

 
As social media platforms debut and real-time applications evolve, I suspect that in the New Year the investor relations community will have plenty of new services to consider.  While it is important to keep an open mind, one should understand their value and whether they are worth the time and money in the first place.

 

Matt Sheldon, msheldon@pondel.com