Quarterly Conference calls (also named earnings calls) have become a mainstay of the investor relations calendar and, as a result, get significant attention by both companies and the investment community. Your assignment is to listen to or read the most recent conference call by a public company, which is available on their website, (or at morningstar.com) and analyze in a well-crafted essay of 750 words or more, the effectiveness and impact of the call. In preparation for the call you should review the company’s recent history including press releases, news articles and analyst reports to determine the background of the call and the issues that will be discussed.
In writing your essay (not bullet points), you should address, explain and defend your answers to the following:
Has management done an effective job of explaining the earnings and the reasons for improvement/disappointment?
Did management address issues other than earnings? What were they and did they do a good job of explaining them?
If you were an investor, what are the major takeaways from the call? Would you be likely to buy more stock or sell? If you were an analyst, would your recommendation be buy, hold or sell? Why?
What important issues did management fail to address in their remarks?
What was management’s tone in the Q&A: defensive, neutral or offensive? Why?
Was management well prepared to answer the questions?
How many members of management were on the call and did their participation on the call justify their presence?
Overall, what are your recommendations to management to improve the call either in terms of form or content?