Board Reporting Guide For Investor Relations Departments

Board Reporting Guide For Investor Relations Departments
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Producing reports for the board is often a key responsibility for investor relations professionals, and is an excellent way to demonstrate the impact of the IR office. This article will walk you through what a board report entails, why these updates are important to the board and provide recommendations as to what your board reports should include.

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What is a Board Report?

Board reports provide upper management and the board of directors with a comprehensive review of key information relevant to the stock’s performance, the company’s shareholder base, and major IR activities/events during a specific period (typically quarterly).  These reports supplement a company’s financial documents (ie. 10-Q/K’s, MD&A’s etc.) to enhance the board’s understanding of how the business’ fundamental performance translates into share price activity and changes in the investor base.

What Should a Board Report Include?

While there is no one-size-fits-all template for board reports, given differences in a company’s size, stage, and shareholder base complexity, a few key sections are typically pertinent to include consistently. An overview of example information to have in these sections is below: 

Share Price and Volume Performance 

Stock Price Performance is a reflection of your share price over time. Looking at how your share price and volumes have trended historically can yield helpful information for your board, and is often a great place to start when preparing the report. 

Share price performance (YTD, QTD and/or longer-term historical)

  • By looking at the historical performance of your share price over a period of time, you and your board can better identify patterns, trends, and catalysts that led to changes in your share price and assess it relative to peers and relevant market indices.

Overview of trends in volumes (YTD, QTD and/or longer-term historical)

  • Trading volumes can provide insight into investor activity over a historical lookback period. Understanding where significant fluctuations in volumes occurred and what transpired in the days/hours leading up to those surges can provide helpful context behind share price movements. 

Shareholder and Ownership Analyses

Shareholder and ownership analyses can help your board better understand the composition of your shareholder base and how it has evolved over time.

Ownership Profile (shareholder geography, composition, turnover, etc.)

  • Ownership profiles contain a high level overview of your investor base’s demographics. This information often includes details such as shareholder geography, composition, and average turnover.

Overview of top shareholders (incl. retail, institutional, and insider)

  • A list of your top shareholders will highlight which investors hold the largest portions of your stock. Not only can this information be used to identify potential activists, it also highlights potential investor targets who may have further interest in increasing their position. Reaching out to these investors proactively can help you lower your cost of capital.

Top buyers & sellers during the period

  • Similarly, top buyers and sellers represent the group that have accumulated or sold the most shares in a given period. A board can use this information to gauge overall investment activity and potentially the impact of IR efforts during the period.

Short interest

  • Short interest represents the number of shares that are held short by investors or the percentage of investors “betting against” the share price performance of the stock. Providing this information can give the board helpful context regarding investor perception and expectations.

Relative Positioning & Valuation vs. Peers 

Having a section on relative positioning and valuation vs. your peer group can provide a helpful frame of reference for board members to assess overall company performance and make suggestions.

Forward valuation trends vs. peers

  • Using consensus estimates, mapping out your most closely followed valuation metrics (commonly in the form of multiples) vs. your peers can help to further unpack your share price performance while also providing insight on overall market perception of the company.

Peer comparables and relative positioning

  • Having a peer comparables table present in your report allows the board to better visualize relative positioning in areas such as valuation, growth expectations, and key operating metrics.

Consensus Estimates & Overview of Analyst Commentary 

For companies that have sell-side analyst coverage, including a section summarizing key estimates and takeaways from recent published research can be helpful in better understanding how the “Street” views your company.

Analysis of sell-side analyst estimates (quarterly & annual)

  • You can include this information as a high level summary of your company’s analyst estimates and it can inform your board of directors where the Street lies on key metrics.

Historical trends in consensus estimates

  • By examining how consensus estimates have evolved over time, you can use this information to determine if any analysts are accurately forecasting future performance of the company.

Overview of sell-side analyst commentary

  • Including a short overview of each analyst’s report can help your board better understand how your company is perceived by the investment community.

Board Report Template

All Irwin users have access to some board reporting capabilities as part of their subscription.  

Typically, board reports are delivered in slide deck format, allowing you to visually present and speak to key performance indicators and insights at your board meeting. All the information necessary for compiling your board report should be easily accessible within your investor relations software CRM. 

Irwin also offers customizable and comprehensive board reporting services which can save you valuable time by providing highly relevant insight into your shareholder base, relative positioning vs. peers, and consensus views.

Learn more about Irwin’s Professional Services

Final Thoughts

Providing reports to your board is important in any investor relations program. By providing relevant insights into your stock’s performance and perception in the market, your board can help identify strategic decisions to improve performance in the short and long term.

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