For Investors, one of the world’s greatest innovations is the internet. It exposes you to company performance, news, releases, and creates access in ways that were once limited to only certain classes of persons like analysts and ‘official’ media.
I’ve noticed just by browsing over time, that company releases, investor relations, and corporate disclosures are handled way much more better and transparent, than our local (Jamaican/Caribbean) markets. I’ve noticed this in at least two ways;
- The distribution of information – who, how, and when
- The type of information – what (format and details)
The Distribution & Type of Information
WHO – For large international publicly listed companies, as it relates to the distribution of information, I’ve noticed that for instance, quarterly releases are distributed in a unrestricted manner.
Know in advance – They often publish the conference call details on their website days before so that persons can call in an listen. I’ve never seen any restriction on who is allowed to call in an listen. I think they may have other restrictions as it relates to asking questions. But the fact that the calls are open to all speaks greatly to transparency.
HOW – Burger King and McDonalds have provided email list options for investors to receive releases as published. Google and Apple have public conference calls.
While this may sound simple, it is very important. As an investor, you need to get access to information, and you should be able to get it as soon as it is available. It makes no sense to get the information 2nd tier or 3rd tier, and I see no reason why companies would want to limit the publication of their results.
WHEN – Internationally, investors and shareholders are notified before the results will be published, that the quarterly results will be published for Google or Apple and there is anticipation for these results.
That helps to prepare the market and also the public, even shareholders. I can understand starting a trend like that however and not living up to performance each quarter.
WHAT – Another point noticed is that the releases of international companies (at least these 4, and specifically Burger King and McDonalds) are provided in multiple formats for investors, shareholders, analysts and media to access. You can choose to access in at least 3 popular formats, Microsoft Excel, Word, or PDF. This again speaks greatly to transparency.
What do you think of investor relations in Jamaica and the Caribbean? How do you think it compares with international practice?