ICR: IR sites improve, but companies not responsive

US companies are improving their investor relations Websites, but they suffer a communications breakdown when it comes to responding to investor inquiries.

NEW YORK: US companies are improving their investor relations Websites, but they suffer a communications breakdown when it comes to responding to investor inquiries, according to a study from ICR.

The firm's Investor Relations Website Benchmarking Survey examined 2,894 public companies in the Russell 3000 Index.

The study found that nearly all of the US' largest companies (97%) have made their investor relations site available from their corporate homepage with a single click. While like-for-like data was not available, this ease of use measure has gone up “dramatically” from prior years, said ICR president Don Duffy.

Nearly all of the companies surveyed (99.6%) archive all press releases from last and this year on their websites, another development compared with previous years.

Despite the improvements to the IR sites, companies are failing to respond to investor queries. When investor relations contacts were emailed by ICR asking what their fully diluted share count is on a specific day, more than one-third (35.8%) of companies did not respond.

A similar number (33.5%) took more than 48 hours to respond to the time-sensitive question. The inquiry was answered in between 24 and 48 hours by 30.9% of the companies surveyed. It found that 2% of corporations did not provide contact information on their investor relations site.

The survey also showed that despite the growing popularity of using video in corporate communications, the vast majority of companies surveyed (95.6%) do not use video on their IR sites.

Duffy said it is “surprising” that companies that have improved their investor relations sites suffer a “breakdown” in communications when it comes to responding to investor queries.

“People are showing up on these sites, but companies are losing the opportunity to attract these potential investors,” he said. “A lot of companies work hard to attract attention but here is an easy way to let people connect with you.”

He said that while larger companies respond to these inquiries more quickly, questions could be going to the finance department or individuals who are unable to answer them at other corporations.

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