Monday, 20 August 2012

How to get webcasts of results presentations

A quick mid-reporting season post from me on why you should listen to webcasts of results presentations during reporting season and how you should get them.

During reporting season you are more than likely to be inundated with information from the companies that you have shareholdings in and ones you are looking to invest in.  Later this week I will do a post on how to avoid making bad decisions when you are getting these constant flows of information.

In all reality most people look at the media release (2 page result overview) and the presentation which tends to summarise all the information in an easy to read format. One of the most overlooked (and valuable sources) is the webcast of the management presentation

Why you should listen to the management presentation of results

Most people that listen to the webcast of the management's presentations give up with 5 minutes because it sounds like a sales pitch.  Worse they often just read out the presentation slides (which you could probably do yourself more quickly).

However if you do this you are missing the most important part of the webcast.  At the end of the management presentation (which usually takes about half an hour) they open up the floor to questions and the people that ask all the questions are the research analysts that cover the stock.  This is some of the most valuable information that you can get!

Given that most people outside the professional investment community do not have the access, time or inclination to receive and read all of the big investment banks broker research, the fact is that people do not know what they are following, what they think is important and sometimes miss the big issues facing the stock. 

However with the advent of webcasts (previously you had to have dial in details) you can hear EVERYTHING the research analysts asks and the management's response to it. 

Why is this so valuable?
  • All research analysts do every day their whole career is follow a particular sector and for the most part they are more attuned to those issues that are affecting the industry in which you are looking to invest
  • You get to hear what they are asking (which is often more important than the answer itself). 
  • They do not go easy on management and will ask them the hard questions - it is possibly the only time you will hear management give answers to hard questions that need to be asked
It is worth listening to the whole webcast for the Q&A session alone - it may take an hour of your time but if you come away with something you didn't know at the end of it about your investment which affects your investment decision then it is probably time well spent.

How to get webcasts of results presentations

Given that most results presentations are done during the work day, it was previously hard for people not in the finance industry to dial into calls and listen to this Q&A session.  With the advent of webcasts though and the general take up by companies and the investment community - this is easily remedied.  Here are a few ways you can get access to webcasts:
  1. Most companies put the webcast of their presentation on their websites
    • Almost all big companies put their results presentations on their website.  It is normally my first port of call but can sometimes be hard to find so go through the following process to find it
      • Go to the investor centre or similar section
      • Look in the presentations section
      • If not in the presentations section look in 'results'
  2. There are great websites out there which stream as well as save webcasts so you can line them up and view them all at one time
    • One of the best websites for Australian and UK investors is BRR Media which streams and has available for download almost all company presentations (including AGMs)
    • This is particularly useful for small companies who have terrible websites or do not upload their webcasts at all
  3. Some data providers give whole transcripts of results presentations
    • Often these are premium providers such as Bloomberg, Factset or Thomson Reuters but if you have access to them these are amazing
    • You can jump straight to the Q&A section and often read it much quicker than you would listen to it.  You can also re-read sections that particularly interest you
    • One of the problems with transcripts though is if the programme or person transcribing it misses or cannot understand a section it will say [..indistinct..] which is amazingly frustrating when it is a section you are particularly interested in

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