One of the rituals of being a stock market analyst is that you must analyze the quarterly results of each and every company that is under your research coverage.
The analysis report has to be sent to clients the very same day, as the target is always to be the ‘first to market’.
I was part of this ritual for 8 years, or 32 quarters. At any point in time during these 8 years, I had around 20-25 large and small companies under my coverage.
In short, over these years, I wrote around 650-800 result analysis reports. If that was not enough, there was a considerable amount of time spent listening to managements through conference calls that were organized after the results came out.
These post-result conference calls were meant not just for analysts, but also for investors.
It was here that a company’s top management would congregate and discuss about its last quarter’s performance and answer analysts, who were largely bothered about expectations for the next quarter.
Now the interesting thing is that across the 600 odd conference calls that I’ve attended during these years, I’ve rarely come across an investor participating in any of these calls.
Initially I thought – “Why don’t investors take this golden chance to talk to the managements of companies whose shares they own?”
Then the reality dawned on me. Investors never had any information regarding when these calls were organized, despite the fact that these were called “Analyst & Investor” calls.
Isn’t it ironical? You are not invited to an event that is meant for you!
“But which investor wants to take the pain of talking to the management directly when he gets refined information from the broker?” said an analyst friend from the broking industry, to whom I raised my doubts over investors not getting the conference call invitations.
Refined information? Well, like refined sugar and refined flour, refined information coming from stock brokers and their analysts is dangerous for you, dear investor.
The management says something, the analyst understands something, he writes something else in his report, and the broker who forwards you the report calls this ‘refined’ information.
Know your stock…yourself
One of the key steps in identifying a good stock, or knowing how a company is doing, is to talk to its management.
However, when it comes to small investors, getting access to the top management is mostly difficult. The difficulties increase with the size of companies – bigger a company, more difficult it is to access anyone from the management.
Even the ‘investor relations’ person is not bothered to speak to you, if you are a ‘small’ and thus an ‘unwanted’ investor.
I can go on and on how small investors are treated by companies in India, but let me stop here for I have something more important to tell you.
Having ‘insiders’ (friends and ex-colleagues) in the industry gives me access to information regarding conference calls and analyst meets.
This information isn’t private and confidential (it never was). As such, from now onwards, I will be sharing this information with you as and when I get it.
This will help you take your first step in accessing the management of the company whose stock you own, or are planning to own.
So here is the latest information that I have available for the companies which are organizing their post-result conference calls over the next few days.
Just dial in the numbers on the designated date and time, and listen to the managements talk about their performance during the quarter, and ‘expectations’ from the future.
You’ll also get your chance to ask a question, if time permits.
Here’s the procedure for connecting to a conference call.
- You dial the number, and the telephone operator picks up the phone.
- Some operators will ask you which conference call you would like to join, so tell them the name of the company (Say something like, “I want to listen to Mindtree’s conference call.”).
- The operator will then ask you your name and company name. For ‘company name’, tell the operator that you are an investor.
- The operator will connect you to the call.
- Listen to what the management says, make notes if required, and ask questions if you have any.
See, talking to a company’s management is so easy. Now, take the effort!
Know your stock…yourself.