Shareholder Meetings and Conferences Ramp Up Ahead of Q3 Earnings Season
Shareholder meetings and conferences ramp up after a busy summer and ahead of the next earnings season
The Delta variant forced many companies to quickly switch to webcasts and virtual meetings
Macro issues such as regulatory risks and inflation fears are top concerns among stockholders
Not So Grand
The re-opening of the economy this past summer was more sad than grand. The Delta variant put a halt to many family and corporate plans and many schools are back to virtual learning. While assistance from stimulus and aid programs softened the blow from potential economic weakness, consumer behavior has turned somewhat sour, and corporations show signs of pulling back slightly.
Another trend apparent in Wall Street Horizon’s corporate event data is the uptick in virtual meetings this month. After a summer that initially featured more in-person get-togethers, rising COVID-19 cases in July and August pressured firms once again to make the reluctant but necessary switch to remote meetings.
Our data show 34 virtual shareholder meetings around the globe through Monday, September 20. We spotlight three S&P 500 firms in this week’s Event Data Outlook.
Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) September 14
TTWO is a $19 billion market cap maker of computer games in the Communications Services sector. The entertainment company fell sharply in early August when it announced a delay in its “Grand Theft Auto” video game.¹ On top of the firm-specific bad news, the computer gaming area has been tough for investors this quarter due to China’s clampdown on the tech, education, and gaming industries. Tighter regulations, including limits on how much video game activity children in China can engage in, sent shares of competitors lower in July. TTWO’s stock price peaked along with Emerging Markets in January and February.
Figure 1: TTWO Stock Price History (1-Year)²
Tuesday’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders might feature questions for the executive team on how to navigate what has quickly turned into a tough regulatory environment. Further out, Wall Street Horizon has an Unconfirmed Earnings Date of November 4 for Take-Two’s Q2 earnings results.
Conagra Brands (CAG) September 15
Shareholders are not so optimistic for firms sensitive to rising food prices. CAG, a $16 billion market cap Consumer Staples stock, has seen its share price drop from near $40 in early June to the low $30s in the last several weeks. CAG’s 3.7% dividend yield, about 3 times that of the S&P 500, makes it popular among investors searching for yield.
Figure 2: CAG Stock Price History (1-Year)³
In addition to macro concerns around how the company can weather the inflation storm, shareholders might hear updates on a recent Board of Directors change at this week’s meeting. Looking ahead, Conagra is among the earliest companies slated to report earnings in October. We have an Unconfirmed Earnings Date of October 4 Before Market.
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) September 20
The California-based medical equipment company in the Health Care sector has been among the top-performing stocks this year, rising from under $700 in March to nearly $1,100 in the last few days. ISRG’s market cap swelled to nearly $130 billion as investors laud recent earnings growth. Optimism is high on the stock as demonstrated by an elevated P/E ratio that coasts above 80.
It’s been a hot market for innovators in the Health Care sector, and next week’s meeting should have a positive tone. In addition to strong equity market performance, shareholders will look for updates on corporate activity including a new General Manager in South Korea, and thoughts about the future considering the August 5 three-for-one stock split announcement. Often, firms will split their stock when management is upbeat on its plans. Shareholders can look ahead to the Split-Pay date on October 5.
Figure 3: ISRG Stock Price History (1-Year)⁵
Ahead of next Monday’s Special Shareholders’ Meeting, the company will present at the Morgan Stanley 19th Annual Global Healthcare Conference 2021 this Tuesday the 14th at 2:45 PM EDT. The conference is virtual. Clients can view details of the ISRGs presence at the conference with our investor conferences and events data. Other big players in the Health Care sector that are set to speak including Roche (ROG.CH), BioNTech (BNTX), Incyte (INCY), Novartis (NVS), Sanofi (SNY), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Gilead (GILD), and Pfizer (PFE).
Meeting season and corporate conferences are always on the September agenda. This year, like a year ago, many companies made the tough choice to go virtual. We highlighted three stocks facing important macro and firm-specific issues. Investors should monitor upcoming shareholder meetings for a gauge of corporate optimism and how to traverse emerging challenges. Wall Street Horizon tracks key corporate events such as shareholder meetings & conferences, stock splits, and earnings dates for clients so they can effectively manage risk.