Staying in touch
With the European debt crisis reaching epic proportions and the US economy continuing to sputter, IROs can hardly be faulted for a reluctance to trumpet their stories to investors. ‘Markets are jittery and there are many macro factors affecting what happens to a company outside the firm’s fundamentals,’ says John Bai, head of US and Asian equity sales for Mizuho Securities USA.
Carmine Grigoli, the Manhattan-based firm’s director of research and equity strategist, points out that the challenges IR professionals face today are unprecedented. ‘Macro events are driving company stock performance more than at any other time in my more than 30-year Wall Street career,’ he says.
That said, the best argument for marketing one’s story now is that macro events won’t drive stock performance forever. Grigoli points out that while the European crisis will almost certainly drag on, US investors will learn to assess the risks, and the fear premium embedded in stock prices will fade.