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Our Blog: The Podium

Shareholder on a Shelf: An Earnings Tradition

By Dennis Walsh, Vice President

The Shareholder on a Shelf is a new tradition that has become the holiday gift of choice for IROs to their executive management teams. The story of the Shareholder on a Shelf is as follows:

“Have you ever wondered how the SEC could know;
If you’re naughty or nice in making your reported revenues and margins grow;
For 79 years it’s been a big secret;
Which now can be shared, if you promise to keep it.

At reporting time the SEC sends me to you;
I sit in the shadows to watch and report on all that you do;
My job is an assignment from Ms. Mary Jo White herself;
I am her helper, a friendly scout shareholder that sits on a shelf.

There’s only one rule that you have to follow;
Be honest, transparent and abide by Reg FD - there’s no reason to wallow;
When earnings are over, your duty is not done;
For public companies, quarterly reporting is only part of the fun;

In your office, at a conference, or even a one-on-one meeting;
Word will get out if you break a rule, I’ll call cheating;
I may hide in a plant, upon a shelf or behind your desk chair;
Where I may be shouldn’t matter, assume I’ll always be there.

Shareholders can be fickle, I know, for I am one;
Communicate often, not just when sales are on the run;
Some news makes us happy, some makes us cry;
But give it to us straight, there’s no reason to lie.

The inquisitive shareholder I am, I’ll always assume you’re withholding;
I’ll be back tomorrow for an update on how the quarter is unfolding;
Don’t be annoyed, for remember the shareholders are your owners;
Just keep us all informed, don’t disclose selectively to some loners.

So there you have it, that’s how it’s done;
The Shareholder on a Shelf is the secret to how the SEC is run.”

On behalf of the entire Sharon Merrill team, we’d like to wish all of our loyal clients and blog visitors a happy and healthy holiday season! We look forward to connecting with you in the New Year!

Dennis Walsh is Vice President at Sharon Merrill. He counsels clients on a broad array of investor relations and corporate communications issues such as market research, competitive intelligence, earnings announcements, investor targeting, roadshow planning and social media. Dennis oversees Sharon Merrill’s Socialize IR consulting service, which is designed for public companies that recognize the benefits of incorporating social media into their shareholder engagement program.

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