Forum Home Page [see Broadridge note below]

 The Shareholder ForumTM`

Fair Investor Access

This public program was initiated in collaboration with The Conference Board Task Force on Corporate/Investor Engagement and with Thomson Reuters support of communication technologies. The Forum is providing continuing reports of the issues that concern this program's participants, as summarized  in the January 5, 2015 Forum Report of Conclusions.

"Fair Access" Home Page

"Fair Access" Program Reference


Related Projects 2012-2019

For graphed analyses of company and related industry returns, see

Returns on Corporate Capital

See also analyses of

Shareholder Support Rankings






Sources: IR Magazine | Inside Investor Relations, May 13, 2013 article and National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), May 9, 2013 report

Inside Investor Relations


Managing shareholder expectations: 97 percent of IROs do it

13 May 2013

Face to face, phone calls, email and other informal methods prove most popular, says NIRI research

Almost all IR departments work to manage shareholder expectations, according to new research from NIRI, with 80 percent looking to set the financial performance expectations of their investors.

National Investor Relations Institute

May 9, 2013

Jeffrey D. Morgan, FASAE, CAE
President and CEO
National Investor Relations Institute

Managing Shareholder Expectations-2013 Results


Key Findings


  • 97% of respondents report attempting to manage shareholder expectations.
  • IROs determine the expectations of their shareholders through informal methods (in-person, phone calls, emails), by reviewing sell-side research, comparing company stock metrics to peers, and perception surveys.
  • Respondents report attempting to set shareholder expectations for company financial performance, economic-related issues, product-related issues, regulatory, and corporate governance-related issues.
  • With regard to timeframes, the most common goals set were for the current year (61%), followed by three to five year goals (31%), two year goals (9%), and five years or longer (4%). (Participants were permitted to select more than one response.)
  • IRO respondents reported that the near-term goals their companies provide are more detailed and specific, as opposed to the more strategic, broad, and general nature of any long-term goals provided.
  • In addition to metrics, respondents specified other information provided in order to manage shareholder expectations including qualitative findings, product strategy, marketing information, and revenue.
  • The CEO, CFO, and IRO are all (81% each) equally involved in determining messaging for managing shareholder expectations.
  • Respondents provided specific activities that have been most successful in managing shareholder expectations, and identified activities to avoid.

Read the full report: Managing Shareholder Expectations-2013 Results [available only to NIRI members]

About the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI)

Founded in 1969, NIRI (
) is the professional association of corporate officers and investor relations consultants responsible for communication among corporate management, shareholders, securities analysts and other financial community constituents. NIRI is the largest professional investor relations association in the world with more than 3,300 members representing 1,600 publicly held companies and $9 trillion in stock market capitalization.


After informal methods of managing shareholder expectations, which are used by 87 percent of IROs, NIRI’s 2013 report Managing Shareholder Expectations shows that reviewing sell-side research reports is also popular, with 81 percent of IROs using these reports to set investor expectations. Comparing company stock market metrics with peers, and perception audits or formal investor surveys are also used by 44 percent and 30 percent of respondents, respectively.

It’s not just IROs who are working to set investor expectations, either: the CEO, CFO and IROs are all equally involved (81 percent each) in creating company messages used to manage shareholder assumptions. ‘Respondents report attempting to set shareholder expectations for company financial performance, economy-related issues, product-related issues, regulatory and corporate governance-related issues,’ explains NIRI.

Most IROs (61 percent) look to manage shareholder expectations for the coming year, while 31 percent set a three to five-year goal. NIRI explains that respondents were allowed to choose more than one option, with a further 9 percent focusing on two-year goals and 4 percent looking ahead five years or more.

These timeframes affect the type of information companies use to manage expectations, explains NIRI. ‘The near-term goals companies provide are more detailed and specific, as opposed to the more strategic, broad and general nature of any long-term goals provided,’ it says in a press statement.

‘Financial goals for growth and profitability are quite specific for one year but further out the compound rates of growth and margin expectations are in broad ranges,’ says one small-cap healthcare and social assistance firm. ‘We discuss the long-term implications of regulatory effects and the pros/cons of expected legislation on the trajectory of the business.’

As well as the financial metrics used to set shareholder expectations, NIRI says IROs also use qualitative findings, product strategy, marketing information and revenue.

Respondent IROs also mention what to avoid when trying to manage expectations: ‘Avoid using language that is ambiguous if you are moving financial expectations,’ says one mid-cap company. ‘[Terms like] ‘moderate’, ‘significant’, and so on do not work nearly as well as specific ranges of potential outcomes.’

Another micro-cap company in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector makes a simpler point: ‘When managing shareholder expectations, you should avoid over-promising and under-delivering.’


© Copyright Cross Border Ltd. 1995–2013. All rights reserved.


This Forum program was open, free of charge, to anyone concerned with investor interests in the development of marketplace standards for expanded access to information for securities valuation and shareholder voting decisions. As stated in the posted Conditions of Participation, the purpose of this public Forum's program was to provide decision-makers with access to information and a free exchange of views on the issues presented in the program's Forum Summary. Each participant was expected to make independent use of information obtained through the Forum, subject to the privacy rights of other participants.  It is a Forum rule that participants will not be identified or quoted without their explicit permission.

This Forum program was initiated in 2012 in collaboration with The Conference Board and with Thomson Reuters support of communication technologies to address issues and objectives defined by participants in the 2010 "E-Meetings" program relevant to broad public interests in marketplace practices. The website is being maintained to provide continuing reports of the issues addressed in the program, as summarized in the January 5, 2015 Forum Report of Conclusions.

Inquiries about this Forum program and requests to be included in its distribution list may be addressed to

The information provided to Forum participants is intended for their private reference, and permission has not been granted for the republishing of any copyrighted material. The material presented on this web site is the responsibility of Gary Lutin, as chairman of the Shareholder Forum.

Shareholder Forum™ is a trademark owned by The Shareholder Forum, Inc., for the programs conducted since 1999 to support investor access to decision-making information. It should be noted that we have no responsibility for the services that Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., introduced for review in the Forum's 2010 "E-Meetings" program and has since been offering with the “Shareholder Forum” name, and we have asked Broadridge to use a different name that does not suggest our support or endorsement.