The Equity Group conducts perception studies on behalf of ongoing clients, or on a project basis. Each Perception Study is a thorough, yet tailored, objective assessment of investor and analyst sentiment.

Companies typically embark on perception studies in order to:

  • Gain insight into
    • how the strategy, business model, execution, capital structure and corporate governance are being perceived by the investment community;
    • marketplace misperceptions that may be causing a valuation gap;
    • company- and/or sector-specific factors that are impacting valuation;
    • the level of confidence in management and other factors that are influencing investment decisions and stock performance.
  • Conduct periodic benchmarking, and assess the effectiveness of communication strategies relative to peers. In many cases “peers” includes similar market-cap companies, not just those in the same sector.

Common catalysts for perception studies include:

  • A shift in strategy or structure, or a change in management.
  • Concerns surrounding absolute or relative valuation.
  • In consideration of an Offering, or post-Offering.
  • Preparation for an Investor Day – assessing interest, expectations, and relevant topics – and following up on the event for feedback.
  • Assessment of vulnerability to shareholder activism.

Our approach

In consultation with the client, we prepare a list of questions designed to generate insight into specific areas of interest or concern. We also develop a list of potential participants that can include top institutional holders, former holders, peer holders, and analysts that cover the Company and/or peers. The Perception Study is conducted via phone and responses are anonymous, which supports more candid and thoughtful answers. Using the collected feedback, we then prepare a detailed report consisting of qualitative and quantitative findings that provide both a feel for what investors are thinking and the necessary context to discuss any potential actions.

The studies enable our clients and our firm to:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of investor/analyst sentiment and expectations, as opposed to segmented feedback following particular meetings.
  • Develop strategies that can be employed to: (i) clarify misconceptions; (ii) positively influence investor perception to close the gap between market value and intrinsic value, or generally drive shareholder value; (iii) differentiate the Company.
  • Better understand their investment community audiences.
  • Formally inform the Board about these topics and any steps being taken.