NetComm is a telecommunications company that has successfully executed a strategic investor relations approach and can attest to the positive outcomes, having been a client of Market Eye for close to four years. We asked Ken Sheridan, NetComm CFO, about the smart way to manage an investor relations program and grow institutional support.
Can you tell us briefly about you’re NetComm journey? What have been some defining moments?
We see ourselves as stewards of an incredible company of which we are proud. Over the last four years it’s been about sharing our story, building credibility and market understanding of our sector, managing growth effectively and attracting the attention of larger investors. What we quickly learned was that a long-term view and patience is critical to the process.
Throughout the journey, we have always maintained our conviction in what we are doing, even when we faced scepticism. We had to meet and greet a lot of the bigger players and persuade them to listen and trust our story. They did. And now they seek us out.
There have been several defining moments for us, including ramping up contracts overseas and starting to deliver meaningful revenues for shareholders, particularly the USA Fixed Wireless contract. These served to reaffirm our strategy and vision for NetComm as we have matured along the way.
What drives your investor relations strategy and did you decide to ramp it up?
We started in earnest back in 2012 and it took a lot of “shoe leather” before we got real traction and more favourable access to the capital markets. We had hundreds of meetings. Then we had some notable and high profile successes which started to “put us on the map”. Once people were familiar with our story and could see we were delivering, their confidence and interest grew and it has not really slowed down since. We are effectively engaging directly with an influential segment.
How do you build your credibility in the marketplace?
It’s really very simple. Deliver on what you say. And admit it if you get it wrong and do it quickly. What is essential is regular, consistent and quality communication.
It’s never a perfect run. What are the challenges you face communicating to the market?
Our biggest issue is the timeframes over which revenues are delivered. Investors want news and revenues every quarter. There is a lot of short-termism in the market. But we are not that kind of company. You need patience and perseverance to win big contracts and we must help educate investors and manage their expectations around this challenge.
What makes a powerful story? What do people respond to?
Being an Australian company with international growth capacity is compelling. More importantly is the ability to execute and execute consistently.
People respond positively to NetComm when they understand our strategy, trust the leadership team and appreciate our competitive advantages. It’s powerful when it all comes together.
Where to from here with your investor relations strategy?
Keep going. You can never say that you have “finished” investor relations. As we get bigger, there are more people who want to hear the story and we need to invest more time with the market and continue to educate and inform. We will continue to increase our market cap, sell-side coverage and simultaneously enhance our shareholder mix and grow the positions of current institutional shareholders. This requires insight and foresight and a robust plan.
Feedback from the investment community is essential and we take it very seriously and we will continue to regularly seek feedback. Having quality, compatible investors that support us makes a huge difference to how we operate.