Investors need to prepare for meetings with those managers charged with the stewardship of shareholder money. Having good prior knowledge of the publicly available information allows intelligent probing of company performance, business conditions and divisional ups and downs at the meeting.
For AGMs I usually prepare 5-6 key questions to ask in the formal meeting. These are about the issues facing different parts of the business.
In framing the questions I try to be sympathetic to the difficulties and dilemmas facing managers on the front line. I try never to be condemnatory or confrontational - after all they have tough decisions to make.
Furthermore, a demonstration that I don't understand those complexities by crudely complaining about outcomes will not lead to the informal and open discussion I need after the formal meeting.
Review your written justification for the investment you made all those months/years ago and subsequent updates in that narrative.
This should have information on earnings going back a decade, strength of the balance sheet and cash flow generation data. It should also contain a discussion on strategic position and quality of managers (competence and integrity) as well as a consideration of operational risk and financial risk at times of stress. It is for these factors that you are seeking more insight at any meeting with directors.
They feed into your estimates of future cash to be generated for shareholders and thus estimates of intrinsic value.
It always useful to see data for at least a complete business cycle. Often, less than 10 years of data as inadequate and misleading because this will not cover enough variety of business conditions.
Update the data you have on director dealings in the company’s shares - this is a possible lead indicator of an improving or deteriorating business. Trades by chief executives or finance directors are often more significant than those by divisional directors.
Also update the table on s
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