Ansaldo STS’s main objective is to maintain ongoing dialogue with the Italian and international financial community, providing sensitive information to the market in a timely and transparent manner and ensuring the correct valuation of the Company, in line with its business model, strategies and targets.
This is why the Investor Relations department, which reports directly to the Chief Financial Officer, constantly meets with the financial community to gain an understanding of its information needs and to support top management in communication decisions.
Various surveys with counterparties confirmed the overall positive opinion of the Investor Relations team’s work, acknowledged as the Company’s main point of contact with the financial community.
Total actual coverage generally remained unchanged compared to the previous year across 10 investment banks; in particular, only five of them kept up active involvement after the conclusion of Hitachi’s take-over bid on Ansaldo STS’s capital and the entrance of the US fund Elliot in the shareholding structure, while the other five - although they did not officially reject the coverage - maintained a more detached attitude while awaiting future developments.
Some investment banks provide periodic sector research and competitor analyses, which the Investor Relations department gathers, studies and distributes internally, together with the official market disclosures.
On a quarterly basis, before the financial results are released, the Investor Relations department requests that brokers who carry out security hedging activities provide their latest forecasts on the Company’s key performance indicators, and then calculates the averages. This represents an accurate update of the sell-side analysts’ perception, which is discussed and considered by Company management. This underscores the attention that Ansaldo STS devotes to considering financial communications as a two-way street, recognising the importance of gathering data on markets perception and suggestions, as well as disclosing information.
With regard to communication activities, the annual communication plan is used to schedule and develop Investor Relations activities, aimed at promoting and communicating the Company’s market analyses, policies and strategies.
During the year, the Investor Relations department continued to support Company Management by monitoring and analysing the market and the competitive scenario.
In addition to the usual daily focus on “rumours”, major market news and weekly news reports (IR NEWS), the department periodically distributes in-depth analyses and updates on the performance of competitors, markets and main business sector analyses. In 2017, an area was created on the Intranet dedicated to the internal sharing and distribution of gathered material and the related analyses.
The website, which features a specific area dedicated to all Investor Relations matters, continues to represent the main tool for the collection of financial information and its distribution to stakeholders.
Transparency and accuracy of information
The Investor Relations department also pursues its mission by ensuring total transparency of communications and offering the market all the necessary information to enable investors to base their decisions on complete, correct and timely information. Accordingly, all of the Company’s communications entail absolute compliance with legislative and regulatory provisions, are comprehensible, thorough, timely and offer consistent disclosure to all investors. The external communication of information regarding Ansaldo STS is performed exclusively by departments appointed for this purpose and in accordance with the Company procedures aimed at ensuring the truthfulness and correct disclosure of such information.
Price sensitive communications to the market
All Ansaldo STS information that can be defined as price sensitive (i.e. that could materially affect the share’s price on the stock market and disclosed via Borsa Italiana’s NIS - Network Information System) is subject to a standard procedure, revised again in 2016, that requires the Company’s External Communication department, which is in charge of press releases, to work closely with the Investor Relations, Legal and In-House Communications departments.
The Company issued 53 press releases in 2017. Ultimate authorisation for the issue of press releases always lies with the Managing Director and CFO.
Share performance and analysts’ rating
From 31 December 2016 to 31 December 2017, the share price rose from EUR 11.84 to EUR 12.00, gaining a slight increase of 1.4%.
The share’s peak for the period and overall Company record of EUR 12.50 was recorded on 5 April 2017, while its low of EUR 10.78 was recorded on 4 September 2017.
On average, 112,750 shares were traded daily in the period compared to 201,762 shares traded in 2016. This reduction is a direct result of the reduction in free float.
In the period considered, the FTSE Italy All Share index and the FTSE Italy STAR index gained 15.5% and 34.7% respectively.
Share performance compared to the main indices (base 100)