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Companies using video, social media to communicate earnings results

July 23, 2013

Companies are injecting a little pizzazz into the typically staid, scripted world of earnings conference calls, as The Wall Street Journal reported. Yahoo’s CEO and CFO sat in front of a video camera on July 16, while Zillow and others were live-tweeting their quarterly results. Netflix, meanwhile, held a live webcast of its second-quarter earnings presentation yesterday.

The move toward more dynamic presentations like these shows that companies are eager to influence how others perceive them, although lawyers still mostly guide the earnings calls process.

Yahoo broadcast its newscast-like presentation — in which chief executive Marissa Mayer and finance chief Ken Goldman appeared like would-be anchors — from a studio at the company’s California headquarters. The approach was generally well received, the Journal reported.

Putting the CEO on camera may also offer additional insights into a company and its leadership.

“I’m sure people [are] analyzing facial expressions and body language to draw signals about the company and about the credibility of what management is saying,” says Douglas Skinner, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

For their part, many analysts — still the main audience for earnings calls — say they often are too busy to watch an entire video.Greg Beaubien



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