Inaugural ICR XChange Survey Shines Light on Industry Sentiment for Business in the Consumer Realm

ICR, a leading strategic communications firm, today released the results of the inaugural ICR XChange survey revealing industry sentiment from institutional investors, private equity professionals, private and public company executives, and equity research analysts in attendance at the 17th Annual ICR XChange, the premier investment conference for consumer-oriented growth companies currently being held at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida. Results from the survey revealed an upbeat sentiment for 2015 with respondents reporting a generally bullish outlook for U.S. consumer spending, with expectations for a sixth consecutive year of growth despite falling oil prices, the continuing slowdown in China and ongoing Eurozone uncertainty.

More than 215 XChange attendees weighed in on questions concerning trading, consumer spending, corporate executive challenges and media influence. Principal learnings include:

  • Discussion around the perennial business issues of management transparency, earnings guidance and investor activism continues. On the whole, things are seen to be improving in terms of the overall level of transparency among companies.
  • Investors are hungry for dialogue with management and, while their appetites for the most part are satisfied, they would be happier for more if it was offered.
  • The preferred channels of communications among investment professionals are the more interactive ones where investment professionals get to both share opinion and “touch the product.”
  • Management transparency is improving more often than not, and shareholder activism is on the whole seen to be a positive force in maximizing shareholder value, albeit perhaps still with some reservations.
  • Two thirds of respondents expect consumer spending in 2015 to be markedly ahead of 2014 as the U.S. continues to distance itself from the global economic crash of 2009.

“A company’s corporate valuation is increasingly influenced by factors outside of financial performance,” said Tom Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, ICR. “Less tangible elements such as consistency of information, transparency, accessibility and reputation certainly play a role in forming a complete view of the company and can be leveraged to maximize its valuation. We are pleased to share the views of XChange attendees through this survey and look forward to the conversations this data will ignite.”

To access the complete survey results, download PDF.

For additional information on the conference, visit Follow ICR XChange on Twitter at @ICRPR and join the conversation using the #icrxchange hashtag.

Download PDF version of this press release.

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