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‘Tis the Season for Shareholder Meetings

Companies and Markets

By Christine Short  |  May 5, 2022

Springtime brings about a cadence in corporate events: conferences in March, Q1 earnings season, and then shareholder meetings. While we are in the heart of the first-quarter reporting period, the shareholder meeting count climbs in late April through May for S&P 500 companies. In 2021, there was a clear peak for the year in May, so now is the time to know when your stocks might be affected.

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Key Takeaways

  • May is the peak in shareholder meetings, a key corporate event type that can bring about management team shake-ups and unexpected business insights
  • Investors want to hear more about the resilience of the consumer and how commodity prices are impacting the economy
  • Twitter shareholders meet on May 25; traders should be on guard for elevated volatility
  • In 2022, 65% of shareholder meetings will be held in person versus 35% in 2021

Why Should Traders Care About Shareholder Meetings?

Shareholder meetings are typically held at least annually to elect members to a firm’s board of directors. Executives also weigh in with the latest updates on business conditions and even some interim financial figures. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this corporate event type is a glimpse into the future—new policy initiatives from management teams can grab headlines after the meeting. Traders and risk managers should always know when shareholder meetings happen on stocks they own.

In-Person Events Back on the Rise

While run-of-the-mill shareholder meetings do not have the fanfare of, say, Berkshire Hathaway’s spectacle held in Omaha each year, the impact on stock prices can still be material. Following a brutal two years of Covid, Wall Street Horizon (WSH) finds that a gradual return to normal is the theme—there are many more in-person events this season. Of course, most companies also make a virtual option available.

For 2022, WSH data show there are more shareholder meetings slated with a greater percentage of in-person events this year.

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What to Watch For

Let’s dig into some of the key shareholder meetings that are in the queue this month. Major themes investors and the financial media will certainly pay attention to are what’s happening with the consumer, how capital markets are faring, and if energy companies are planning any big moves amid very high oil and natural gas prices around the world. Clearly, the Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples, Financials, and Energy & Utilities sectors are in the spotlight. And we cannot forget about what’s happening with Twitter! More on that to come.

Sectors in Play

In May, many big-name companies host shareholder meetings. It will be a pivotal period as many of these firms will have reported quarterly results, so this is a chance for stakeholders to learn more about specific areas of business.

Spending Insights

But what should you be watching? JPMorgan Chase & Company (JPM) might have insights into card spending during their meeting on May 17, followed by Discover Financial Services (DFS) on May 19.

Folks on the Move

Travel companies could also give a boost of optimism. Consider that consumer confidence is the worst in about a decade according to some metrics, while investor sentiment is downright dreadful. We all need something fun to get our minds off money matters! MGM Resorts International’s (MGM) shareholder meeting was on May 4. After that is Marriott International Inc (MAR) on May 6 and then Las Vegas Sands (LVS) on May 12. Host Hotels & Resorts (HST) stockholders meet on May 19. This set of Consumer Discretionary firms might be in play over the ensuing weeks.

Welcome Aboard Again

Sticking with the travel theme, the major airlines offered strong guidance for the balance of 2022 during their April conference calls. More good news could be a tailwind for these Industrials stocks in May. Southwest Airlines (LUV) hosts an event on May 18, followed by United Airlines (UAL) on May 25, right before the Memorial Day weekend’s unofficial summer kick-off.

Welcome Home? Not So Much for New Buyers.

The landscape of the housing market is a not-so-rosy picture, however. PulteGroup (PHM) shareholders met on May 4, followed by real estate name Simon Property Group (SPG) on May 11. Surging mortgage rates, above 5% on the typical 30-year fixed, and extremely low inventory make for a tough scenario for some firms while others, like REITs, can effectively increase rents and lease prices as they see their holdings climb in value. There could be insights gleaned from the Real Estate sector next month.

Commodities Crunch

Finally, home air conditioning bills this summer could be much higher than we are all used to. And let’s not even talk about what next winter’s heating costs might be! Energy and Utilities stocks (and anything related to commodities, including the Materials sector) have been some of 2022’s biggest winners, so expect a positive tone and upbeat corporate body language from companies in this space.

What are the stocks to watch? Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a key food-related firm, meets on May 5 along with one of the biggest Utilities stocks, Duke Energy (D). In the energy patch, Occidental Petroleum (OXY) gathers May 6, followed by Conoco Phillips on May 10. Toward the end of the month on May 25, the big guns host shareholder meetings: Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX).

Musk’s Move?

Bonus round: The coup de grâce. Twitter (TWTR) meets on May 25. Could there be fireworks at this event? Might Tesla’s Elon Musk make an appearance? You’ll have to tune in to find out. Volatility could be elevated in Twitter shares and options as the big day approaches.

Conclusion

May is shareholder meeting month for key global companies. Traders and portfolio managers must know when key events will drive enhanced volatility. Wall Street Horizon’s corporate event data coverage spanning 10,000 firms worldwide keeps traders and investors ahead of major stock-specific events.

This article was originally published on the Wall Street Horizon website.

Disclaimer: This blog post has been written by a third-party contributor and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of FactSet. The information contained in this blog post is not legal, tax, or investment advice. FactSet does not endorse or recommend any investments and assumes no liability for any consequence relating directly or indirectly to any action or inaction taken based on the information contained in this article.

StreetAccount

Christine Short

Vice President of Research, Wall Street Horizon

Ms. Christine Short is Vice President of Research at Wall Street Horizon. In this role, she is focused on publishing research on Wall Street Horizon event data covering 10,000 global equities in the marketplace. Her research has been widely featured in financial news outlets including regular appearances on networks such as CNBC and Fox Business to talk about corporate earnings and the economy. Ms. Short earned a BA in International Relations and English from Fairfield University.

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The information contained in this article is not investment advice. FactSet does not endorse or recommend any investments and assumes no liability for any consequence relating directly or indirectly to any action or inaction taken based on the information contained in this article.