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 CHICAGO, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study reveals that the professional investment community has embraced teleconferencing as an effective addition to companies' investor relations programs, and that corporations not taking advantage of teleconferencing to communicate with the investment professionals are missing an important opportunity.
 Eighty-five percent of the analysts and portfolio managers polled participate in company-sponsored teleconferences; 93 percent of those who participate consider teleconferences to be an effective way for companies and professional investors to communicate. The primary reason for not participating in teleconferences was not being asked.
 Included in the study were 122 investment professionals (94 brokerage firm analysts and 28 analysts and portfolio managers from money management firms). The research was conducted for Darome Teleconferencing, a Chicago-based international teleconference services provider, by Christensen & Associates, an international investor relations consultant and survey research firm.
 "We are experiencing a steady increase in the number of customers conducting analyst or investor meetings via teleconference," said Joseph F. Morrison, Darome president and chief executive officer. "Attempting to quantify this growth, we asked Christensen & Associates to conduct a study that would evaluate participation of U.S. investment professionals in teleconferences, and assess the effectiveness of teleconferences as a communications vehicle between corporate management and the investment community."
 Those participating in the study stated that the primary benefits of a teleconference are (in order of importance): (Note: totals may exceed 100 percent due to multiple responses.)
 -- Provides an opportunity to hear the questions and concerns of their peers (55 percent).
 -- Saves time and money (travel is eliminated) (45 percent).
 -- Gives timely information (13 percent), and
 -- Information is disseminated simultaneously (9 percent).
 Respondents considered the teleconference to be an excellent addition to a company's in-person meeting program. The teleconference is viewed as a means of providing details and answering questions on timely events, specifically earnings results and major news.
 However, 91 percent cautioned that teleconferences do not eliminate the need for in-person meetings with the company management. In-person meetings provide the benefit of non-verbal communication -- one analyst called this "body language" -- which is lacking in teleconferences. Investors said in-person meetings help them know management better.
 When it comes to company size, more than half (55 percent) of the analysts said they had participated in teleconference with large capitalization companies. However, two-thirds (66 percent) said they do not use market capitalization as a criterion for participation.
 "Small companies can be particularly encouraged by the study," said Howard A. Christensen, chairman of Christensen & Associates. "In fact, Darome's client list makes it clear that small companies, IPO's and hi-tech companies are quick to use teleconferencing to reach investors." Other findings revealed by the study included:
 -- Virtually all (97 percent) respondents want to receive information from the company prior to a teleconference.
 -- The primary concern expressed about teleconferences is that they are impersonal. Some analysts felt that in-depth questions were not as likely to be asked.
 -- Because of the growing number of teleconferences being scheduled, respondents indicated difficulty in finding the time to participate in all the sessions they were interested in.
 "Scheduling can be a problem, especially during the peak corporate reporting periods," said Morrison. "That's why we recently introduced our "Instant Replay" service, which provides a high quality digital recording to a teleconference that be accessed at a later time by analysts with scheduling conflicts. After listening to the tape, analysts can register questions that are forwarded to the company spokesperson or have the call immediately transferred to the company for immediate reply."
 Study details are available from Darome Teleconferencing, 8750 Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, IL 60631, (312-399-1610) or Christensen & Associates, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 4545, New York, NY 10112, (212-245-4105).
 Totals may exceed 100 percent due to multiple responses:
 Participated in a TOTAL Sell-Side Buy-Side,Portfolio
 teleconference (TC): Analyst (SSA) Mgr. (BSA/PM)
 No. Pct. No. Pct. No. Pct.
 YES 104 85 81 86 23 82
 NO 18 15 13 14 5 18
 TCs are effective ways
 to communicate: No. Pct. No. Pct. Mo. Pct.
 YES 97 93 77 95 20 87
 NO 2 2 2 2 0 0
 DON'T KNOW 5 5 2 2 3 13
 KEY BENEFITS: No. Pct. No. Pct. No. Pct.
 Hear others' questions
 and mgmt. answers 57 55 42 52 15 65
 Saves time/money 47 45 41 51 6 26
 Timeliness 14 13 7 9 7 30
 Hear top management 9 9 5 6 4 17
 Disseminate information
 simultaneously 9 9 6 7 3 13
 KEY DISADVANTAGES: No. Pct. No. Pct. No. Pct.
 Impersonal 29 28 24 30 5 22
 Can't ask in-depth
 questions 17 16 12 15 5 22
 None 16 15 12 15 4 17
 Too time consuming,
 esp. when too many
 people on line 14 13 11 14 3 13
 Can't get to know mgmt.11 11 9 11 2 9
 Technical problems 9 9 4 5 5 22
 Timing problems/
 limitations 10 10 9 11 1 4
 Other 14 13 11 14 3 13
 -0- 5/11/92
 /CONTACT: Gary Goodfriend or Steve Ingish, 312-644-4409, for Darome Teleconferencing/ CO: ST: Illinois IN: TLS SU: ECO

SM -- NY074 -- 8682 05/11/92 13:29 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 11, 1992

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