Generating Appreciation for Cholestech
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Generating Appreciation for Cholestech

Despite solid business fundamentals and the dramatic overnight increase of an already large market, Cholestech’s valuation experienced little change.

Paul Holmes

On May 15, 2001, the United States National Institute for Health issued new guidelines regarding cholesterol.  Based on these new guidelines, the number of Americans who needed to monitor their cholesterol nearly tripled from about 13 million to 36 million.  Cholestech, based in Hayward, California, manufactures the only device to receive an all-important waiver under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA), and provides easy, accurate and economical diagnostic screening for cholesterol, blood sugar and liver function.
Despite solid business fundamentals and the dramatic overnight increase of an already large market, Cholestech’s valuation experienced little change.  The Company had no sell-side analyst sponsorship, a very thin institutional shareholder base, and a market capitalization that barely reached $100 million.  Morgen-Walke was brought in by management to help build the Company’s awareness with target investors. 
  • Increase awareness of Cholestech’s strong market opportunity, barriers to entry and operating characteristics with institutional investors and sell-side analysts.
  • Identify and market the Cholestech investment opportunity to targeted portfolio managers whose investment parameters matched the Company’s.
  • Expand the Company’s coverage in key financial media.
Refined and clarified Cholestech’s positioning to the investment community through a revised investor presentation that highlighted the Company’s strategy, investment characteristics and potential market opportunity.
Using MWA’s base of relationships, identified potential portfolio manager, sell-side analyst and financial reporter targets.
Introduced the Cholestech investment opportunity to the targets.
Scheduled one-on-one and group presentations with appropriate analysts and potential investors pre-qualified through marketing outreach.
Followed up with targeted investors for feedback to measure progress and refine investment presentation and overall communications strategy.
Proactively identified and pursued opportunities in the national business press and targeted trade publications to generate favorable coverage and increase visibility with investors and consumers.
Cholestech interfaced with 63 institutional investors during one-on-one meetings and  group presentations held in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis and New York.
Several institutions including RS Investment Management, Putnam Investment Management, and Van Wagoner Capital purchased shares shortly after the meetings. At least 12 new institutional investment firms purchased a total of more than 1.5 million Cholestech shares (out of an 11.4 million share float.) during the third quarter ended September 30, 2001.  Institutional participation in Cholestech’s quarterly earnings calls increased more than three fold, from 18 firms participating in the Company’s Q101 call (July 24, 2001) to 63 firms joining their Q301 call (January 23, 2002.)
Since the initiation of this investor relations program on July 30, 2001, Cholestech’s stock price increased from $8.95 to $19.81 on December 31, 2001, and from a six-month low of $7.98 on August 9, 2001 to a six-month high of $26.69 on November 30, 2001. 
On November 30th, Cholestech’s market capitalization reached approximately $332 million.
Investment firm Adams Harkness & Hill initiated coverage on Cholestech with a “Buy” rating on October 12, 2001.
Cholestech was featured in numerous national and local media outlets including:
Business Week’s lead column “Inside Wall Street” section on October 15, 2001
Syndicated television show “Tech TV.”
The East Bay Business Times on December 7th (“Cholestech Catching on with Investors.”)
Extensive coverage on Dow Jones Newswire.
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