From the wild (?) of Wyoming, Jason Kintzler, founder and CEO of PitchEngine, alerts us to another move toward disclosing earnings information on a corporation's Web site, rather than the far more customary manner of broadly issued press releases.
The Securities and Exchange Commission made that switch possible nearly two years ago, notes the Q4 Blog, when it allowed managements to depart from the press release format provided:
1. a company Web site is a recognized channel of distribution
2. posting of information on a company web site disseminates the information in a manner making it available to the securities marketplace in general, and
3. there has been a reasonable waiting period for investors and the market to react to the posted information.
In this spirit, Reuters notes Google on Thursday issued notice of its first quarter results in a brief announcement:
"Google Inc. has released its first quarter 2010 financial results. Please visit Google's investor relations website at investor.google.com/ to view the earnings release," the company said.
"Google intends to make future announcements regarding its financial performance exclusively through its investor relations website," it added.
This sort of "come-to-us-directly" approach could hurt revenues for press release distribution companies and others in the PR world.
In what may one day be deemed an example of wishful thinking, Reuters quoted Scott Mozarsky, executive vice president of commercial operations for one of those services, PRNewswire, as noting that fewer than 10 public companies have adopted Google's sort of "notice and access" procedure.
"I don't think it's a threat to the industry," Mozarsky said. "The huge majority of the market has been very clear about the fact that it doesn't make a lot of sense to be adopting this practice," he added.
"But it is indicative of the fact that Web disclosure is important as part of an integrated approach to disclosure."
We'll see, won't we, whether this is another manifestation of the Web becoming our dominant information channel.