As further proof that the Internet is changing the way people look at investing, Web traffic to investor relations (IR) sites offered by publicly traded companies continues to increase each quarter.
A survey by Boston-based CCBN.com, a company that hosts and updates IR sites for more than 600 companies, compared traffic trends within 130 active IR sites for the third and fourth quarter of 1998.
The traffic to IR sites averaged 30,000 hits per site per month during the fourth quarter of 1998, a 38 percent increase from an average of 21,700 hits per site during the third quarter of 1998.
According to CCBN, IR sites that offer multimedia features, such as conference call replays and slide show presentations, experienced significantly higher traffic than sites offering text and data. Of the 35 sites in the survey offering multimedia content, traffic increased 97 percent to an average of 47,000 hits per site in the fourth quarter from an average of 24,000 hits per site in the third quarter. Traffic to text and data sites increased 14 percent in the same time period, CCBN found.
“The Internet’s broadcast capabilities offer public companies a tremendous opportunity to broadly disseminate information to both individual and institutional shareholders,” said Lou Thompson, President of the National Investor Relations Institute. ” By doing so, the Internet can help level the playing field for investors more than any other communications tool available to investor relations professionals.”
The CCBN survey used 130 sites composed of companies across all industries with market capitalizations as low as $17 million to as high as $50 billion. Traffic ranged from 500 hits per month to 225,000 hits per month. Usage was measured in three-month blocks in order to eliminate volatility in traffic caused by the announcement of quarterly results.
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