Ever since the introduction of the non-binding vote on remuneration reports in 2004, the workload of proxy advisers, fund managers and retail shareholders has lifted throughout the AGM season.
With more than 1500 AGMs occurring in October and November and companies only required to release their annual report and notice of meeting 28 days before the AGM, there is an awful lot of material to get through in a very tight timeframe.
A combination of Australian law and the ASX-listing rules requires that each listed company release its half-year and full-year results within one month of balance date, and hold its AGM within five months of financial year end.
That’s why you’ll see a deluge of almost 2000 earnings results in February.
Fewer than 200 companies have a December 31 balance date, which will lead to AGMs in April and May, but it features a number of big names.
Well-organised and pro-disclosure companies are now releasing their full remuneration reports with the annual results, giving interested parties as much as 15 weeks to digest it before the AGM vote.
Crikey has assessed the 2015 disclosure practice of the 25 most notable companies, which will report full-year results in February, followed by an AGM. The following 16 companies deserve an elephant stamp for last year releasing their remuneration report earlier than required in February:
OZ Minerals: February 11 ahead of May 25 AGM.
InvoCare: February 17 ahead of May 22 AGM.
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Woodside Energy: February 18 ahead of April 16 AGM.
GPT Group: February 23 ahead of May 5 AGM.
QBE Insurance: February 24 ahead of April 2 AGM.
Sydney Airport: February 26 ahead of May 14 AGM.
Santos: February 20 ahead of April 30 AGM.
STW Group: February 20 4 ahead of May 13 AGM.
Caltex: February 23 ahead of May 7 AGM.
Spark Infrastructure: February 23 ahead of May 22 AGM.
Oil Search: February 24 ahead of May 15 AGM in Port Moresby.
Bell Financial Group: February 24 ahead of April 29 AGM.
Scentre Group: February 24 ahead of May 7 AGM.
Iress Ltd: February 25 ahead of May 7 AGM.
Westfield Corp: February 25 ahead of May 14 AGM.
Devine Ltd: February 19 ahead of May 27 AGM.
The naughty nine who need to improve their practice this year are as follows. This is what they did last year, including the date of this year’s earnings release:
CIMIC Group (formerly Leighton Holdings): reporting February 10. Last year the 57-page full-year results were released on February 11, minus the remuneration report, which was released with the 156-page annual report on February 20, a full two months before the April 21 AGM. However, the notice of meeting only came out on March 20.
APN News & Media: reporting February 11. Last year was February 12, but the remuneration report was held back until the release of the annual report on March 16. The notice of meeting was dropped on March 31 ahead of the May 6 AGM.
Rio Tinto: reporting February 11. Last year was February 12 but the remuneration report was held back until the 232 page annual report was released on March 6, along with the notice of meeting. The London AGM was held on April 17 and the Australian version on May 7, so local investors had more than two months to consider the pay details.
Coca-Cola Amatil: reporting February 17. Last year was February 17 but remuneration report was held back until the full financial statements on March 27. The annual report and notice of meeting was released on April 9 ahead of the May 12 AGM.
AMP: reporting February 18. The 207 pages of material released with last year’s results on February 19 didn’t include the remuneration report, which was dropped with the annual report and notice of meeting on March 26, less than seven weeks ahead of the May 7 AGM.
Iluka Resources: reporting February 19. Last year was February 17 but excluded the remuneration report, which was delayed until the annual report and notice of meeting was released on March 18, although this was more than two months before the May 20 AGM.
Melbourne IT: reporting February 24. February 25 last year but remuneration report delayed until March 25 release of full financial statements. The annual report and notice of meeting followed on April 24 ahead of the May 27 AGM.
Adelaide Brighton: reporting February 25. Last year was February 26, but the remuneration report didn’t arrive until the full financials were posted on March 12. The annual report and notice of meeting were released on April 20 ahead of the May 27 AGM.
Alumina: reporting February 25. February 26 last year but the remuneration report was held back until release of notice of meeting, with the annual report on March 30, ahead of the May 15 AGM.
We’ll let you know by the end of February how many of the naughty nine have responded positively by adopting best-practice early disclosure in 2016.