Original Research

An exploration of the online investor relations (IR) practices of companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)

Leana Esterhuyse, Christa Wingard
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 19, No 2 | a1261 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v19i2.1261 | © 2016 Leana Esterhuyse, Christa Wingard | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 December 2014 | Published: 13 May 2016

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Leana Esterhuyse, UNISA, South Africa
Christa Wingard, UNISA, South Africa

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Prior research has found that having better investor relations (IR) practices contributes towards improved share prices, liquidity of shares and analyst following. The main aim of this study was to determine the extent to which JSE-listed companies comply with international best practice guidelines for IR practices via the company’s website. A secondary objective was to arrive at an opinion regarding the stage of internet adoption for IR practices in which JSE-listed companies find themselves, based on Hedlin’s (1999) three-stage model. A checklist of 201 items was used to assess the websites of 205 JSE-listed companies from the beginning of July to mid-September 2012. The average online IR score for all 205 companies was found to be disappointing, although the top 100 companies in South Africa performed better than companies in other emerging and developing economies, but worse than companies in advanced economies, where size is probably the main differentiator. Bandwidth is also a constraining factor for online IR quality in South Africa. We conclude that instead of moving towards stage III (HTML, video and audio) of Hedlin’s model (1999), JSE listed companies still seem to find themselves in stage II (paper-equivalent PDF’s). This should concern Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), as effective and efficient communication with investors could contribute towards attaining optimal share prices and improved liquidity and analyst following.


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