Corporate Eye

What Makes for Effective Investor Relations Sites? Part 5: Historical Share Price Information

The third essential piece of share price information for investors coming to your web site is historical stock price information. When investors buy stock they know they are supposed to record their purchase price, but they often fail to do so. Or they misplace the information. So companies need to provide an easy way for people to look up the stock price on a particular day.

There are several ways to address this need for investors. The Telephonica site includes one that I think is well done. Reproduced below is a page that pops up when you click on a link for historic price data. Note that the page also allows you to enter different dates to customize the information.


An alternative to this is to provide for an excel spreadsheet data download. I encountered this in a couple of U.K. sites I investigated, but unfortunately, when I downloaded the data, it was in comma delimited format and not very user friendly. (I sometimes wonder if the investor relations departments ever actually take their sites out for a test drive, or merely take their data providers at their word.)

To go along with this, it’s helpful to provide investors with a way to calculate the worth of their holdings. Below is the page from British American Tobacco’s site that provides this calculator. Note that the calculator allows the investor to enter the data for share price in a number of different ways and also provides for calculation of the investment return.


All of this inures principally to the benefit of retail investors, as institutional investors will have very sophisticated systems for tracking price movement and charting, but it will also save a fair amount of heartburn in investor relations departments, as it should cut down on the number of calls coming in looking for this type of information, particularly around tax time.

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John Palizza

John recently retired as a Lecturer in Management at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Management, where he taught investor relations. Prior to that, John was in charge of investor relations for Sysco Corporation and Walgreen Co. He holds a MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago. You can learn more about John’s thinking about investor relations at his blog, Investor Relations Musings.