In researching each individual company or security, Emerald’s analysts utilize this proprietary 10‐step process.
Review SEC filings, press releases and news stories.
The process includes monitoring relevant media sources such as industry press, financial press and popular press.
Meet with management.
Meet with management across the organization in areas such as executive management, marketing, product development, operations and finance. The Emerald Research Team conducts approximately 2,000 meetings per year on-site at the company, or off-site at conferences, trade shows or other locations.
Interview customers to determine (1) the critical factors driving their buy decision, (2) what competitors or alternatives were considered, (3) level of satisfaction with the quality of the product or service, and (4) likelihood of generating repeat business.
Interview competitors to determine their strengths and weaknesses, as well the competitors' perception of the strengths and weaknesses of the company.
Interview suppliers to determine their ability to supply the products/services required by the company. Also, assess the extent of potential supply chain bottlenecks.
Interview distributors to determine potential issues and opportunities in the company's distribution channel such as inventory levels, demand drivers and competitive pressures.
Develop financial and valuation models.
Develop a financial model to analyze financial performance and estimate future cash flows, earnings and financing needs. Use a valuation model to analyze relative and absolute valuation.
Review third party research.
Review published research from sell‐side analysts and industry research firms to compare our data points and financial estimates. Also, use third party research to assess security-specific and industry‐specific sentiment.
Publish an internal research report.
Publish an internal research report summarizing the company's business, competitive advantages, management strengths/weaknesses, growth drivers and risks, as well as stating investment conclusions and recommendations.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
The entire research team meets formally twice per week and informally on an ongoing basis with the portfolio management team to discuss the fundamentals of all current and potential holdings. Internal discussions are held throughout the process.