macdougall musings

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference Poised to Set the Tone for 2023

by Sara Michelmore, Managing Director, Investor Relations

As we enter the final stretch of 2022, many across the industry are eager to close the book on a year that brought multiple macro headwinds, volatile market performance, negative investor sentiment and increased economic uncertainties.

Looking ahead, it is notable that the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference (“JPM”) is returning to its in-person format this January and is expected once again to draw key stakeholders from across the industry including the investment community, C-suite executives and business development teams. News flow, sentiment and activity out of this year’s meeting appears very much poised to set the tone and define expectations for 2023.

Key areas we will be keeping an eye on are the following:

  • “Big” news, particularly M&A. Historically, JPM has been a meeting where notable M&A transactions are announced. While M&A activity picked up in certain sectors in 2022, including biotech, overall deal size has been underwhelming. One or more sizeable transaction announcements could catalyze excitement around the potential for significant consolidation in certain sub-sectors during 2023.
  • Confidence around financial outlooks & guidance. Visibility on financial outlooks has been challenging for corporates over the last year, reflecting a more uncertain environment and increased risk to earnings expectations. Higher confidence in the outlooks communicated by executive teams and increased comfort around earnings expectations by investors would be a constructive development coming out of JPM.
  • Upcoming flow of news catalysts, particularly in innovation-driven sectors like biotech. With many emerging growth companies adjusting strategies to focus on their highest priority value drivers in 2022, JPM is an opportunity for investors to newly assess the multitude of catalyst-driven opportunities for the year ahead. We will be looking for companies, particularly in biotech, to utilize JPM to level set expectations around timing of key milestones for the next 12-24 months.
  • Investor sentiment, including appetite for capital deployment. 2022 saw a significant drop off in the number and volume of private and public transactions as investors exercised more caution and exhibited higher risk aversion. Exiting the meeting, there is likely to be a consensus view regarding investor sentiment overall and their willingness to deploy capital, and “where” and “how” it is likely to be preferentially deployed. Providing this context enables investors to understand how you, as managers, make capital allocation decisions and provides a helpful framework from which they can evaluate your progress. Even when resources feel constrained, companies should not neglect the work of building a durable balance sheet that supports long-term enterprise value creation. This includes building asset portfolios inclusive of intellectual property, facilities and other assets.
After a two-year hiatus, our team is looking forward to returning to JPM in person and sharing our reflections and insights with our clients and colleagues.
Looking for counsel on how to make the most out of JPM 2023 or how to effectively communicate your equity story for the coming year? Contact our Head of Investor Relations, Sara Michelmore, to learn more.

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