MONDAY 14 FEB 2011 10:00 AM


In an example of direct, frank investor relations, a company’s CEO has responded publicly to an investor and succeeded in altering their investment behaviour.

The public dialogue, covered in IR Web Report, between Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Whitney Tilson, managing partner of T2 Partners LLC, has resulted in the short-seller covering his short position in the stock.

The exchange began in December when Tilson posted on the stock market news website Seeking Alpha, outlining why his company believed the stock of the North American online film providers was overvalued. Hastings then responded with a public rebuttal in a blog post that Tilson has credited, along with an in-person meeting, with turning around his position on the $9.4 billion market-cap company.

According to IR Web Report, this is the first time that a CEO of Hasting’s profile has used a public blog post to engage an investor directly.

In Tilson’s letter announcing the closure of T2 Partners’ position in Netflix, he made it clear that it was not recommending purchase of the stock, but said, pointing in part towards Hasting’s response to its original position, that “we now believe that [Netflix] is an even better business than we gave it credit for.”