The Securities and Exchange Commission is not yet ready to offer corporations guidance on how they may offer more information on projected financial information without risking being sued by shareholders.
The new law gives companies protection from investor lawsuits for projected financial information as long as the projections are identified and accompanied by a caveat that the company's results might vary for certain reasons.
But at a meeting of the American Society of Corporate Secretaries in mid-April, Brian Lane, SEC director of the division of corporation finance, said the SEC would like to see more company predictions before deciding if such guidance is necessary.
Several technology companies, considered vulnerable to investor lawsuits because of volatile stock prices - including Intel Corp., Motorola Inc. and GTE Corp. - already have sought protection under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, according to the National Investor Relations Institute, Washington.
The SEC also might have to undertake a study on ways to streamline the shareholder proposal process as the only way to break the logjam in discussions between corporate representatives and institutional investors, Mr. Lane said.
The group made it clear it has no intention of budging from the proposal it made a year ago, when it offered to accept fewer reasons from the SEC for omitting shareholder proposals from proxies in exchange for setting a maximum of three proposals they would have to publish in their annual shareholder ballots.
The group also last year asked the SEC to tighten rules on preventing investors from presenting the same proposals each year. However, the society's proposals last year were shot down by some religious investors and labor unions.