No fewer than 47 companies have cited the term “inflation” in their earnings calls for Q1 2021.
According to a report by financial market data provider FactSet on Monday, the figure represents the highest number of companies to do so in the last decade.
Earlier in April, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics released its “Producer Price Index” report showing a 4.2% year-on-year increase in PPI, the highest since September 2011.
While Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell continues to argue that current inflation and consumer price index numbers are only temporary, there is a counter-argument that businesses will move to transfer the burden of greater production costs to their consumers.
Meanwhile, companies may also be seeking ways to protect their cash reserves from U.S. dollar debasement following the nearly $6 trillion in stimulus money poured into the U.S. economy over the course of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Back in August 2020, business intelligence outfit MicroStrategy made headlines when it announced its first Bitcoin (BTC) purchase. Michael Saylor’s firm now holds over 90,000 BTC valued at more than $5 billion, with the asset up almost five-fold since August 2020.
On Monday, Tesla announced the sale of $272 million worth of Bitcoin — about 10% of its BTC holdings — in the company’s Q1 financial report. According to Tesla’s Q1 2021 earnings call, the electronic vehicle maker netted $101 million in net profit from the sale.
Tesla first revealed its BTC ownership back in February, announcing that it has purchased about $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin.
With inflation expected to continue in its upward trajectory at least in the short term, more U.S. companies might convert some of their cash reserves to Bitcoin. This likelihood is despite arguments to the contrary made by treasury experts back in February.
Back in March, Dawn Fitzpatrick, chief investment officer of Soros Fund Management, said that BTC was no longer a fringe asset on account of U.S. dollar debasement.