As many as 47 companies mentioned the term inflation in their earnings reports for the first quarter of 2021.
According to a report published Monday by FactSet, the provider of capital markets data, this is the highest number of companies to do so in the past decade.
In early April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a Producer Price Index report showing a 4.2% increase in PPI from September 2011, the highest increase since September 2011.
While Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell continues to argue that the current inflation and consumer price indexes are temporary, there is a counter argument that companies will pass the burden of higher production costs on to their consumers.
At the same time, companies may also be looking to protect their cash reserves from the depreciation of the US dollar, after nearly $6 trillion in stimulus packages have been pumped into the US economy while the coronavirus pandemic continues.
In August 2020, MicroStrategy’s Business Intelligence division made headlines when it announced its first purchase of bitcoin (BTC). Michael Saylor’s company now owns more than 90,000 BTC worth more than $5 billion, with assets increasing nearly fivefold since August 2020.
On Monday, Tesla announced the sale of $272 million in bitcoins – about 10% of its BTC shares – in the company’s first quarter financial report. According to Tesla’s earnings report for the first quarter of 2021, the electric car made a net profit of $101 million.
Tesla first announced in February that it had bought bitcoin for about $1.5 billion.
As inflation continues to rise, at least in the short term, more U.S. companies may convert some of their cash reserves into bitcoin. This possibility exists, despite arguments to the contrary by Treasury experts in February.
Back in March, Dawn Fitzpatrick, chief investment officer of Soros Fund Management, said BTC was no longer owned by anyone else because of the devaluation of the US dollar.
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