Companies have pulled forward a significant amount of future earnings. The question is: “How much”?
Back in April Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella said the company experienced two years of digital transformation in two months. Amazon (AMZN), Shopify (SHOP), Square (SQ), PayPal (PYPL) and other e-commerce players have undoubtedly pulled earnings forward as COVID accelerated the shift from offline to online commerce. Peloton (PTON) is benefiting from the home gym boom as fewer people are comfortable with visiting their local gym (if it remains in business) versus a year ago. Zoom Video (ZM) has benefited from remote meetings.
The earnings pull forward phenomenon is certainly something to consider along with a potential fiscal stimulus deal (we are in a game of political chicken at the moment), China turmoil and the specter of corporate and personal tax increases in 2021 or 2022.