A Viral Market Update X: A Corporate Life Cycle Perspective



Fear and greed are dueling forces in financial markers at all times, but especially so in periods of uncertainty, when they pull in opposite directions, causing wild market swings and momentum shifts. I think that no matter what your market views are right now, you would agree that we are in a period of intense uncertainty, with divergent views on how this pandemic will play out, not just in the coming months, but in the coming years. It is this divergence that have been at the heart of both the steep fall in equity markets in February and March, and the equally precipitous rise in April and May. As US equity markets climb back towards pre-crisis levels, the focus on market levels may be missing the underlying shift in value that has occurred across companies. In this post, I will focus on this shift, using the framework of a corporate life cycle, and record a redistribution of value from older, low growth, more capital intensive companies to younger, high growth companies. It is possible that this shift is the result of irrational exuberance on the part of young, inexperienced investors, but I think that a more plausible explanation is that it reflects not only the unique nature of this crisis, but also a changing business landscape.

Updating the Market
As with my previous updates, I will start with a chronicling of how markets have behaved in the two weeks since my last update, and overall, during the crisis. Let's start (Read more...)