Chief executive officers typically shy away from taking political sides in an election for many reasons. One reason is that investors typically frown on alienating a significant portion of customers. Another is that you could be unnecessarily creating a contentious relationship with the most powerful person in the free world.
This doesn’t mean that CEOs don’t secretly hope one person or the other wins and don’t watch the election outcome intensely. Below are three companies likely keeping a sharp eye on what happens with this election and weighing whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump will be better for their business. There might even be fear in the C-suite as the country potentially faces a transfer of power.
Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) pioneered hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” starting in the late 1940s. Fracking refers to injecting liquid, sand, and chemicals into the ground at high pressure in order to force out oil and gas. The practice became controversial due to environmental and health concerns and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis recently reported that, thanks to the pandemic-fueled drop in demand, the “shale oil and gas sector suffered through its worst financial performance in years during the second quarter of 2020. … results that followed a decade of negative free cash flows for the industry.”